TUT’s Pharmaceutical students benefit from ASPEN donation

19 August 2020

A partnership between the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and JSE Limited listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (Aspen), will go a long way in assisting students from the University’s Faculty of Science. Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company, has donated 300 laptops valued at over R1 million to provide access to digital teaching and learning to pharmaceutical students.

Mr Tilson Manyoni, TUT Council Chair (left) with Prof Lourens van Staden who received the 300 laptops from ASPEN’s Jackie Tau.

“We cannot solve every problem at once, but we are grateful for all the help we receive from industry. We realise that this is the beginning of a long journey, therefore, every donation is a step ahead towards becoming a leading digitally advanced university of technology in South Africa,” Manyoni said.

Speaking on behalf of Aspen Senior Executive of Strategic Trade Development, Stavros Nicolaou, APEN Pharmacare Group CSI Manager,  Jackie Tau said, “Aspen is privileged to partner with TUT in an initiative to help save the academic year, as well as ensure that resource constrained students receive an equal opportunity at obtaining their qualifications. Skills development and education are vital priorities for ASPEN, which is a company that has the skills, knowledge and resources that can help to solve the country’s problems.”

He added that Aspen would also like to commend TUT for their efforts in ensuring that the disruption of the academic year is kept to a minimum, through their remote learning programs during this unprecedented pandemic.” 

Professor Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of TUT said, “The generous donation by Aspen Pharmacare will enable our top-achieving, but financially-needy students in Pharmaceutical Sciences to connect, collaborate and enrich their learning experiences, particularly during this time where teaching and learning has to take place remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Prof van Staden added that, “Through this donation Aspen Pharmacare is becoming an important part of the people’s university that makes knowledge work.”

The laptops were handed over under strictly controlled hygiene and safety protocols. As TUT is a contact university, the focus has been on developing institutional ICT infrastructure for on-campus learning, teaching and assessment. Therefore, there has been no mechanism for providing laptops and/or tablets for students. The devices donated by Aspen have been earmarked for previously disadvantaged students who are excelling in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Faculty of Science.

Online teaching and learning commenced on 30 June 2020 as part of the University’s emergency Remote Multimodal Teaching, Learning and Assessment Plan approved by the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET). Unfortunately, based on recent survey results, the majority of TUT students do not have devices, such as laptops or tablets to participate in the online teaching and learning phase. 

Prof Lourens van Staden, Vice-chancellor and Principal thanked ASPEN for the generous donation of 300 laptops for pharmaceutical students.
Speaking at the handover was ASPEN Pharmacare Group CSI Manager, Jackie Tau. 

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 5352   Email: deruyterw@tut.ac.za