Stellenbosch University has promised academic and psychosocial support for its undergraduate students.
The university together with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will support students, who are vulnerable and at risk of not graduating or moving on to their next year of study.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it many new challenges and risks that the University has been working hard to mitigate. When on-campus activities were suspended towards the end of March, we rapidly switched to online learning.
“Classes resumed online on April 20, thanks to the tireless efforts of teaching and support staff.
“We remain acutely aware of the challenges that our students face in adapting to this new and largely unfamiliar mode of learning during the lockdown period.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure that all of our students – and especially those who are vulnerable – can successfully complete the academic year,” says University’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers.
Laptops have been made available on loan to socio-economically disadvantaged students with data bundles available for all students.
Moreover, the University’s Centre for Student Counselling and Development is now providing online and telephonic services to those who need academic, emotional or emergency assistance during these times.
“We are grateful to the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, whose support strengthens our interventions to help our students succeed,” De Villiers said.
The grant will bolster academic support to ensure that every student stays on course, despite the challenges that they may experience.
Dr Thashlin Govender, programme director at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said: “There is a need for organisations to come together, collaborate and invest in programmes that help university students succeed.
“The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is committed to working with like-minded partners, such as SU, to provide students with the continuous support they need to overcome the challenges they may face along their journey.”