In a bid to help provide access to education at Universities and the skills shortage challenge in the country, Vodacom, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, provides, approximately 110 students with bursaries worth R11 million annually to take up studies in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) amongst others.
Through its corporate social investment wing (CSI), Vodacom awards new bursaries every year, based on academic excellence and financial need. Students who have been selected for the 2017 intake have all matriculated with an average pass rate of +75%.
For the 2017 academic year, a total of 35 students have been awarded new bursaries to study at higher learning institutions of their choice. This includes the five top achieving learners from the Department of Basic Education Matric Announcement for 2016.
One of the top-performing matrics in the country, Hlulani Malungani who matriculated from the school of the blind is one of the students who received a Vodacom Bursary for the new academic year.Hlulani (19) who lost his eyesight while doing Grade 10 has enrolled for Bcom Psychology degree with the University of Johannesburg.
Hlulani says: “I’m so happy and grateful for this bursary by Vodacom. Now I have a school and funds to study, all I have to focus on is to work hard to keep my bursary.”A further 75 bursaries have been awarded to students entering their second, third or fourth year of study, making a total of 110 Vodacom bursaries awarded for 2017.
In congratulating the new intake, Takalani Netshitenzhe, the Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group said: "Through such programmes, Vodacom seeks to complement the academic programme with practical life skills and best practice and thereby positioning the students to better contribute to South Africa's economy. Additionally, the programme is intended to bridge the gap between achievement at tertiary institutions and success in the work place."
Since the bursary scheme began in the late 1990s, more than 1 000 study grants have been made available to deserving students for tertiary education.The 2017 intake comprises at least five students from each of the nine provinces to ensure an even spread from the various provinces. The group also includes five disabled students, to give an opportunity to students who might otherwise be excluded from bursaries in the particular fields of information technology and engineering.