02 May 2017

New bursary fund launched for Promaths learners

Investec and the Entrepreneurship Development Trust (EDT) have made a significant donation of R 6 million to kick start the Promaths Bursary Fund that will enable Promaths beneficiaries to obtain a tertiary education.

  • Investec and the Entrepreneurship Development Trust (EDT) have made a significant donation of R 6 million to kick start the Promaths Bursary Fund that will enable Promaths beneficiaries to obtain a tertiary education
  • This donation is in addition to Investec’s CSI Bursary Programme that currently offers full cost bursaries to 110 academically deserving and financially needy students studying towards a commerce related qualification at various universities across the country
  • The Promaths Bursary Fund is exclusive to Promaths beneficiaries, but is not limited to those participating at Investec funded centres – all current and past Promaths learners are eligible, regardless of the centre
  • Any student applying to the Promaths Bursary Fund will automatically also be considered for numerous other bursaries managed by StudyTrust
  • This bursary fund gives both corporates and individuals an opportunity to contribute towards the future of dedicated students.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Founded by Investec in partnership with Kutlwanong Centre for Maths, Science and Technology, the Promaths programme is now in its twelfth year of operation. It has made huge strides in facilitating a higher level of achievement in Maths and Science, offering supplementary lessons to Grade 10 to 12 learners in over 20 centres around the country. The Promaths programme positions leaners to gain access to quality tertiary education & pursue courses that they would not ordinarily consider.

With over 7 000 alumni of the programme having gone on to study Actuarial Science, Finance, Economics and various BCom and Engineering degrees, it’s clear that Investec and other funders who have since adopted the model, are helping to build a greater skilled workforce for tomorrow through the Promaths programme and want to take their efforts a step further.

Setlogane Manchidi, Investec's head of CSI, said:

“The hard truth is that although the Promaths students ae constantly producing high results, often achieving 100% for both Maths and Science, there are not enough bursaries in the country to go around. That means many of these deserving young people are spending the year after high school at home, because they can’t afford to go to university.”

That, Manchidi says, is why Investec alongside its key NGO partners Kutlwanong and StudyTrust, was proud to celebrate the launch of the new Promaths Bursary Fund on the 2nd of March at the Investec offices in Sandton, where select corporates and bursary providers were educated about this new initiative and invited to participate by way of donations and possibly committing bursaries for Promaths beneficiaries.

Speaking at the Promaths Bursary Fund launch, Isaah Mhlanga Promaths’ first top matriculant in 2005, spoke to the benefits of the Promaths Programme and the comfort of having secured a university bursary straight after matric. Now an economist at Rand Merchant Bank, Mhlanga has an Honours degree in econometrics and a Masters degree in financial economics from the University of Johannesburg and he attributes his success to Promaths and the subsequent bursary. He hailed the establishment of the Promaths Bursary Fund as a major milestone and a breakthrough for all students produced by Promaths. Isaah concluded his address by making a passionate plea to business, foundations, trusts, various entities and individuals to partner and contribute towards the Promaths Bursary Fund.

Launching the Promaths Bursary Fund, Investec’s head of CSI, Setlogane Manchidi highlighted that this Fund was separate and different from Investec’s CSI Bursary programme in that it was exclusive to Promaths beneficiaries and not limited to the same academic disciplines. However the academic disciplines covered by the Fund still fall within the scarce skills category. The Promaths Bursary Fund’s collaborative approach gives these students access to as many opportunities to tertiary education as possible. This is because the Fund will be administered by StudyTrust, a preferred administrator of other bursary programmes around the country.

Manchidi added:

“In essence, students applying for a Promaths Bursary Fund will automatically be in line to benefit from numerous other bursaries through Study Trust. “It’s a win-win situation because students have the best chance possible of attaining a bursary, and bursary providers have easy access to well vetted candidates, since all Promaths students have already proven their eligibility and dedicated work ethic through their participation in the programme.”

The national bursary organisation StudyTrust, the Promaths Bursary Fund administrator is eager to get started, and have already opened applications for 2018. Additionally, to prevent current Promaths students, in the last leg of the programme, from losing out, applications for the current academic year will run concurrently. Applications for the current year are limited to students that have already been accepted to university and are currently studying.

To apply, Promaths beneficiaries will be given Promaths Bursary forms to complete at their respective centres as well as tertiary institutions. Applicants will be carefully considered based on academic potential and financial need. A minimum of 15 students will benefit from a full degree bursary this year, through the Promaths Bursary Fund, but of course there is potential to give more bursaries should more donations be received.

Manchidi concludes:

“We want this to reach as many kids as possible, and in order to do that, we need to raise as much money as we can. So, we’re still appealing for further commitments not only from corporates, but individuals as well, whose smaller contributions can be combined to make a greater difference.”