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Message from the Deputy Director: Head of Fundraising and Distinguishing UCT Campaign

Deputy Director: Head of Fundraising and Distinguishing UCT Campaign
Sidney van Heerden, Deputy Director: Head of Fundraising and Distinguishing UCT Campaign

The Distinguishing UCT Campaign (DUCT) is now in its final year and as you will recall, the goal of the campaign is to grow our unrestricted endowment to one billion rand. The five-year campaign was formally started in 2015. UCT 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, some 375 people and organisations have donated to the campaign, growing the current value of the unrestricted endowment from R500 million to R673 million. We thank our alumni and broader donor community deeply for their generous contributions.

Donations to the campaign are made to strengthen the university's unrestricted endowment and the returns come as revenue into the university's cash reserves. In 2018, the annual distribution came to approximately R27.3 million (computed at 4% real adjusted by CPI).

A range of key areas, from bursaries, scholarships, student health and wellness, and financial aid, to infrastructure and strategic projects are supported by the cash reserves, relieving pressure on the university's general operating and CAPEX budget.

In 2018, UCT invested R150 million 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 auxiliary funding in an environment of state budget cuts and declining student fee income.

A further R123 million was raised through the campaign for capital and infrastructure projects, mostly notably a building project for a new Clinical Neurosciences Institute that will be a global leader in the field.

The campaign has also highlighted many of the strategic programs, projects and activities of the university’s faculties. DUCT 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.

We hosted events promoting the campaign in many leading international centres where the university has a strong alumni presence and in South Africa to ensure strong local support.

I can't stress enough our appreciation for the most generous support you have shown to the campaign. As we have now entered the campaign’s final year, we urge you to consider seeing out the campaign to a successful end.

With appreciation,

Sidney van Heerden