Higher Education Opportunities for Masiphumelele Students

For the past ten years Masicorp has been running a student bursary program that has allowed over fifty students from Masiphumelele to access tertiary education in Cape Town.  In South Africa, tertiary education is partially State funded through a student loan scheme and, for some vocational courses, a State bursary. The Masicorp bursary provides the additional support that can permit students to complete the full three or four years of a degree course.

Succeeding in higher education is about much more than just meeting the costs of the course. In South Africa the national drop-out rate is over 60%, even for well-funded students. By providing mentoring that includes course selection and one to one guidance throughout the duration of a course, Masicorp has managed to bring the drop-out rate down to just 15% for students on the bursary program. Students that have performed well during secondary school and have met university entrance requirements are invited by Masicorp to apply for a bursary.

As well as covering course fees and providing study materials, including a lap-top the bursary covers the cost of a hall place. Accommodation away from the hustle and bustle of township life provides a quiet study environment for all students. An experienced mentor — a member of our Masicorp team —acts as their friend, guide and advisor throughout their time in the bursary programme and particularly in that difficult first semester when the transition away from family life must be managed. Masicorp organises regular progress reviews and meetings for the students, in which they can swap experiences with each other.

Usually we hope to fund five students through courses of their choice. For example, here is the class of 2010 at one of their regular get-togethers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe are again fortunate to have found sponsors for five students to start in January 2014. We do however need more sponsors for following years. Could you help us find sponsors or even consider sponsoring a student yourself?

The cost of our bursary for a 3 or 4 year course is R16,500 annually [$2,000/£1,250]. Sponsors can support an individual student or share the costs with family or friends or contribute any amount to our general bursary fund. You will receive an annual progress report from our team and your sponsored student. In addition you will receive the satisfaction that you are providing one of Masiphumelele’s young adults with the one genuine route out of poverty – an education.

For more information please contact our bursary programme director, Marjan Ritchie (marjan@masicorp.org / +27 [0]83 273 5353).

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