Another core impact project that TSF are integrally involved in is the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP), a South African Department of Education national imperative that seeks to secure the future of South African’s attending Universities. The program was created in response to the needs of students from challenged and impoverished backgrounds within the SA University system to be able to experience free higher education. It supports students requiring needs-based assistance in higher education from the ‘missing middle’ (R350 000 to R600 000 p.a.), with a particular focus on ‘scarce skills’.
Based on almost two decades of supporting the UCT EDU, TSF are delighted that the potential for success of this funding driven model has been substantially enhanced by the focus on psychosocial graduate needs and academic support. ISFAP are using the experience of and lessons learned from the work carried out within the Commerce Faculties’ Educational Development Unit (EDU) at UCT directed by Professor June Pym.
June is now part of TSF and has been seconded to ISFAP as Education specialist Advisor, providing support at the core of the ISFAP program, as well as to each of the university programme managers across the country.
To date the project supports 18 University Programme managers, while providing strategic direction and input to ISFAP’s work overall. It also enables the management team to stay in touch with the field of student development, changes and new innovations. Most importantly it has highlighted an awareness of the various transition stages in a degree, and the need to scaffold various mediations to support the students.