Inyathelo in the Media

Education donor inequality

THE Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education has shown that former privileged and tradition ally research intensive universities benefited significantly more than historically disadvantaged universities when it came to receiving donations.

The survey showed that philan thropists gave more than R1.7billion to 11 local universities in 2017, with only 4% of the money going to histor ically disadvantaged universities. Eleven universities took part in the survey, conducted by Inyathelo: the South African Institute for Advance ment. Its research was funded by US based Kresge Foundation's Education Programme and conducted by Dr Sean Jones of EduActive Solutions.

The 11 universities in the survey had received a collective total of R1.71bn in philanthropic income in 2017 R978 million higher than recorded for the 10 universities taking part in the first survey in 2013. The median annual philanthropic income was R108m in 2017. The proportion of income from South African sources was 72% 35% higher than in 2013, the survey showed. International donors had con tributed 28% of philanthropic income but comprised only 10% of donors. While noting progress in philan thropic funding overall, the report stated that there were "some extremely significant and severe differences and inequalities" and "a considerably less rosy picture emerges when the universi ties are disaggregated along the lines of historical advantage and disadvantage".

Jones said: "As the aggregate amount received by the two categories of institution increased at much the same rate, the unfortunate conclusion must be that neither the development and fund raising apparatuses of the historically disadvantaged universi ties, nor indeed the giving policies of donors, underwent meaningful trans formation during this five year period. "The inequities in contributions to different institutional types per petuate, and possibly even exacer bate, cycles of student disruption and institutional destabilisation which, in turn, increases donor and grant maker reticence to invest in particular institu tions. It is very clear that the funding community needs to take a hard look at its policies and practices in relation to financial aid for students."

 First published in Cape Times (first edition), page 4, 5 July 2019


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