New partnership aims to assist 38 Honours students in STEM fields

  • On Friday the National Research Foundation and Energy Mobility Education Trust announced a programme that aims to fund STEM students doing their Honours.
  • The NRF-EM Education Trust Scholarship Programme will expand to include Masters and Doctoral students by 2024.
  • The programme hopes to reach 38 Honours students during this first year.

On Friday, a new partnership was announced that sees the National Research Foundation and Energy Mobility Education Trust collaborating to assist those looking to earn a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) qualification.

For now, the partnership will look to support full-time postgraduate students at an Honours level with a view to supporting Master and Doctoral students from 2024 onwards. To that end, the pair of firms will provide funding opportunities for 38 Honours students for the 2023 academic year through the NRF-EM Education Trust Scholarship Programme.

According to SA News, the programme kicks off with an initial investment of R6.8 million.

“The EM Education Trust has championed the attainment of formal qualifications in STEM and commerce for over eight years,” says chief executive officer at the trust, Vuyo Mwase.

“However, we recognise the dearth for funding of postgraduate studies. As such this complementary and strategic partnership with the NRF strengthens our position and commitment to narrowing this gap. Additionally, our partnership will augment the much-needed innovation in developing and managing the current and emerging renewable energy systems,” she adds.

There are three goals this duo hopes to achieve with this investment, namely:

  • To strengthen the responsiveness of the National System of Innovation (NSI) to the energy challenges by developing innovative skills development programmes,
  • promote inclusive and diverse skilling of highly qualified individuals from traditionally marginalised groups, and,
  • contribute to the transformation of the South African education landscape with a specific focus on South African citizens who are Black, female or persons living with a disability.

The NRF-EM Education Trust Scholarship Programme will favour students in the fields of Mathematical Science, Data Science, Computer Science, Green Economy, Renewable Energy and Climate Change. The programme hopes to target students at the University of Fort Hare, University of Limpopo, University of the Witwatersrand, University of the Western Cape and the University of Johannesburg.

“The scholarship programme comes at a critical time as South Africa strives to respond to energy and climate change challenges amongst many other national concerns. This partnership is aligned with national policy goals for higher education, science, and technology such as the strengthening of human resource development and the creation of an enabling environment for innovation in South Africa,” acting executive director for human and infrastructure capacity development at the NRF, Dr Mbulelo Ncango said in a statement.

Students interested in applying for this funding support should visit the NRF’s website here.

[Image – ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash]


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