Eight academically-deserving students, who fall out of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) threshold, from Rhodes University have been awarded a R200 thousand worth of bursary from GBS Mutual Bank. The students received the good news during a cheque handover event that took place at Rhodes University’s Alumni House today. The jubilant students all hail from Makhanda and are from the faculty of commerce.
Accepting the cheque, Rhodes University’s Vice Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela, said: When I became the Vice Chancellor of this University I made a commitment, I said no academically deserving young person will be turned away from Rhodes University simply because he or she happens to have been born into a family of meagre means. I further committed that I would make it my special responsibility to ensure that we make it possible for any academically capable young person to access quality and life-changing education that we provide at Rhodes, irrespective of their family’s background. There is no better investment that any nation can make, than ensuring that its young people have access to quality education.”
GBS Mutual Bank Managing Director, Anton Vorster said they are delighted and proud to have a role and invest in the Makhanda community. “It is no small thing that we are a mutual bank and mutuality means something to us. It means collectively, we have an interest and it is no secret that we have an interest in education. We would like these funds to go to students who reside and were educated in Makhanda, who fall outside of NSFAS and have progressed beyond first year in the commerce faculty,” he said.
One of the recipients, a 21 year old second year BCom Accounting student, Babalwa Nogoqa expressed how shocked and excited she was with this gesture of goodwill. “I could not believe when I received an email until we came to the handover. I am shocked that I could be chosen from a huge number of hopeful students. This will motivate me to study even hard and acquire good marks and I am ready to give it my all,” she said.
GBS Mutual Banks has been a partner of Rhodes University for many years and the relationship has been beneficial for both parties as the University keeps on producing graduates of the highest caliber. Dr Mabizela told the recipients that the University does not expect anything less that exceptional academic performance from them. “If you do well and complete your studies in the shortest possible time, you will be creating an opportunity for others to benefit in the same way because GBS will realise that their investment were not in vain,” he concluded.