The University of Pretoria (UP) is all set for its second consecutive Giving Campaign, which begins on 24 July. Through the campaign, the University is aiming to raise R100 million over three years.

This year’s campaign will focus on raising funds for undergraduate and postgraduate students in an effort to provide additional assistance to the “missing middle”, says Hernan Finkel, Deputy Director of Relationship Management and Fundraising in UP’s Department of Institutional Advancement.

Student support comprises tuition fees, costs associated with accommodation, food, textbooks and making devices available to students in need. Every contribution enables the University to provide the infrastructure that supports transdisciplinary teaching and learning, laboratory work and fieldwork.

“The Giving Campaign enhances student learning, fosters and sustains a transformed, equitable, inclusive and sustainable University community. This in turn strengthens our national and global profile and highlights our superb teaching and research successes,” says UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe.

Investing in students has far-reaching implications. It is an integral part of UP’s vision to equip students with problem-solving, conflict management and communications skills, and the benefits of its degree programmes which give students real-world exposure through community service projects.

Almost half of UP’s student population benefitted from financial aid last year, which is an indication of the need that exists and the importance of fundraising initiatives such as the Giving Campaign.

“The University of Pretoria conferred 11 979 degrees at the 2023 autumn graduation ceremonies,” Prof Kupe adds. “Of those, 5 477 students [46%] received some form of financial assistance.”

All universities need to supplement the subsidies they receive from the government in order to maintain excellence in teaching, learning and research. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in several expenses that were not budgeted for, such as sanitisers and protective equipment. Since then, loadshedding has necessitated the acquisition of large generators that are costly to run, meaning fundraising initiatives are essential to address shortfalls.

“During the 2022 Giving Campaign, we raised a total of R19.3 million. Donors included UP staff, students, alumni, corporate donors and charitable foundations,” Finkel says.

In 2022, an amount of R5 945 669 was allocated to the Student Support Fund. The Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital, which trains veterinarians and veterinary nurses and provides a valuable service to pet owners, received R13 077 498 for a new CT scanner. TuksSport received R158 353 to provide high-performance coaching, fitness and sports testing, technical and tactical expertise, psychological support to athletes and treatment for sports injuries.

“Making an impact is at the core of UP’s vision,” Finkel says. “A contribution to the Giving Campaign, no matter how small it may be, is a tangible way for everyone to make their mark. I encourage the UP community to play their part. Just imagine what we could do if we pulled together.”

To find out more about the Giving Campaign and to make a contribution, visit:  https://givingday.up.ac.za/coming-soon