Feenix is a South African student programme that uses the process of fundraising in order to helped students fund their studies.
The non-profit, crowdfunding platform was launched in 2017 and aims to assist students with avoiding an accumulation of debt, which would have brought about issues while they are pursuing their studies.
Feenix encourages students to access their community and work together to achieve student goals, with a specific focus on the missing middle. The missing middle refers to students who are not eligible for bursaries from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas), but are still unable to afford the costs of tertiary education.
Feenix works closely with South African institutions of higher education to verify students' academic and financial eligibility, and to disburse funds directly to the universities for tuition fees and other related expenses.
Currently, Feenix only funds the country's 26 public universities, but is now working to adapt and grow to begin funding Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and private institutions as well, allowing more of South Africa's student population to gain access to tertiary education funding.
Careers Portal spoke to Feenix's Student Advancement Manager, Tammy Green, who explained:
We are in the process of onboarding TVET colleges, as well as one private institution. We are definitely looking into private colleges (as well as TVET colleges), especially for the missing middle students because we do understand that [the] criteria is getting stricter for bursary programmes.
Green continued to say that Feenix is still in the process of identifying the need of students wanting funding, saying "there's still a group of students that needs funding so we definitely tapping into TVET colleges and private institutions as well".
Feenix allows students to create a profile on the platform and share their story and financial needs.
Donors can then browse through the profiles and choose to donate funds to support a student's education. The platform allows donors to make once-off or recurring donations, and also offers the option for employers to contribute to their employees' education.
Feenix has helped to support thousands of South African students to date, and has received recognition for its innovative approach to addressing the issue of student debt and financial exclusion.