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WITS Students Receive Scholarships Worth over R800 000 from Tata

Published: 1st October, 2019

Nineteen postgraduate students from the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) were awarded scholarships worth over R800 000 from TATA International Africa as part of their postgraduate scholarship programme on Thursday 7 November. The recipients graduated with Honours, Masters and Doctoral degrees in the disciplines of Commerce, Sciences and the Arts.

“We are proud to be able to provide the necessary support to the students at WITS which has enabled them to further their studies. Our relationship with the university dates back to 2006 and we are committed to empowering and transforming lives through education which is one of the key components of the TATA business values and its belief system,” said Len Brand, CEO of Tata International Africa who presented the scholarships to the students at an awards ceremony held at the university.

Scholarships are given to beneficiaries who have shown financial need and academic excellence in their chosen field of study and who have a proven academic track record during their graduate years. All fields of study and faculties are taken into consideration and students must be accepted via the respective university’s academic or development foundation and must pass the university’s academic criteria for acceptance.

The amount that each student receives covers the student’s tuition fees, stipend (living costs), books and accommodation for the year of study. TATA postgraduate scholarships contribute to the country’s objective of increasing the number of postgraduate scholars primed to take up leadership positions in business, government, and civil society in the country.

There is a strict ‘no strings’ attached policy regarding the TATA scholarships which means that students are not obligated in any way to ‘work back’ their scholarships to TATA International Africa after they have completed their studies.

“I want to say thank you to the students and the parents who are here today and for allowing us to participate in making a difference in their lives. We invest in you in the hope that you become great leaders and go back to invest and uplift the communities you live and work in and pay it forward,” Brand added.

The ceremony was officiated by WITS alumni, Mr. Lesiba Mothata who is the head of Strategic Clients at Alexander Forbes and holds a Bachelor of Commerce – Honours degree as well as a Master of Commerce in Financial Economics from the University of Johannesburg. Professor Robert Muponde, Director of Postgraduate Affairs represented the University on the day and gave TATA Management and the students a warm welcome.

This year’s WITS scholarship recipients in the Honours category are: Kelly Ann Mawa (Bachelor of Arts Honours), Nikaelia Timothy (Bachelor of Arts with joint Honours), Basetsana Bridget Manoto (Bachelor of Accounting Science with Honours) and Mulamuleli Ishmael Simba (Bachelor of Science with Honours).

Scholarship recipients in the Masters category are: Gracious Nyoni (Master of Economic Science), Lebogang Lydia Molema (Master of Science in Development Planning), Tshepo Chris Nokeri (Master of Commerce), Mfundo Praisegod Veerasamy (Master of Commerce), Siyasanga Gxaba (Master of Science – Dissertation), Nthabiseng Miranda Lekalakala (Master of Science – Dissertation), Mohlabani Masiu (Master of Science in Medicine), Pride Nombulelo Ngcobo (Master of Arts by Coursework and Research Report) and Nontokozo Masinga (Master of Arts by Research).

WITS students who were awarded a scholarship in the Doctoral category are: Mandlakayise Lucky Nhleko (PhD Public Health), William Mokone (PhD Chemistry), Thobekile Dladla (PhD Physiology), Thabo Peme (PhD Chemistry), Lusanda Mapela (PhD Pharmacy) and Vidhya Sana (PhD Language and Literature).

One of the students, Pride Nombulelo Ngcobo who is studying her Masters in Applied Drama and Theatre gave a heartfelt vote of thanks for the bursary, “I’d like to thank TATA for giving me the opportunity to be able to further my studies. This thank-you doesn’t only come from my heart alone, but from my single mother at home. My future says thank you, and the boys who attend my workshops in Hillbrow say thank you. My hope is that this initiative grows so that other students may also have the same chance and opportunity that I am so lucky to have,” she said.

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