Change the world


Funds raised from his climb or pilgrimage on 7 August will go towards the University's Bursary Legacy Trust.

The #climb4NMMU campaign being undertaken in NMMU's 10th anniversary year, aims not only to raise funds for needy students, but to also draw the attention of University partners and key stakeholders to the massive financial need occasioned by the large numbers students from poor families coming into the South African university system recent times.

The need is even greater in the Eastern Cape from which NMMU draws a good number of its students. It is a one of the poorest provinces with an excessively high unemployment rate sitting at about 35%.

Annually, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) distributes in excess of R9 billion but openly acknowledges that this is not nearly enough to support students deserving of an opportunity to gain a tertiary qualification, and thereby contribute to the economic growth of South Africa.

NMMU is a caring university; its humanising approach; its intervention initiatives and its values of Ubuntu, excellence, respect for diversity, respect for the natural environment and taking responsibly all testify to the support the University invests in its students.

Now its Vice-Chancellor will embark on the #climb4NMMU campaign to achieve the following objectives:

  • To raise awareness of the vast need for funding for academically-deserving poor students
  • To increase the level of knowledge around the challenge and needs, and inspire active support for academically-deserving poor students, without which they will be deprived of higher education opportunities
  • To raise R550 000 to support such students at NMMU in the next 12 months
  • To financially support at least four students for the duration of their studies and entire qualifications


NMMU is committed to ensuring that no academically-deserving student is denied the opportunity of studying at its university. The Vice-Chancellor himself has embarked on various interventions to support this, such as:

  • His engagement with various metro, communities and schools (VC's engagement programme in the Northern Areas and townships)
  • The Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship aimed enhancing education excellence, and rewards top academic students performance
  • His personal contribution to various bursaries, not least the Rx he gives for a music and education bursary
  • His leadership in guiding the university's Council to make x available for students who have been unable to finance their tuition fees in full.

During his time as Vice-Chancellor he has seen student numbers climb from 23 000 to 27 000, and the number of programmes expand in line with society's needs. As shared, however, the demand by students to have the opportunity of obtaining a tertiary education is even bigger.

As a result, during this milestone year for NMMU, Prof Swartz is making a further personal commitment to raise funds for such students.

Prof Swartz will climb Mount Fuji on 7 August in a symbolic journey shared by many young people who have overcome incredible odds in order to achieve their study dream.

Prof Swartz will be encouraging staff, students and key stakeholders to support him in his efforts in raising awareness as to the extent of the need, and then investing in that need.

He plans to do this in a series of on-campus events before his departure at the end of July.

There are 10 base-camps covering the 3.776m hike to the summit, each of which will symbolise a value or trait that all students need to obtain a tertiary education. The 10 camps (covered over two days) are also representative of NMMU's first 10 years as a new generation institution.

How to pledge your support...

Corporate donors are encouraged to sponsor the 10 base camps until each one has been sold to reach the summit of R550 000. There is also a Supporters Club for donors and individuals wishing to pledge less than R10 000.

Individual donors can contribute towards this cause by lighting candles of R500 each - which will also take us closer to the summit!

The 10 base camps are linked to 10 powerful higher education success principles/strategies:

SUPPORTERS CLUB: For all pledges under R10 000

We are aware that not everyone is in a position to make large donations and are grateful to accept smaller donations to this cause.

Base Camp 1:  VISION – begin with the end in mind

Students with a clearly stipulated and planned future career vision are able to uphold this ideal during challenging times and will feel passionate, self-assured and confident in their endeavours as they have a clear sense of what they plan to achieve along their career path towards a successful future.

Sponsorship:  R10 000

Base Camp 2:   PURPOSE – of knowing one’s unique path

Students who have a purpose enter tertiary education with a solid foundation and a deep sense of motivation and confidence towards their chosen profession.

Sponsorship:  R20 000

Base Camp 3:  FINANCIAL SUSTENANCE – the resources to succeed

With our staggering statistics of poverty, education, in today’s world, is an expensive exercise. Therefore, holistic financial support will equip the student with the security and opportunity to fulfil their vision and to reach their dreams at ease.

Sponsorship:  R30 000

Base Camp 4:  PERSEVERANCE – the determination to fly

The ability to stay committed and combat trying times with the will and determination to succeed and to achieve their vision, no matter what.

Sponsorship:  R40 000

Base Camp 5:  HEALTH & WELLNESS –  physical and mental balance

To be active, engaging, interested and proactive and thus regularly able to achieve their desired goals and objectives by taking care of oneself, mind, body and spirit.

Sponsorship:  R50 000

Base Camp 6:  MENTORSHIP – to be a source of guidance

Throughout one’s life, the support, guidance and motivation from lecturers, mentors, friends and family is immensely beneficial in providing one with the necessary inspiration to succeed.

Sponsorship:  R60 000

Base Camp 7:  SELF-BELIEF – let yourself shine

To have belief and trust in one’s own abilities stimulates action and persistence and also makes others more responsive in support of your goals.

Sponsorship: R70 000

Base Camp 8:  TALENT – to be the best you can be

The recognition and nurturing of unique talents in creative and innovative ways in in order to positively benefit their chosen vocation, to be the very best they can be.

Sponsorship:  R80 000

Base Camp 9:  CORPORATE & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT – the power of connection

Making provision for exposure and interaction with industries and communities related to both their field of study and personal goals.  Exposing students to the realities of their selected occupation will further inspire and motivate them to achieve their career goals and aspirations.

Sponsorship:   R90 000

Base Camp 10:  UBUNTU – “I am, because of you

The realisation that any single person, and who they are, is moulded and formed by everyone around them, leads to the concept of humanity – treating others with the deserved respect and appreciation they deserve. Students, in order to succeed, need to work together, encourage each other and appreciate the differences that exist in order to create an environment that is productive, inspiring and gratifying, allowing each and every person the opportunity to reach their full and desired potential.

Sponsorship:  R100 000

Pledge your support