Johannesburg, South Africa – More than 120 university graduates from underprivileged backgrounds will be honoured this evening by the Sasol Inzalo Foundation (SaIF) for their outstanding achievements in science, engineering and education.
The graduates are beneficiaries of the Foundation’s Science and Engineering Undergraduate Bursary Programme, Science Fellowship Programme and Education Fellowship programme.
Established in 2008, SalF’s mandate is to help alleviate bottlenecks in the country’s schooling system; boost the vocational skills pool; and create tertiary educational opportunities for learners from low income households in South Africa.
“The objective of the Sasol Inzalo Foundation is to make a significant contribution to sustainable economic growth in South Africa by focusing on skills development, primarily in STEM education through initiatives aligned to the National Development Plan,” said Dr Yvonne Muthien, Chairperson of Sasol Inzalo Foundation.
To date, the Foundation has provided bursaries to more than 1 000 young people from township and rural areas, most of them women, to study towards degrees in science and engineering. Of these, more than 500 have already obtained their degrees with substantial publication outputs and patents by those at postgraduate level. The Foundation has also expanded the programme to include the funding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) technologists and technicians studying towards National Diploma and B Tech degrees. This is in aligning with national critical skills audit.
While the SalF’s Science and Engineering Bursary Programme invests in students who want to pursue careers in STEM at an undergraduate level, its Science and Education Fellowship Programmes support post graduate students through Honours, Masters and PhD Degrees in pure Science and STEM Education respectively. The Foundation’s Science Fellowship Programme aims to increase the pool of chemistry and environmental science researchers as well as build research capacity at seven historically disadvantaged universities. Its Education Fellowship is intended to contribute towards a new generation of education researchers with Masters and PhD degrees in STEM education to inform improvements to the schooling system.
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