In an effort to reduce inequality in higher education and to level the playing field at Stellenbosch University (SU), the Tomorrow Trust has donated more than R1 million towards student funding.
The trust granted full bursaries to 11 qualifying undergraduate and postgraduate SU students for the 2020 academic year.
Stacey Rontiris, Head of Student Programmes and a counselling psychologist at the Tomorrow Trust, says the non-profit organisation aims to give equal opportunities to orphaned and vulnerable children and youth through its various programmes by providing academic, career and psychosocial support.
Rontiris says that in the past, the trust used to support one or two SU students and it took a formal partnership in 2018 to increase the number of SU students supported by the trust's tertiary programme. “Our bursaries this year amount to more than R1 million, which is a jump from when we started in 2018 with just six students. Last year we had nine students and this year we have 11. We hope to grow to more than 15 students next year, depending on funding," adds Rontiris.
She says the students in their tertiary programme have the opportunity to invest in their self-development and growth, both academically and personally. “Our goal is to create independent, conscious young adults who will enter the workplace as self-reliant individuals who are ready to lead successful lives."
Rontiris says sharing a similar passion of wanting to make a difference in the lives of students while understanding the need and importance of holistic academic support, has made working with SU effortless. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership and growing our student numbers further at the institution over the coming years.
“To be considered for support by the Tomorrow Trust, students need to download the application form with a list of requirements on our website. Applications close on 31 October and from there we conduct interviews in January/February each year before the final selection in March," she says.
The Deputy Director at SU's Postgraduate Office and Head of Postgraduate Funding, Nugent Lewis, says they are deeply encouraged and appreciative for the generous support provided by the Tomorrow Trust to their students.
“The current realities facing student funding require a re-focus of efforts by government, the private sector, non-profit organisations and the entire higher education sector. The financial support provided to our students by the Tomorrow Trust will make a meaningful and lasting impact," he adds.
For more information on the Tomorrow Trust click here.