FASSET Bursaries Answer the #FEESMUSTFALL National Crisis

#FeesMustFall protests may be less visible, but that does not mean that the movement has lost momentum. The legacy of suppression leaves in its wake a pool of youth, desperate for education, but unable to fund their needs. While the movement is demanding free education, the viability of this as a solution has been drawn into question. 

As an alternative solution, bursaries are promoted. While these programmes may not provide a solution for the masses, they do provide relief for some – and the more bursary programmes that exist, the more people will be given the opportunity to build their skills and develop a sustainable career path. One such programme is The Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority’s (Fasset) Bursary Scheme.

This scheme comprises 10 programmes, funding 1 041 students, with a total fund of R196 511 670.20. The scheme entails securing the services of one or more suitably qualified Bursary Management Agents from Public Universities and Universities of Technology (as listed by the Department of Higher Education and Training - DHET), Private Bursary Management Agencies and/or Professional Bodies to manage the bursary fund on Fasset’s behalf.

Amos Nokoane, Acting Projects Manager at Fasset, confirms that the scheme was founded to give candidates a helping hand in achieving their learning and development goals. “The bursary is aimed at: African Black candidates in all provinces; Coloured candidates in the Western and Northern Cape; and learners with disabilities of any race, who qualify. These bursaries are offered with respect to qualifications which fall into one of the top ten identified scarce skills, as identified in Fasset’s Sector Skills Plan (SSP).” 

With a noted under-representation of African Black and Coloured people, particularly in the Western and Northern Cape provinces, Fasset has honed in on these areas for additional support. This means that Coloured learners in the Western and Northern Cape provinces can now access Fasset’s bursary schemes, can enter into learnerships and internships, and can also benefit in the learner lifelong learning interventions. Resultantly, Western Cape employers also benefit, as they can now fully utilise the grants available to them. 

 “This scheme was established in order to assist the ‘missing middle’ LSM students, who come from a family earning a combined household salary of between R123 000 and R350 000 per annum.” With the aim to address the national crisis highlighted by the #FeesMustFall movement beneficiaries of this Bursary Scheme, which was launched in 2017 and is currently in its first year of implementation. This project has been implemented at the University of Pretoria, University of Free State, University of Cape Town, developing a national footprint. Although it is in its initial phases, great successes have already been witnessed with a large number of otherwise unfunded learners receiving funding.

Considering the level of funding offered, candidates must show their eligibility to meet the criteria. “Candidates must show the required potential to succeed, while meeting the pre-set minimum academic criteria, as well as the coming from the ‘missing middle’ income group,” concludes Nokoane. “Candidates must also progress from one academic year to another, or complete their qualification. The ultimate goal is to see candidates receiving their qualifications, with an 80 percent pass rate, and going on to build successful, fruitful careers.”   

For media queries please contact the following people:

Zandile Skosana
FASSET Marketing & Communications Manager
Phone: (011) 476 8570
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Mpho Phakathi
Ideahub Group (PR Agency)
Phone: 076 575 4652
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