100 learners get full UCT Online High School tuition

Johannesburg- Sanlam has invested R14.5m to help talented learners realise potential in the mother city.

The Sanlam Group announced today that it has partnered with the UCT Online High School to provide scholarships to talented young South Africans from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The new Sanlam UCT Online High School Scholarship Programme will provide 100 academically strong learners, who may otherwise not have had the chance to realise their potential, with 100% of their high school tuition over a five-year period – an investment of R14.5 million in total from Sanlam.

Applications are open to Grade 7 learners from now until mid-November for admission to Grade 8 in 2022.

The UCT Online High School was launched in July this year and is the country’s most affordable private high school.

Cape Town-based education technology company, Valenture Institute, has collaborated with UCT by making use of its proprietary learning technology, analytics and learner support model at the forefront of online and blended learning.

It has already received 5 000 applications, indicating strong demand for its innovative offering. Its model enables learners to pace their learning while being provided with 1:1 tutoring from teachers and coaches.

While affordably priced at R 2 095 per month, it is still out of the reach of many South Africans.

Sanlam’s Group Human Resources Director, Jeanett Modise, said: “For us, this is about establishing a diverse and transformed talent pipeline of the future skills that South Africa so desperately needs. There are many academically gifted learners in our country who may not have access to the level of education that will help them realise their full potential. By providing their tuition, these learners have a greater chance at accessing world-class private schooling – and a future where they can live with confidence.’’

“We hope that we are the first of many corporates to sponsor learners through the Sanlam UCT Online High School Scholarship Programme, so we can open this opportunity to as many talented young people as possible.”

Modise said UCT, in collaboration with the Valenture Institute, has done a remarkable job of delivering the school at the perfect time.

“The pandemic has taught us very quickly that face-to-face interaction isn’t the only option to achieve big things if done right. We’ve seen that in the corporate world and, increasingly, in academia too. We are so excited to play a part in delivering this wonderful opportunity to 100 scholars and cannot wait to watch their progress over the coming months and years.”

A key part of Sanlam’s group strategy, Modise added, is to use data and digital transformation to catalyse Sanlam’s purpose of equipping people to live with confidence.

“The UCT High School offering fits perfectly with this strategic imperative and has really resonated with us. The award-winning model powered by the Valenture Institute combines academic excellence with the right level of support needed for children to stay motivated while studying in a remote setting.”

Robert Paddock, CEO of Valenture, expressed his excitement about the scholarship. “We are delighted to partner with Sanlam to extend the reach of the UCT Online High School. It is often said that talent is evenly distributed but opportunity is not, and, through the Sanlam UCT Online High School Scholarship Programme, we will be able to extend the opportunity to receive a high-quality education to even more deserving learners around the country.”

UCT Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said the Sanlam scholarship programme aligned with UCT’s vision of transformation, excellence and sustainability. “Through this generous funding, the virtual gates of learning will be open to many more financially disadvantaged yet academically deserving learners.

It will also enable high performing learners to be part of the school, while the long-term nature of the funding means learners will benefit not only on a once-off basis but for years to come.

“When we launched the school, we made a commitment to ensure that as much as it is one of the more affordable private schools in the country, we were going to make means available to support needy learners.

This is another way for us to ensure that we live up to our vision of unleashing human potential for a fair and just society. We are grateful to Sanlam for supporting us in the realisation of this commitment, and we look forward to welcoming many more corporates on board in this endeavour.”

The scholarships are one of several initiatives from Sanlam aimed at improving education outcomes.

The Group is deeply committed to empowering generations to be financially confident, secure and prosperous and is currently positively touching the lives of around 560 000 learners throughout South Africa each year, with initiatives ranging from early childhood development and school upliftment programmes.

This is the second partnership Sanlam has entered into with UCT in as many months. In September, the Group entered into an agreement to relaunch the UCT Actuarial Science Support and Advice Desk.

This provides free learning and psychosocial support to UCT students studying actuarial science. Both partnerships are aimed at deepening the skills pipeline in South Africa and for the financial services industry.

Applicants for scholarships will require a 70% or above pass rate in both English and Maths in their most recent round of assessments in Grade 7. Additionally, they must have obtained a minimum overall average of 70% in their latest school report.

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