Thanks to our financial and personal support, the dropout rate for university students in the Masicorp Bursary Scheme is exceptionally low, as we recently reported. We also recently profiled two of our successful university graduates, Lungelwa Mkokeli and Olwethu Mlaza.
Further to this, our bursary team reviewed the progress of all of the university level bursary students we have supported and we are pleased to report very high employment figures for all these graduates. We wanted to compare this to national data for South Africa.
Fourteen (14) of our students have graduated and received a bachelor’s or higher degree. Of these 11 are employed, two (2) have gone on for further studies, and only one (1), a recent graduate, is unemployed. Wonderful results.
Nationally in South Africa the unemployment rate for graduates of this level is reported to be about 5%, so our students are in line with the country as a whole. This contrasts sharply with the 70% unemployment rate in the under 35 age group for South Africa that is widely reported.
We do not have comparative national data for students who do not complete university programmes or complete certificate or diploma programs. Among our students in this category, however, we are happy to see that the majority are well employed.
These data highlight how education is the route out of poverty for the children of Masiphumelele. The job opportunities for our students once they graduate from university are excellent. South Africa, while filled with myriad economic problems, has a strong market for university graduates. Much better than in certain European countries and only slightly higher than the U.S. rates which are around 3%
The Bursary Scheme is critical for our university students. It not only helps them finance their education but the support provided is key to their successful graduation rates. And Masicorp supports many other educational programs in Masiphumelele that give children in Masi a much improved chance of getting to university. Seedlings focuses on Early Childhood Development and the English, Science and new Maths Labs at the Ukhanyo Primary School support teachers and students there. There are literacy and homework programs at the library and tutoring for high school students. All are geared to enhancing future opportunities for the children of Masiphumelele.
Our graduates are doing well, and twenty-four (24) more students are currently at university. With the help of our donors we hope to add at least another six (6) students in 2015. We’ll continue to report on the successful employment stories of our students in future blogs