Last year Nick Smit, a graduate of Stellenbosch University, and his husband Francois Conradie decided it was time to reinvest some of their privileges into a positive bank balance for deserving students.
They are both employed at a global bank with headquarters in New York and in June 2022, the couple established the NY Postgraduate Bursary Fund.
Nick currently serves as a trustee and treasurer of the Friends of the University of Stellenbosch Foundation, a 501(c) entity registered in the US.
“We have received so many opportunities and exposure underpinned through the great education received from Stellenbosch University, that we could not think of a more precious gift to give to someone special," says Nick Smit.
State-subsidised funding for postgraduate studies is limited to research degrees, leaving a vast majority of students studying postgraduate level degrees without access to adequate funding sources. This is particularly hardest hitting on students from families where the joint household income is between $0 and $37 500 per annum.
The increased need to have a postgraduate degree to secure viable employment has called for increased financial support for post-graduate bursaries. Such an opportunity is not only a lifeline out of poverty for a deserving student, but equates to uplifting an extended family and a community.
The Fund will support successful undergraduate students from SU wishing to further their studies through honours' or masters' degrees at the University. They are students who come from families where the joint household income is R600 000/$37 500 per annum or less who do not qualify for government funding or loans.
For this Fund to be successful in supporting one student per year they need $9 650. We invite all our Maties, not only those in New York or the tri-state area, but across the US, to give generously and support the next generation of Maties at SU.
You can support the Fund by donating at