The University of South Africa (Unisa) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) were the beneficiaries of R500 000.00 each from Xerox president Ursula Burns, who handed over the funds yesterday.
Xerox's South Africa partner, Bytes Document Solutions, has a record of supporting education in the country. Most recently, it made grants totaling in excess of R1-million to the University of Free State, Nelson Mandela University and Unisa.
"We expect that more and more university graduates will become part of the growing ranks of knowledge workers in South Africa," says Burns. "Our support will encourage them to contribute to the success of businesses and to the country as a whole."
Xerox enjoys a history of assisting educational initiatives. Burns is a member of the boards of directors of educational organizations such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the National Academy Foundation and FIRST, whose initials stand for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology". Both NAF and FIRST promote science, math and technology education in U.S. secondary schools.
"Our partnership with Bytes Document Solutions is based on more than the good business we do together – it's also based on shared values," Burns says.
"Education is vital for the future of South Africa," says Rob Abraham, MD of Bytes Document Solutions. "For this reason we are passionate supporters of educational institutions. We know the impact of a contribution in this area will be felt for years to come. In addition, it helps offset the skills shortage which is challenging our development as a country."
The donations of R500 000 to each university will take the form of student bursaries aiming to benefit students who would otherwise be financially unable to pursue their studies.
During her first visit to South Africa, Burns met with existing and potential customers, spoke at two industry-related events, and conducted an open discussion with staff and partners from Bytes Document Solutions, Bytes Technology Group and Altron.