The main reason is that more of the students awarded Trust bursaries in 2016 qualified for a higher level of funding as a result of achieving higher grades. The Trust sent about the same amount of funding this year as it did in 2015 but the money did not stretch to cover as many students.
The fact that academic success is rewarded provides reassurance to donors that the students concerned are more likely to graduate and go on to have successful careers. But it is regrettable that the Trust can help only a fraction of the students who qualify for help under the criteria of need.
As many alumni and Trust supporters will be aware, student funding is a huge issue, particularly in South Africa where there has been a strong campaign to limit or even abolish student fees. A South African government inquiry into the matter is due to report soon but the indications are that the help given by charities such as our Trust will continue to be needed more than ever.
The Trust also faces new challenges following the UK referendum vote to leave the EU. Some analysts forecast a fall in charitable giving. Meanwhile the exchange rate is now much less favourable to the Trust when sending bursary funds to South Africa.
We call on alumni and Trust supporters to give as best you can so the Trust can continue its work making a real difference to students’ lives and the wider society.
Please make a donation. The easiest way to give is via the Virgin Money Giving website at www.virginmoneygiving.com
Simply search for the University of KwaZulu-Natal UK Trust and follow the simple steps to make your donation, making sure you include a Gift Aid Declaration if you are a UK taxpayer.
Other information about how to give can be found on the Donate page.