Foreign student who could not access NSFAS enrolls at Wits University

2020-02-04 19:20
Triphin Mudzvengi, who got seven distinctions but is not eligible for NSFAS funding, registered at Wits University on Monday. From left to right: Polate Mudzvengi, Triphin Mudzvengi and Ian Jandrell (Dean of Engineering at Wits).

Triphin Mudzvengi, who got seven distinctions but is not eligible for NSFAS funding, registered at Wits University on Monday. From left to right: Polate Mudzvengi, Triphin Mudzvengi and Ian Jandrell (Dean of Engineering at Wits). (Supplied)

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Triphin Mudzvengi successfully registered at Wits University on Monday.

Last week, GroundUp reported how Triphin, who matriculated in the North West with seven distinctions, is not eligible for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding because she is Zimbabwean. Her parents are part-time workers who could not raise the nearly R150 000 needed to study mechanical engineering at Wits this year.

Triphin also cannot approach the Zimbabwean embassy for any assistance. This is because regulations to the Refugees Amendment Act, which came into effect in January, removed asylum status from refugees who seek assistance from their governments.

With the help of well-wishers, who paid her tuition fees, she successfully enrolled for a degree in civil engineering. Wits has also given her a top-performer discount of R15 000.

Triphin came from Zimbabwe with her parents in 2010 when she was in Grade 3. Her father is a part-time bricklayer and her mother is a domestic worker.

She was a top achiever at Golf View Park Secondary School in Mahikeng.

Polate Mudzvengi, Triphin's father, thanked the people who came to his daughter's aid.

"The amount raised by well-wishers was enough to pay for this year. I am delighted that her dream of going to university has been realised. We believe that she will continue to perform well and ultimately get a bursary for the entire four years."

"We are, however, still struggling with getting textbooks," said Polate.

Family friend and co-ordinator of the fundraising programme Priscilla Marodza said foreign nationals should unite and assist each other.

"The story of Triphin is an eye opener to all foreign nationals living outside their countries. Host governments always put their citizens first so we should unite and take care of the underprivileged people among us," added Marodza.

Wits' senior communications officer, Buhle Zuma, said: "We are overwhelmed by the generosity of donors and ordinary people whose contributions will change Triphin's life as well as the life of her family and loved ones.

"We strongly believe that education is a public good and that an investment in one person ultimately benefits our society and the economy."

Read more on:    wits university  |  education
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