Studietrust was established on 13 June 1974 to do something about unequal educational opportunities. Our focus over the years has remained the young person with the potential for further and higher education, but without the opportunity. People from diverse backgrounds could over the years unite around this vision. Studietrust had become a source of hope for young individuals who in turn transformed their families and communities.
A milestone for Studietrust was the establishment of a partnership with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). This enabled Studietrust to further administer loans to financially needy students in order to supplement their partial access bursaries.
1995 was another watershed year when we received our first grant from the DG Murray Trust. Over the years steadfast support from the Trust allowed us to develop and sustain our access bursary programme. A partial bursary is allocated to applicants who in spite of the most difficult personal and educational circumstances managed to qualify in terms of our selection criteria.
When our alumnus Setlogane Manchidi became Head of Investec Bank’s CSI programmes, we moved into the space of providing bursary programme management for the private sector. We currently manage bursary programmes for Investec Bank, Coronation Fund Managers, Prudential Portfolio Managers, AVI Limited, Peregrine Holdings, the FNB Fund, Sun International, Pick n Pay, Rand Merchant Bank. JvR Africa, Imalivest and the Sasol Inzalo Foundation.
Another milestone was reached in 2012 when we won a tender to provide a mentor and support programme to the beneficiaries of the prestigious Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) bursary programme.
From humble beginnings 38 years ago we in 2011 allocated over 800 bursaries and loans to a total value of more than R32 million.
We measure our impact in terms of our aims, namely giving access to higher and further education, preventing beneficiaries from dropping out of their programmes and supporting our beneficiaries to ensure acceptable academic success rates.
♦ A History in Quotations and Statistics
Studietrust was founded in 1974 and two years thereafter, with the outbreak of the 1976 student revolts, the Black educational scene was seriously disturbed for a considerable period.
· Equal educational opportunities for everyone…
“From the onset it was our conviction that equal educational opportunities for everyone in our country should be an urgent goal…
Studietrust was established because this ideal was still distant and with the aim of sponsoring tomorrow’s long-term solutions with positive action and active support today.” (Annual Report 1982)
From August 1984, the situation deteriorated…
· Bursaries in a State of Emergency
“We live in turbulent times. To think positively about the future, even more so, to help create a bearable future, poses a momentous challenge…
Black education is in a critical situation. Black education is a major contributing factor to the dissatisfaction in the country." (Newsletter, 1986)
1986 bursary allocation: 851 bursaries worth R168 586
· Towards a new society
“Our total community … is of necessity involved in an apprenticeship towards the construction of a new society. …It asks for a decision! – to choose for South Africa and all its people.
Studietrust has in this context made its decision long ago…
The best possible educational opportunities are indispensable for the new South Africa for which we pray and work…” (Annual Report 1987)
1987 bursary allocation: 881 bursaries worth R200 000
· Why co-operate?
“Studietrust from time to time has to account for its involvement with education as provided by the State…
There is no alternative to State education in view of the fact that normal education has to be extended to six million black pupils…
However, it would be a mistake to understand this co-operation as “being satisfied” with the status quo…” (Annual Report 1987)
· Political stalemate
“We are faced with a political stalemate, not only due to the current suspension of co-operation by two chambers of parliament, but especially because of the fact that satisfactory and meaningful black political involvement in general could as yet not be effected…” (Annual Report 1988)
1988 bursary allocation: 917 bursaries worth R200 000
· Birth pains of a new dispensation
“Will it never come to an end? How long do we still have to wait before the people of this country can begin to co-operate, to accept one-another and to allow each other a place in the sun…
The birth pains of the new dispensation threaten life itself! …” (Annual Report 1990)
1990 bursary allocation: 924 bursaries worth R263 000
· The true meaning of our caring
“Have we ever before been so hard-pressed in this land? Tension, uncertainty and fear are on the increase. The future is difficult to foresee.
We are faced with perhaps the harshest test thus far… The true meaning of our caring is being tested.” (Newsletter, June 1992)
“Over the years we aimed at saying YES to each child and young person around us.
Yes to people who yearned to hear this word in contrast with the NO that since childhood so often fenced them in.” (1992 Newsletter)
1992 bursary allocation:716 bursaries worth R324 000
· Work hard for a better South Africa
“The most important event in the history of South Africa has just taken place – the inauguration of the new State President. To all the citizens of this beautiful country, and especially to the students, this means one thing: HARD WORK. It is now time to stand up and work hard for a better South Africa.”
(Letter from Phillip Mahloko, a bursary student from Botshabelo)
1994 bursary allocation: 523 bursaries worth R443 850
· Patriotism channeled into hard work…
“I am sure the feeling of patriotism that is around will be channelled into hard work, and that gives me hope that the Lord will hold this country together and heal the wounds of the past.” (Annual Report 1996)
1996 bursary allocation: 572 bursaries worth R794 630
· Remarkable goodwill
“However … most of our people display a remarkable measure of goodwill… The people of this land have chosen: we desire peace and prosperity for all…’ (Newsletter, 2001)
2001 bursary allocation: 431 bursaries worth R1 258 027
From letters of bursars
· “Today I am where I am because of your help, support, prayers and faith in me. You are my trust, my light through darkness, my pillow to rely on and my strength to continue my journey to my well-built future.” – Mpho M (ND Biomedical Technology, MUT).
· “Like a diamond in the dust I was rough, worthless and lacking in self-confidence, but by God’s grace a ‘diamond refiner’ by the name of Studietrust saw the potential within this diamond and for the past 4 years you have shaped, polished and smoothed this diamond so that I can shine and be a proud product of the Studietrust franchise!”- Siyabonga M (Gr 12 Empangeni HS)
· “..the day of your campus visit as it was in the form of an interview I was so nervous since it was my first ever interview and, even worse, with one of the top executives! And, believe me, afterwards I felt like a top star with a successful interview. I am looking forward to your next visit.” - Thabang S (TUT – ND Management)
♦ A History in Pictures