National Bursary and Mentoring Programme

The HCI Foundation Bursary Programme aims to contribute to the development of young people in South Africa by providing bursaries to financially disadvantaged and academically deserving students for a first tertiary degree.

The Foundation gives financial support to +/- 1000 students at the 25 Public Universities and Universities of Technology across the country each academic year.

Find out more about our criteria and application process here.

We like to get to know our bursary students and to interact with them. This is how we do it:

We run a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) mentoring programme which links senior students and incoming first years; we visit institutions and run interactive workshops to encourage our students to be the best they can and make the most of the experience which tertiary education offers. In 2014 our first year students achieved a pass rate of 92%. 

Also at tertiary level, the Foundation funds initiatives which support teacher development with the aim of improving learning outcomes, and is currently engaged in a three year collaboration with The UCT Schools Development Unit on the Ikwezi Lead Teacher project.

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At secondary level we support initiatives which reduce levels of drop out from school, increase throughput to matric and encourage academic excellence.

LEAP 2 Science and Maths and Lavender Hill High Schools in Cape Town and Midlands Community College in KZN are amongst current beneficiaries of this programme.

The Ikateleng Project provides supplementary teaching in sciences and economics to learners in Grades 10 to 12 to improve overall examination results and increase university readiness and enrolment.  In 2014, the 8 Ikateleng campuses achieved a matric pass rate of 98% – their best in the project’s 27 year history.

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Initiatives which build core literacy and numeracy skills at foundation level are the focus of our primary education programme. 

The Good Work Foundation in Mpumalanga is working with teachers at rural primary schools to integrate digital learning at primary level. 100 teachers, trained to International Computer Drivers License (ICDL) standard, will share information and skills at their own schools so that all teachers are adequately equipped to integrate computer skills into lessons. The Foundation has funded 25 teachers from Hazyview to attend the training.     

A partnership with The Bookery, which has established 39 libraries at schools in the Western Cape and 1 in the Eastern Cape, emphasises the role of active school libraries with trained librarians in the quest to improve learners’ literacy, numeracy and comprehension skills.


Early Childhood Development

We support quality early childhood development programmes which prepare young children for school and help to improve their lives and those of their families.

The Ubunye Foundation (formerly Angus Gillis) in the Eastern Cape works with the strengths of local communities and is committed to early childhood development as a catalyst for capacity building. The HCI Foundation, together with other donors, is funding 14 care givers in 7 ‘Safe Parks’ whilst registration and subsidies to increase the sustainability of the programme are secured.

At Tshepang Educare Trust in the Free State, we funded Level 4 training for 10 caregivers, primarily from informal settlements in Marquard and Ficksburg, to gain a formal ECD qualification.

The Level 4 qualifying course was also supported at Sithuthukile Trust in Mpumalanga, where 20 women from centres on the outskirts of Middleburg, who between them care for an estimated 700 children, have been given the opportunity to complete this stage of their formal training.

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‘Loving to learn and think creatively is the most significant gift we can offer our children.‘
Corinne Abel