Distinguishing UCT Campaign Update


We received an update on the Distinguishing UCT campaign from Sidney Van Heerden, Deputy Director, Head of Fundraising and Distinguishing UCT Campaign, and Russell Ally, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Department at UCT:

Our Distinguishing UCT campaign is in its penultimate year and therefore this is a good point to reflect on its progress. As you will recall, the goal of the campaign is to grow UCT’s unrestricted endowment to ONE BILLION RAND.

The five year campaign was formally started in 2015. After a ‘silent phase,’ we publicly launched the campaign later that year in the United Kingdom with the support of our UCT UK Trust to ensure that the campaign would have a global presence.

Since then the number of donors to the campaign has grown to 375; and the current value of the unrestricted endowment has grown from R500 million to R640 million thanks to the generous support received from donors and our alumni communities all around the world.

Donations to the campaign are essentially made to strengthen the University’s unrestricted endowment and the returns come as revenue into university’s cash reserves.

A range of areas, such as bursaries and scholarships, student health, financial aid, infrastructure and strategic projects are supported, relieving pressure on the university’s general operating and CAPEX budget, as all of this is funded from the cash reserves. In 2018, for example, UCT invested R150 million of funding for bursaries and scholarships for needy and deserving students – both at undergraduate and postgraduate areas. This would not have been possible without the returns on the unrestricted endowment, which remains an important source of additional funding in an environment of state budget cuts and declining student fee income.

An additional R123 million was raised through the campaign for capital and infrastructure projects, mostly notably a building project for a new Clinical Neuroscience’s Institute that will be a global leader in the field. Through the campaign, many of the strategic programs, projects and activities of the various university faculties have also been highlighted. The campaign is integrally linked to the university’s strategic plan which has as its main objectives enhancing UCT’s excellence, advancing transformation and ensuring long-term institutional sustainability.
Events promoting the campaign have been hosted in most of the leading international centres where the university has a strong alumni presence and in South Africa to ensure strong local support.

Our goal is still to reach ONE BILLION RAND when the campaign concludes at the end of 2019. Thank you again for you most generous support to the campaign.

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