ABOUT 90% of donations and grants universities go to traditional ones that were mostly historically advantaged, a survey has highlighted. South African trusts, foundations, corporations and individuals continue to channel funding to socalled traditional universities. The donations for 2016 were also significantly higher than before.
These were the key findings of the 2017 Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education, based on 2016 figures. Research was conducted by the nonprofit trust Inyathelo and the South African Institute for Advancement and 12 of the 26 universities participated in the survey Although the details of which universities received the most funding were not immediately available, the institutions that participated included traditional universities and those formerly known as technikons. Those that participated in the survey included the Cape Peninsula, Durban and Tshwane universities of Technology and the universities of Cape Town, Free State, Johannesburg, KZN, Zululand, Pretoria and Stellenbosch.
In 2016, philanthropic income of these South African universities increased to R1.63 billion a massive boost of almost Rlbn over a fouryear period. Inyathelo programme director Nazli Abrahams said that for the first time, donations from South African donors exceeded income from international sources, accounting for 90% of all donors and contributing to 56% of total funding. International donors contributed 44% of philanthropic income but comprised only 10% of donors. However, even though the South African philanthropy increased, the research revealed major disparities in funding streams. Six traditional universities received 90% of the R1.63bn R1.47bn and the other six, such as the universities of technology, received only 10% R156 million. Of the R156m received by the nontraditional bloc, R123m went to just one university, leaving R33m to be shared among the other five nontraditional ones. The topfunded university received R369m from 2 400 philanthropists and the least funded university received R2m from 10 donors.
Researcher Dr Sean Jones said the historical overreliance of the South African higher education sector on international donors and grantmakers had begun to diminish, although there remained considerable support and goodwill among foreign donor agencies. "This suggests mounting recogni tion across all sectors of the critical need to partner and invest in higher education if it is to survive, and indeed thrive, in the context of the most severe fiscal challenges ever faced by this country's universities." However, he voiced concern that 90% of donor and grant resources were channelled to traditional universities which were by and large historically advantaged. "This is an uncomfortable issue which cannot be ignored; it needs to be addressed sensitively, wisely and creatively by philanthropy and the higher education sector alike." Abrahams also said the funding disparities were reflective of inequalities in society and "a solution can only be found by all the stakeholders in the higher education sector. Research shows that the more fundraising, alumni relations and associated support staff an institution has, the higher its philanthropic income".