StudyTrust was established in 1974
in response to the educational inequality
that characterised Apartheid South Africa.
To quote a 1982 Annual Report:
From the onset it was our conviction that equal educational opportunities for
everyone in our country should be an urgent goal … StudyTrust 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.
Hence our motto: “Today for Tomorrow”. Hope is inscribed in our organisation’s DNA.
Over the years, our sponsorships (from private donors initially and later from trusts
and private sector companies) have allowed us to provide thousands of academically
talented young South Africans from financially needy backgrounds with the educational
opportunities they have worked for. The #FeesMustFall movement recently created
public awareness of what we have been confronted with all along: far too much potential
goes to waste as a result of the high cost of tertiary education.
Mentorship and psychosocial support have always been part of the StudyTrust
approach. In 2010 we embarked on a journey together with the Sasol Inzalo Foundation,
to consolidate this support programme on the basis of research conducted in association
with The Narrative Lab. The Foundation, initially led by Mrs Mpho Letlape (Managing
Director) and Dr Marietjie Vosloo (Programmes Director), not only makes full-cost
bursaries available to students in Science, Mathematics, Education and Engineering
degree programmes, but also funded a research and support programme that included
an annual orientation seminar for first-year students. The material developed for this
seminar forms the core of what is presented in this publication.
In 2014 we entered into a partnership with the Ruda Landman Readers Unite bursary
programme. Ruda reworked the existing material and also commissioned additional
content. As an NGO partner of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS),
we then had the idea to distribute a guide to a number of first-year students who will
start their university careers on NSFAS loan-bursaries. Investec Bank, our steadfast
sponsor for more than 10 years, offered to pay for 10 000 copies. Van Schaik Publishers
volunteered to publish the book at cost. This is the story behind what you hold in your
hands. Use it well and often, and let us know whether it helped.
Best wishes for the journey ahead