University of Johannesburg (South Africa) UJ in a new drive to assist ‘missing middle’ students with 2023 registration fees

Each year in South Africa, when universities begin new academic calendars, the issue of student funding dominates the national debate as more challenges arise. Among the affected group of students facing financial ‘exclusion’ is the ‘Missing Middle,’ whose families or guardians neither fall within the income threshold that qualifies for government funding nor can they afford to pay tuition fees.

To assist these students, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has launched the Double our Future Impact, a campaign to help as many as 10 000 students with their 2023 registration fees. UJ’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal (Designate), Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi, has pledged R50 000 towards this fundraising campaign. Prof Mpedi says he has been pained by seeing academically deserving students scrambling to raise funds towards their registration fees. “There is nothing more depressing than watching academically deserving students struggling to register simply because they don’t have the financial means,” says Prof Medi.

Since 2009, UJ has assisted more than 5 000 academically deserving ‘Missing Middle’ students with their registration fees. “The Double our Future Impact is an extension of the University’s funding drive as many students face financial exclusion, which can adversely impact the future. This campaign not only aims to assist students with registration fees but also seeks to create the next generation of leaders for South Africa who can meaningfully contribute to improving the economy and nation-building. As they say in Sepedi, sofa ke go fega (giving is investing),” says Prof Medi.

“It has been encouraging to see the extraordinary goodwill of the business and industry leaders and the public sector supporting the University in this initiative to help our needy and academically deserving students. We are deeply grateful for the timely response and generous contributions and appeal to the public sector and industry to continue to support UJ to reach its goals through the Double of Future Impact campaign.”