In SA, only 55% of contact students graduate within n+2 years (where “n” is regulation time). This is highly concerning considering an already low participation rate (1 in 5 high school students). When a student fails, there are two direct expenses for company bursaries: Firstly, it is unlikely that the student will be able to pay back their bursary obligation. This obligation can be up to ZAR 360K+ if the student fails in their final year. Secondly, the company bursary finds itself in a situation where it must now find a new student that it can recruit to work for the company. The recruitment expense for a single graduate has been estimated at around R40k. It is evident that bursaries provide critical financing for previously disadvantaged students to pursue their higher education ambitions. However, at the moment, most donors lack the capacity to support these students beyond financing.
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