The growing economic crisis, underfunding of the higher education sector, and resulting increases in student fees, have decreased access to higher education for many struggling families in South Africa.
At UCT, students with financial need have access to funding through various mechanisms including The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and GAP funding. However, for some students this is not sufficient to meet all their financial needs. Despite making significant efforts to settle their debt, many are still in need of assistance. In some instances, banks won’t give further loans, in others, small amounts of ‘gap funding’ are required.
The Impilo bursary fund supports students who have exhausted all potential funding options, who find themselves in financial difficulty, and are unable to pay their full fees. Many of these Health Sciences students are sometimes unable to even cover day to day academic and living costs.
How does the fund work?
Students in good academic standing with financial difficulty may apply to the fund.
Each case is considered on an individual basis and assistance is offered in exceptional circumstances.
Intensive campaigning to raise funds
The number of students in financial difficulty has increased with each year, and there have been renewed efforts to increase the funds. The income from this fund is reliant on donations from mostly the Faculty community, including staff, students and alumni, and has to be sustained to ensure it can continue to support these students.
We can be proud of the substantial contributions made thus far.
In January 2017, an appeal was made to the Faculty community to contribute to the fund. By June 2017 the Faculty had raised an impressive R175 000. Within a period of eight weeks the Faculty reached its target of R350 000, and through further campaigning the fund grew to over half a million rand.
Through this, we assisted students in our Faculty who were not able to formally register due to outstanding 2016 fees, and those who potentially would not be able to graduate due to outstanding fee debt.
Raise the bar for Health - campaigning for 2017-2018
Explaining our new logo
The new logo, comprises a thermometer, the tagline: Raise the bar for Health, and this is underscored by the Impilo Fund name.
Symbolism of the Thermometer: the clinical tool used by health professionals to measure body temperature also symbolizes measuring increases in fund income. Though campaigning, we aim to galvanise contributions to the fund.
Tagline: Raise the bar for health
The increase in the bar (mercury) is also about the ultimate contribution this is making to health in the country. We need to create awareness that assisting academically deserving students in financial difficulty has benefits beyond settling the outstanding fees. Retaining them in our teaching programmes contributes to ensuring we graduate health professionals into South Africa’s health system. It is therefore our responsibility as a Faculty to ensure that as far as possible we assist students so that they can join the cadre of health professionals this country so desperately needs.
The growing financial hardship in the country is expected to increase, with impact on our students. We will continue to raise funds to assist these students – we will continue to raise the bar for health in our country.
How can you donate?
Every donation, no matter how small, makes a difference.
Personal donation into UCT Donation Bank Account – such donation has South African income tax exemption. Download the UCT Donation Bank Account details.
Donation from a UCT Non-GOB or Research Fund (invested or not invested) which is of discretionary nature i.e. not restricted by specific spending rules. Funds may be directly transferred into the Impilo Bursary Fund via journal transfer.
07 152 2387
Type of account
To assist with prompt identification and processing of donations, please include an abbreviated donor name and Impilo Fund in the bank reference field.
Once a deposit or electronic payment has been made, please notify us by email and/or fax a copy of the deposit slip or bank instruction to both the Development and Alumni Department (Abieda.Abrahams@uct.ac.za) and the Faculty of Health Sciences (firstname.lastname@example.org) for issuing you with a South African tax exemption certificate and ensuring the donation is transferred into the Impilo Bursary Fund.
Correspondent bank details for the USA are available on request.
Background | The Impilo Student Bursary Fund
Established by the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2016, the Impilo Student Bursary Fund was initiated to help students out of very difficult financial circumstances.