Donations Provide University Student Accommodation
03 Mar 2016
Affording just the tuition fees for higher learning is a challenge that faces most students; the matter of accommodation is a far greater obstacle that needs to be overcome.
For six university scholarship students from the Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA) accommodation is no longer a burden, but a privilege made possible by a generous sponsor. TSiBA is a non-profit business school founded in 2004 and registered and accredited with the Department of Higher Education as a private higher education institution. TSiBA’s vision is to ignite opportunity by providing access to tertiary study for those who may not otherwise be able to do so due to lack of finances. All students are on full or sliding-scale scholarships and they are not required to pay back their scholarship monetarily, but to pay it forward by transferring the knowledge and skills they gain at TSiBA back into their community.
Each year TSiBA receives a new intake of students from its second campus in Karatara, near Knysna, who are faced with the challenges of leaving home (some for the first time!), finding somewhere to live, as well as finding money for their accommodation. As with any other higher learning institution in South Africa sourcing funding to help accommodate out-of-town students is problematic. At TSiBA, financial and gift-in-kind donations are making it possible for the institution to invest in property to assist students and provide for long-term sustainability.
From this year TSiBA now has two student flats offering 16 students the opportunity to move to Cape Town, continue with their tertiary studies to achieve their dream of getting a bachelor’s degree. This student lifeline has become a reality thanks to a dedicated donor and supporter, Vesco Plastics, a family business that has been involved with TSiBA Eden campus for many years. This family run business shares the same vision and values as TSiBA - those of paying it back to the community, promoting socio-economic development and igniting opportunity for the youth in South Africa.
“Our contribution to buying this student house is part of us paying it forward into the community and our hope that it will lead to a new generation that will grow themselves and our country. These future leaders will in turn be able to pay it forward, not only looking after themselves, but also serve the needs of others in our country to also achieve a meaningful life” says Frances Fortes a representative of Vesco Plastics.
With the receipt of donations much work goes on behind the scenes in securing a property including the investment of individuals donating microwaves, couches as well as funds. Adri Marais, CEO of TSiBA Education, emphasises that “it takes a community to make the work that we do at TSiBA possible. It is also important for our communities to role-model for our students by nurturing a social conscience and paying it forward by either donating funds, volunteering by lecturing, tutoring or mentoring, donating items like appliances and furniture and even by just spreading awareness for TSiBA and what we do.”
Brian Mgwili, a BBA2 student at TSiBA Education Cape Town and TSiBA Eden Alumnus, reflects that “I am the last-born of three children and now that my mother is sixty years old she qualifies for an old age pension from the state. After being unemployed for many, many years, this income that she’ll soon receive won’t be nearly sufficient to carry me through to graduation even being on a sliding-scale tuition scholarship. With all that has been happening in South Africa in the education crisis and students protesting to acquire the knowledge and skills we’re getting on scholarship, there’s literally no other option but to be grateful and acknowledge the fact that TSiBA Education is the best thing that has happened to us.”