The assumption that all Stellenbosch students are from affluent backgrounds is incorrect. A recent analysis showed that 41% of our students last year were from the so-called missing middle, i.e. households with a combined income of R600 000 or less per annum.
In the 2016 academic year, despite the disruptions of the #FeesMustFall protests, we set three new records. (i) We conferred 8 348 qualifications, up 6% from the year before. This included (ii) 1 468 master’s degrees, the most we have ever awarded. And (iii) 278 doctorates, also a new record. Of these PhDs, 47% went to black African, coloured, Indian and Asian candidates – which confirms Stellenbosch University’s valuable contribution as a national asset: A trusted knowledge partner for a better future.
More than a third of those who graduated – nearly 3 000 students – had received some form of financial assistance during their studies. We appreciate the individuals, foundations and companies who continue to help our students realise their dreams. Education really is the best investment in the future.
Universities in South Africa are reeling under the cumulative effect of chronic underfunding by the state over a long period. For instance, from 2000 to 2015, the subsidy that we received from the state fell from 41% to 23% – expressed as a share of total income.
Stellenbosch University is taking proactive measures to curb expenditure and to generate income, by introducing stringent measures to make savings without compromising on the quality of our academic offering.
The University’s third- and fourth-stream income (revenue that we generate ourselves, and donations received from benefactors) has risen to 51% of our total budget. Very few universities in the country can say the same.
We’ve been fortunate to see an increase in both individual giving and in funds received from national corporates and foundations. The issues raised in higher education – in protest and in continued performance – appear to have been both thought and gift provoking, and for this we are very grateful.
By giving to Stellenbosch University, you are investing in an inclusive, innovative and future-focused institution, a place of discovery and excellence where staff and students are thought leaders in advancing knowledge in service of all stakeholders.
Your support allows us to move forward together – as a single community, comprised not only of management, staff, students and alumni, but also donors, supporters and friends of the University.