TUFCAT Bursary/Research Fund
Apart from its humane stance towards animals, the University of the Western Cape (www.uwc.ac.za) is an institution that has long been associated with the poor and marginalised members of our society. The university’s mission statement reads: “Assist educationally disadvantaged students gain access to higher education and succeed in their studies.” Although UWC does everything possible to ensure this, student’s success often depends on the support (financial and other) they receive during the time spent at university. Another of this institution’s key objectives to “open the doors of learning,” but this is not always possible due to financial constraints. Many potential students are unable to enter the “doors of learning” because they can’t afford it and even those who do manage to get registered, struggle to finish off their degrees. A recent study conducted by the HSRC has found that a shocking 60% of students drop out from university. Most of these students come from poor homes and the main reason they dropped out was a lack of finance. (Sunday Times, 24 February, 2008). The HSRC concluded that, “the pursuit of higher education can only effectively take place when fundamental needs are met.” In order for students to meet these basic needs while they are studying, they require financial assistance and opportunities to earn an income. This unique animal welfare projects hopes to be able to help students by providing opportunities for earning an income whilst studying as well as having designated research projects funded. Students from both science non-science backgrounds will be encouraged to pursue research that is relevant to animal welfare issues.
The project intends to support and provide funding for original research projects and educational programmes that aim to:
- Advance the health, welfare and humane treatment of animals, particularly feral cats,
- Enhance the understanding of the value of human animal interaction and the bonds we share,
- Promote and support developments in the science and technology that underpin advances in animal welfare,
- Improve the understanding of environmental, humane, social and economic aspects of the health and care of animals,
- Disseminate information on companion animal programmes and the role of pets in improving the people’s quality of life,
- Prepare and disseminate materials to educate students, staff and the general public through manuals, curriculum, programmes, displays, workshops, forums, seminars etc.