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The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE), Professor Sibusiso Moyo,  Transfer and Innovation Director, Professor Keolebogile Shirley Motaung, Director: Advancement and Alumni Relations, Zwakele Ngubane and the Chief Risk Officer, Mr Sikhuthali Nyangintsimbi, held a Third Stream Income and Fundraising Reviewing Policies webinar, at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), on Tuesday, 16 March 2021, via MS Teams. 

The DUT community were invited to share their viewpoints, comments and ideas for reviewing purposes and having discussions pertaining to key policies such as the Third Stream Income and Fundraising Reviewing Policies, as well as looking at possible recommendations, going forward.  

Nyangintsimbi based his presentation on the Third Stream Income Policy, focusing on the context and setting and giving examples of international universities such as the Harvard university which attracted a large amount of donations saying that the philanthropic support was integral to the US non-profit sector. 

“In 2017 alone, more than $410 billion were donated to the various non-profit organisations, with nearly $59 billion designated for education. Universities and colleges alone garnered $43.6 billion, of which over 44% were given by individuals,” he said. 

He also said that in 2020, DUT only pulled out about R95 million (4% of the total income), which was still quite an achievement because it was about 60% above what the institution had as a target. 

“A point to ponder colleagues is whether R95 million is good enough for an institution that claims to be entrepreneurial as we do, being the DUT community,” he said. 

He then spoke on the financial performance at DUT in 2020, describing more on the First, Second, Third Stream and other incomes such as earmarked grant incomes. 

“What we are here for is the Third Stream Income, and one of the key risks is business continuity. So, more than 50% of our income is coming from Government, if the state of the economy is continuing to weaken as it has been doing, if the national debt in relation to GDP has been on the increase at the rate it has been doing, are we not facing a business continuity risk? NSFAS, and we know the majority of our students are supported through NSFAS, that entity is in a volatile state. If 34,33% of our income is emanating from that corner, is it not a business continuity risk? And, if it is colleagues, perhaps all the reason why we should put added emphasis on generating Third Stream Income,” he said. 

Nyangintsimbi also spoke about another risk that comes to play which is the Fiscal Cliff Risk which is also on DUT’s Strategy Risk Report and the Academic Integrity Risk. “When we talk about Academic Integrity Risk, I think of the university industry partnerships, I think of the National Development Plan (NDP), the NDP aspiration of academics holding a PHD qualification (75% of them), in less than a decade from now. As an institution I think we are far off from that, so as a university we need to put more emphasis on generating Third Stream Income,” he said. 

Nyangintsimbi emphasised the words spoken by DUT’s Professor Surendra (Colin) Thakur, e-Skills CoLab Director, who said that Third Stream Generated Income should be the responsibility of everyone within DUT, not just a smaller team. “It is partly for that reason that we are convening to be better familiarised with these two policies (Third Stream Income and Fundraising Reviewing Policies) and to contribute, all of us, towards expanding the Third Stream Income pool,” he said. 

He then gave a few pointers on the two policies, as well as other vital policies, such as the Private Works Policy, DUT Statues Policy, to name but a few, that the DUT community needed to familiarise themselves with. 

Ngubane then gave an overview of the Fundraising Policy and delved into the broader context of what fundraising means to the university, key elements such as scope of policy, steward donor, recognition, appreciation and benefits. 

“The purpose of this webinar is to create awareness on the Fundraising Policy which was approved by Council in November 2020, highlight some key aspects of the policy. To also encourage members of the DUT community to engage in fundraising in their respective areas for the ultimate good of the university,” he said. 

He further spoke on the background and purpose of the policy, adding that there is still plenty of work to be done to ensure that DUT gets to the point where the institution has the capacity, the professionalism, the framework and infrastructure, and all these kinds of systems and processes that would ensure that the university’s fundraising, Third Stream initiatives run like a well-oiled machine. Ngubane also relayed more on the scope and applicability of the policy, and policy statement and policy principles. 

“Fundraising should be conducted in a systematic and coordinated manner to ensure optimal success and fundraising activities will be conducted for the benefit of the university community and will be aligned to the strategic plan of the university,” he said. 

He emphasised that donors should be treated with requisite respect and appreciation and should thus be appropriately acknowledged for their contributions.

Adding more to the conversation, Prof Moyo said: “I think the Policy on Maximising and Diversifying Income Streams, we know our focus was outlined in the presentation which is that we can maximise income and that the DUT policy does not just focus on Third Stream Income, we talk about maximising and diversifying, so what we are saying is that if we are excellent in our teaching and learning then our outputs will increase,” she said. 

“Also, on the research side, possibly graduate students when they enrol at the university they graduate within a specified minimum time, then that means we can get the maximum income in terms of the Third Stream Income which comes from the block grant as well. In terms of this policy what’s so important to understand is what we mean by direct and indirect cost to the university. If you are doing contract research this is very important or private work or whatever it is, when you put a proposal together, making sure one spells out what the direct and indirect costs are going to be is vital, for example, electricity and water costs or the cost of physical space,” she said. 

Prof Moyo also spoke of the policy which came with an Appendix which goes into detail explaining the Costing and Pricing Model. 

In the discussion period, Dr Joe Molete, Director of the Midlands Campuses gave his feedback and thoughts on the policies, saying that he appreciates the policies but would like to look at coming up with initiatives to celebrate top donor initiatives and on leadership and motivational drivers, as well as aligning people in their passion, engaging people and making entrepreneurship as part of their fibre. 

Prof Moyo thanked everyone for their attendance and feedback, saying that the university will try to take their recommendations for the policy. 

“I really hope that in whichever way that you are involved in the university that you will find a way to also become entrepreneurial for those who are venturing in this path. For the rest of you I hope you will join us on this path to be creative, innovative and to find ways in which we can contribute,” she said. 

In conclusion, Prof Motaung thanked everyone for availing themselves, and making their feedback and contributions. 

Pictured: Attendees at the virtual webinar. 

Pictured: Nyangintsimbi, in his presentation, talks on DUT’s Financial Performance for 2020. 

Waheeda Peters 

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