The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) is expanding its bursary administration capability by offering this service to industry.
This facility is available to any organisation, or individual, wishing to sponsor bursaries for tertiary education but not desirous of the administrative burden attached to the ongoing management of the funds and bursaries.
The Institute already manages its own considerable bursary offerings which this year has more than doubled with the total investment for 2008 expected to be approximately a quarter of a million rand.
SAIEE president Ian McKechnie says that as the engineering sector and the country as a whole tackle the need for education and skills development, substantial funds are being made available but the mechanisms to manage them may not always be in place.
“Appropriate management of such funds is essential for sustainability and growth of the capital and also for responsible allocation of the bursaries. The service we are providing is available to both individuals and commercial enterprises,” says McKechnie.
He notes that one of the biggest problems with bursary funding is that in many instances companies simply do not have time or manpower to devote to the appropriate management of these schemes.
“The SAIEE has been funding and awarding bursaries, as well as administering trusts for bursaries, over many years. By marketing our services in this regard we are attempting to promote the availability of bursary schemes to a wider spectrum of potential candidates and thus remove the onus of managing them from companies or individuals who are not in a position to take on this task.
"The SAIEE committee and staff that manage the process are very well placed to ensure that bursaries are awarded to deserving candidates and to ensure that they are efficiently administered to produce the best possible results for all parties involved.”
McKechnie says initial market response to this initiative has been very positive.