EDUCATION leaders have gathered in the city to map out the next stage of a 13 year, $22 4 million R311m capacity building programme that has boosted the sustainability of many South African universities.
The programme funded by Amer ican philanthropic body The Kresge Foundation and co ordinated by local non profit trust Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement is said to be the only international pro gramme supported by Kresge. It has contributed to new university infrastructure, staff, students, research funding and bursaries.
Bill Moses, managing director of The Kresge Foundation's education programme, said Kresge has made grants totalling at least $17.9m between December 2005 and Decem ber 2018 to support the development of advancement in South Africa. Kresge also buttressed the core advancement work with an additional $4.5m in grants for capital projects during this initiative, bringing the total to over $22.4m.
The programme has to date impacted on a third of South African higher education institutions. At a recent dinner, Moses said: "We wanted to test if South African univer sities could raise funds strategically, ethically and effectively to maintain the margin of excellence and to support research, bursaries and capital needs as the sector expanded dramatically. We simply could not be happier with the outcomes of the dozen years we have supported this work." The programme saw Wits Univer sity receiving a R100 million individ ual gift in 2014, and a vigorous Univer sity of the Western Cape fundraising campaign that culminated in a R550m Life Sciences complex opened in 2011. The keynote speech at the din ner was delivered by Dr Diane Parker, Deputy Director General University Education, who spoke on behalf of Minister of Education and Training Naledi Pandor.
Inyathelo executive director Nazeema Mohamed said: "Higher education institutions are operating in a time of austerity, uncertainty and change. But thanks to the long term support of the Kresge Foundation, universities are far better equipped to weather the storm.