he picturesque mountains of Somerset West provided the backdrop for the first Unisa Western Cape Shaping Futures Golf Challenge on 27 March 2015 at the Erinvale Golf Estate, which is one of South Africa’s most beautiful golf courses.
The event marked the launch of the Unisa Western Cape Regional Bursary Fund, which is aimed at raising funds for student bursaries within the region. The event, which built on the momentum and the excitement that was created in 2013 with the first Unisa Shaping Futures Golf Challenge in Gauteng, is an integral part of the fundraising initiatives of the Directorate of Institutional Advancement.
The bursary fund was established to address the thematic area of Student Access for Success, which is a direct response by Unisa to challenges that its student body faces because of the limited availability of bursaries within the higher education sector.
“The provision of student bursaries is central in facilitating learner support and in ensuring that a sustainable service is offered to the most deserving students with acceptable levels of academic merit,” said David Farirai, Director of Institutional Advancement, in his address to the captains of industry during the prize-giving dinner.
According to Farirai, the university faces ongoing challenges of providing affordable and accessible higher education opportunities to the majority of its students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds. He said that some of the challenges could be addressed by the establishment of bursary schemes and scholarships, which would go a long way in ensuring that students were able to access tertiary education and, at the same time, succeed at their studies.
“This further places a great emphasis on the importance of establishing partnerships with stakeholders within the region,” said Farirai, as he appealed for support from alumni and stakeholders in meeting the ever growing need for study assistance.
He concluded his address by stating that the purpose fulfilled by golf challenges is to highlight and to share in the successes of fundraising campaigns towards key institutional projects. “This brings to the fore the role of stakeholders towards the development and sustainability of the institution which is vital in securing the future of the university.”
The event culminated in a dinner and a prize-giving ceremony where guests were entertained by jazz band R Funk, who set the tone for the rest of the evening.
More photos of the event can be viewed on the Institutional Advancement webpage. Please also view our webpage for newsletter and other information of upcoming events.