The major part of our Corporate Social Investment spend continues to be on providing bursaries and scholarships on a merit basis for previously disadvantaged individuals. In 2014 ADvTECH spent R82.2 million which opened doors for over 7 000 bursary students.
We recognise the importance of committed and professional teaching staff and so teacher bursaries are offered. In 2014, bursaries were awarded to 52 student teachers and a total of 12 bursary holders graduated, of whom ten were employed within the Schools division. While training, bursary holders are also given the opportunity to apply their skills within the Group’s schools through our Teacher Trainee Development (Mentorship) Programme. ADvTECH will soon be able to train our own teachers through a BEd programme offered by the IIE.
The ADvTECH Group is committed to the professional development of its employees and offers bursaries for them to study at an ADvTECH educational facility or external institution. Short courses and bursaries for employee’s family members at an ADvTECH facility are also catered for. A good example of this is Resourcing division’s bursary programme for staff and their families which had 14 beneficiaries in 2014.
Many of our brands have their own bursary programmes in place and a number of them require bursary holders to volunteer either on campus or in community projects.
Centurus Colleges were welcomed into ADvTECH’s Schools division in 2015. The three colleges, Pecanwood, Tyger Valley and Southdowns, provide a substantial discount on school fees for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. They partner with private or corporate sponsors to provide these learners with an excellent education and essential life skills.
Centurus Colleges, via the Izzi Trust (a Section 18A NPO), invests R4, 3 million in the bursary programme. The successful fundraising activities of the Colleges allow the Trust to award a number of bursaries annually. An over-arching educational trust, Izzi (Izithini Zolwazi) has developed good relationships with local businesses which generously assist in funding bursary students at the Colleges. Izzi has awarded 44 bursaries to students since 2008 and currently assists 17 students with bursaries. Where possible these candidates receive continued support to tertiary level. Beneficiaries are identified on the basis of academic ability, financial need and support from their families and communities. An important aspect of the Izzi Trust model is the personal relationship forged between the beneficiary, the school and the Trust. Every effort is made to meet the child’s needs to give him or her the best chance of success.
Another affiliate of Schools division is Abbotts College which awarded 15 academic bursaries to the candidates of the Dream School project. The value of Abbotts’ investment is R1.6 million over a three year period (2015-2017). Based on the success of the Jamie Oliver’s Dream Schools programme in the United Kingdom, Dream School SA features 15 young learners aged between 15 and 19 who have left the education system for one reason or another and are encouraged to return to school and finish their matric. Abbotts and the Izzi Trust are partnering to seek sponsorship for the non-academic costs related to the bursaries awarded.
A leading Grade 10, 11 and 12 institution in South Africa, Abbotts has a unique approach to education underpinned by an understanding that this final and critical phase in a child’s education will shape their future. The Izzi Trust supports the core philosophy of the College, which is to believe in the individual worth of each young person, allowing students to express this individuality in an environment where teachers and students alike strive for the best result. The Trust believes the partnership with these 15 students will give them the opportunity to succeed and achieve their dreams to obtain their matric.
Varsity College invests in the order of R20 million each year in bursaries awarded to students in various categories, including academic, CSI, teacher education, student engagement, leadership, sport and staff bursaries. VC also rewards loyalty by granting awards for graduates returning to study additional programmes through the Business School and for parents and siblings of current students.
A bursary programme initiated by Varsity College, SAICA and Deloitte for the UNISA BAcc degree is now in its fourth year, with 26 full-time students currently registered at the Durban North campus. Five students from the first cohort have completed their undergraduate degrees. Varsity College is also encouraging local auditing firms to participate in this successful accountancy programme.
VC’s bursary programme has been extended to students wishing to study for a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) through Varsity College in partnership with the University of the Free State. One such bursary recipient achieved the top results in the Province in the UFS LLB
degree in 2014.
Vega and DSSA
The VEGA CSR Partnerships initiative was introduced to support creative students from disadvantaged backgrounds by awarding a bursary for two Vega bridging course programmes, the Higher Certificate in Creative Development and the Higher Certificate in Brand Building Practice. In 2014, 112 students enrolled on the programmes which, if the candidate is successful, grants credits towards a Vega degree. Vega mentors each student and makes a significant financial contribution towards their costs.
In 2014, Vega was approached by the Umuzi Photo Club to collaborate in running a community outreach project entitled The Power of 50. Funded by Investec, Umuzi was able to select 50 talented students for this one-year pilot programme which contains a mix of theoretical and practical content. Vega’s Power of 50 course stimulates creative thinking, provides students with design and photographic skills and basic business and management competencies. South Africa’s Creative Circle, representing advertising and design agencies, is helping the project with coaching and the provision of internships.
The Design School Southern Africa (DSSA) awards bursaries annually to deserving applicants who demonstrate strong academic and artistic potential. In 2014, bursaries awarded to full-time students totalled R200 000.
Vega spent R214 758 on skills development, of which 34% was spent on equity candidates. Vega and DSSA are investigating other opportunities to increase training for staff, including, but not limited to, increased participation in ADvTECH’s Management Development Programmes and on supporting new masters candidates for 2016.