LignoTech SA, a subsidiary of the Norway-based chemical producer, Borregaard, has invested R1 350 000 towards nurturing the next generation of students at UKZN.
General Manager, Mr Mark Antonie, presented the donation – part of the company’s Corporate Social Investment Initiative - to UKZN Vice-Chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarseveld, at the LignoTech plant in Umkomaas.
UKZN will use the money to fund second and third-year students who have an average pass rate of 60% in the Disciplines of Accountancy, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.
A requirement of the investment is that 80% is used to fund Black students with the remainder split among other race groups. The maximum bursary for each candidate is R75 000.
Antonie said the donation was in response to recent media coverage highlighting the plight of students who lack funding to complete their studies. Education and Training were important and the company’s ongoing partnership with UKZN played a vital role in this area.
Van Jaarsveld thanked Lignotech for their generous support, saying that with student funding every cent counted and their donation would help struggling students.
The fund, to be administered by the UKZN Student Funding Centre, will include students from the “missing middle”. It is estimated that at least 18 returning students will benefit from the allocation.
Executive Director of the UKZN Foundation, Professor Anesh Singh, said: ‘2016 was a difficult year for Higher Education in respect of student funding. It is therefore encouraging to receive support from LignoTech and other donors who acknowledge that the University alone cannot fund students from the “missing middle”. I thank LignoTech for its contribution to this noble cause of giving the gift of knowledge.’
* According to its website, Borregaard Lignotech is the world’s leading supplier of lignin-based binding and dispersing agents producing environmentally friendly alternatives to oil-based chemicals. The company has more than 60 years of experience in specialty chemicals; lignins and lignosulfonates with its products being used as dispersing agents in concrete, textile dyes, pesticides, batteries and ceramic products - or as binding agents in animal feeds, briquetting and various dust suppression applications.