Thursday, 04 April 2013
PPS, the financial services provider for graduate professionals, has awarded three students at the University of the Witwatersrand one scholarship and two bursaries as part of an ongoing effort to provide much-needed financial assistance to university students across the country.
Statistics released in 2012 from the Human Sciences Research Council show that South Africa's higher education sector has an alarming 40% drop-out rate among students, with financial difficulties suffered by poor black students being cited as the main reason.
"We understand the financial pressures that exist among many students in completing their studies and with this in mind we aim to assist students through the PPS Bursary Awards," said Mike Jackson, chief executive of PPS.
Wits engineering student Daniel Goldberg received a scholarship, while Abel Mosito, also studying towards his engineering degree, and Sanele Freedom Njoko, studying a business science engineering degree, both received bursaries.
An important role in addressing South Africa's skills shortages
Jackson said that the bursaries and scholarships play an important role in addressing South Africa's skills shortages. "Given the severe skills crisis South Africa is currently experiencing in a range of critical professions, it is essential that talented students who may not be able to afford their education, are given the same opportunities as their peers."
Jackson said that the PPS Bursary and Scholarship Awards are granted to promising students across the country who are in real need of financial aid to complete their studies. "Education is a vital tool in the creation of a fair and democratic society and we are privileged to be in a position to provide financial assistance to outstanding students through these bursaries."
For the current academic year, PPS awarded a total of 18 bursaries and two scholarships to the total value of R1 million. These bursaries and scholarships are paid directly to the university where the recipient is studying and are administered by the university to cover university fees and textbook costs. All applicants who met the minimum requirements to qualify for these awards will receive a book voucher with complements of PPS.
This year's bursaries have been awarded to learners at a number of institutions, including: the University of Cape Town, University of Pretoria, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Fort Hare, University of Limpopo, Walter Sisulu University, University of the Free State, Rhodes University, University of the Western Cape and University of the Witwatersrand. The students also study across a range of disciplines including: engineering, nursing, information systems, accounting, psychology, law, pharmacology, agricultural, veterinary science, and microbiology.