The Standard Bank Bursary Programme has put many young people through higher education and has helped equip them with the necessary skills required in the workplace. One such student is 22-year-old, Nompumelelo Nkabinde.
Nkabinde, who grew up with her mother and two siblings and grandparents in Kinross, Mpumulanga, considered herself fortunate to have benefitted from a caring and nurturing family environment.
As a natural in the area of maths and statistics, she displayed the potential to make something of herself. However, like so many other young South Africans, it would be difficult for the family to finance the cost of her tertiary education.
Financing is a major challenge facing students in the country, with tuition fees at higher learning institutions beyond the reach of an average South African household income. It is this financial exclusion that hinders young people from achieving their dreams.
With the official unemployment rate among youth (15-24 years) sitting at an alarming rate of 46.3%, serious intervention is necessary. This is where bursary programmes and learnerships play a crucial role in closing the funding gap, and developing skills and knowledge needed in their businesses, while changing the youth unemployment picture.
As a recipient of the Standard Bank’s bursary programme, which has now been running for 8 years, Nkabinde was afforded the opportunity to further her studies at the University of Pretoria. She has a BSC in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics and recently graduated with honours in Mathematical statistics.
Nkabinde, who is currently a graduate credit risk trainee at Standard Bank, says that being able to access financing for her studies reduced her mother’s financial burden enormously. “Ultimately, it has enabled me to get a job that will greatly benefit my career path and allow me to not only change my life for the better but to also improve my family’s standard of living and become an active contributor to economic growth in the country.”