The Trust was set up in London in 1991 as the University of Natal UK Trust by a group of alumni in the UK who recognised the pressing need for financial help for poorer students at the University in South Africa.
Support for the Trust grew rapidly. The Trustees’ initial modest ambition to provide one or two bursaries was exceeded within a few years as the number of bursaries it was able to award grew to around a dozen a year. Continued growth and changes in funding policy saw the number rise to around 20 a year in recent years.
The Trust is registered as a charity in England and Wales, number 1004047. Its governing document is a Trust Deed dated 1st July 1991, as amended by a Deed of Variation of 20th July 2005 to account for the transformation of the University of Natal into the University of KwaZulu-Natal as a result of a merger with the University of Durban-Westville in 2004.
The objects of the Trust are: “To support and advance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the education of people in need so far as the same is charitable by the law of England.”
The Trust aims to fulfil its objects by raising funds to provide bursaries and other assistance for needy students at the University. Its bursaries normally cover about half a student’s costs, but more money is provided for students who achieve better academic success. As a result of a decision taken by the Trustees in 2006, this reward system operates in line with the University’s policy on bursaries.
Following the introduction in 2018 of new state aid to cover tuition fees for undergraduates from low-income families, the Trust’s help for needy students was changed to provide bursaries for some honours students and book and meal top-up allowances for undergraduates.
The Trust’s strategy is to raise funds, particularly from alumni in the UK, through appeals, standing orders and special events, in order to fund its help for needy students. See Latest News for information on the Trust’s current activities and Donate for details about how to help financially.
The Trustees make awards from a shortlist of post-first-year undergraduate and honours students provided by the University, along with details of their family income and academic records. The Trust’s focus always has been on the individual students it tries to help. Therefore, the Trustees try to correspond with bursars and obtain feedback on their hopes, ambitions and progress with their studies. The University administers the bursaries on the Trust’s behalf.
If you have a query about the Trust’s work or would like to help or get involved, please contact us.