During October 2015, students in South Africa made history by protesting across the country, shutting down universities and ultimately succeeding in forcing the Government and universities to agree to a moratorium on fee increases for 2016. This monumental movement placed the spotlight on the importance of access to higher education in our society.

Rooted in the belief that education is a mechanism for upliftment and that the private sector has the responsibility to assist in developing future leaders, the Paarl Media Bursary Fund Trust annually supports promising school-leavers who require financial assistance to study in the field of their choice.

Earlier this month, the Paarl Media Bursary Fund Trust rewarded bursaries to 13 new recipients starting their studies in the 2016 academic year. Another 27 existing bursary holders will continue to receive financial support for their studies next year upon successfully passing their 2015 curriculum.

“The Paarl Media Bursary Fund Trust exists to create opportunities for committed learners with bright futures. We would like to congratulate this year’s recipients. The responsibility now lies with them to do us proud by giving their best to their studies,” said Nico Grobbelaar, Executive Head of Human Resources at Novus Holdings, previously known as the Paarl Media Group.

Embarking on a drive to help improve the quality of education in schools across the country, the Trust introduced a category last year for applicants interested in becoming teachers.

“We need to invest in the development of our teachers given the impact they have on students’ thirst for education and learning. Four of our new bursary recipients will be pursuing degrees in education next year,” added Grobbelaar.

This year the Trust received 55 applications. Applicants are required to meet the basic conditions in order to qualify for a bursary; these include financially disadvantaged candidates who display leadership attributes and community involvement, and hold a commendable academic school record.

The Trust was launched in 2008 in the Western Cape by the Retief family with an initial investment of R10 million. Bursaries are paid from investment returns with independent trustees solely involved in the decision making process.

Novus Holdings further supports the Trust with providing resources to facilitate and manage the administration and processing of the bursaries each year.