On Friday, 23 August, UKZN held its annual Scholarships Awards Ceremony 2019 where prestigious scholarship awards were conferred to deserving students who had displayed excellence in academics and sports.

While the year 2019 will see UKZN award scholarships in excess of R100 034 563 to 4 670 students, 140 of those scholarships were conferred at the Scholarships Awards Ceremony which is mainly reserved for those scholarship awards that are prestigious.

‘Not too long ago I was sitting in one of those chairs,’ said Mrs Victoria Ngwenya, Standard Bank Regional Head: RBB in reference to students who were just about to receive their awards while delivering the keynote speech. With today’s world and industry being fast paced and ever-changing, Ngwenya urged the students to be free thinking and to be courageous. ‘Tonight we celebrate all you’ve achieved. We are living in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Change is everywhere and students must be equipped to be able to compete. This is necessary now more than ever before (as) students of this generation are applying for jobs that don’t yet exist. Allow yourselves room to grow and that includes embracing failure for how it sets you up and prepares you for success. Courage is not the absence of fear but conquering that fear. Remember to always be brave, bold and courageous,’ she said.

Professor Sandile Songca, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning at UKZN, also echoed Ngwenya’s sentiments, saying that the education and training that will liberate and decolonise the minds of youth can no longer only rest on theoretical underpinnings without the practical, innovative, social and entrepreneurial productive enterprise. ‘In light of the invasion of our professional and service market places by the technology-driven Fourth and Fifth industrial revolution, the excellence displayed by our young people must increasingly project a social justice dividend for communities, from new and emerging technologies that are fuelling the revolution. For the student educated today to reach the professional and service workplaces with the right skills and mind-sets; behavioural, technological and entrepreneurial skills of the future must be infused today an average of three to five years ahead of their workplace debut.’

‘The event also celebrates the courageousness of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in continuing to allow for increasing investment from its own resources to support the Scholarship Fund in the background of declining incomes and escalating financial constraints. It entrenches the great contribution of the scholarships towards the positioning of the University among the top universities in South Africa, Southern Africa, the African continent, and the world. Through this event, the University inspires greatness among students, staff, alumni, and communities,’ he said.

Prestigious scholarship awards were conferred as follows at the Awards Ceremony:

College

  • Humanities: 43
  • Law and Management Studies: 18
  • Health Sciences: 56
  • Agriculture, Engineering and Science: 23

Race

  • African: 85
  • Coloured: 4
  • Indian: 38
  • White: 13

Gender

  • Female: 91
  • Male: 49

Level/Type

  • Undergraduate: 79
  • Postgraduate: 41
  • Sports: 20

Author: Sinegugu Ndlovu

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal