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Hermanus Varsity receives a life line

Generous commitments from donors over the past week make it more certain that Hermanus Varsity has a bright future.

One benefactor in particular, who for now wishes to remain anonymous, has offered R500 000 in immediate seed funding, and has promised to match donations up to an amount of R3,75 million. According to Gideon Serfontein, a trustee, the significance of this “incredibly generous” pledge is three-fold. “It reveals the donor’s confidence in the ability of the Hermanus Varsity Trust to mount and manage a path-breaking tertiary educational initiative that will benefit both individuals and the Overstrand region.

We can now equip the campus hub, which opened officially on 16 March, for the pilot programme of courses for the Higher Certificate in Regional Economic Development. “Students who enter the programme in July will have access to the necessary IT and other infrastructure. Taking a longer-term view, with matching contributions from other donors, the Varsity’s funding for the next three to four years looks secure.”

Serfontein says in the few months the Trust has solicited funds the Varsity has benefited from combined pledges and donations in the region of R800 000. “Readers will appreciate that funding infrastructure, a small administrative staff and providing the necessary student support means the Trust is continuously in need of funds,” he says. “Extremely grateful to our donors, we look forward to receiving additional support, and are committed to a programme of fundraising, in both small and large amounts, that will enable the Trust to help qualified individuals complete tertiary education courses at accredited institutions while living and learning locally.”

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