Amidst the ongoing student concerns with high university fees, Gold Fields Ghana has given GH¢779,000 to 325 university students from four universities to pay for their 2022/2023 academic utility user fees.
Presenting the cheques to the Pro Vice-Chancellors of the University of Ghana, KNUST, UCC, and UMaT on behalf of their students at an event in Tarkwa, the vice president in charge of operations at Gold Fields West Africa, Michael Van Der Merwe, said the support is part of Gold Fields Ghana Foundation’s scholarship scheme which has since 2002 supported 2,448 youth from both Tarkwa and Damang host communities to achieve quality education.
“Gold Fields Ghana Foundation believes that promoting and enhancing human capital through education and skills development are vital to the sustainable development of the country, particularly in the communities that host our mining operations. As evidence of this firm belief, Gold Fields and its Foundation have invested over US$36 million in providing access to quality education in its host communities since 2002. This investment has gone into the construction of educational infrastructure.”
“The Foundation has introduced the bulk payment of Academic Facility User Fees (AFUF) on behalf of the 325 beneficiaries in the 4 Universities named above. This has helped to eliminate the delays that are sometimes associated with receiving bills directly from students which in turn affects their registration each academic year,” he said.
Michael Van Der Merwe while expressing Gold Field’s commitment to continue with the scholarship scheme also acknowledged some fruits of its scholarships.
“It is worth noting that, beneficiaries of this programme have also not taken the support for granted. Their stellar academic performance coupled with their discipline and generally positive attitudes have encouraged us to continue doing more for them.
“Louis Ziemah from Samanhu graduated from UMaT last year with first-class honours in Minerals Engineering. Beatrice Brown from Amanda who just completed her National Service in Damang also graduated with first-class honours in Electrical Engineering from the same institution. These are the stories we love to tell as a company – i.e. creating enduring value beyond mining. Gold Fields, through its foundation, is excited to be contributing to Ghana’s drive toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goals 4.“
A Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, who witnessed the handing over of the cheques to the beneficiary students commended Gold Fields Ghana for its timely scholarship intervention which is enabling the training of Ghana’s future labour force.
“The men and women who are going to be transforming many aspects of our economy are the ones receiving this scholarship and who through this opportunity are going to realize their dreams. We are celebrating over 2,000 such interventions and that is 2,000 lives transformed, and that is a major investment that Gold Fields Ghana Foundation has made which deserves appreciation. For any country that has transformed, the major strategy that they employed was human capital transformation and therefore, the best Corporate Social Investment any company can embark upon is investing in education. We at the Ministry of Education cherish the solid partnership that we have with Gold Fields Ghana and the immense support that they have given many of our schools, teachers, and students,“ he said.
Out of the GH¢779,000 scholarship paid for the 2022/2023 Academic Facility User Fees (AFUF) of 325 students beneficiaries, KNUST received GH¢248,000, UCC GH¢115,000, University of Ghana GH¢131,000 and UMaT received GH¢283,000.