Standard Bank launches crowdfunding initiative to help with student fees

In an effort to create a platform for donors to sponsor student fees‚ Standard Bank and Feenix Trust launched a crowdfunding initiative in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The trust has been established to retain and manage funds from donors.

Jayshree Naidoo‚ interim CEO of Feenix‚ said only 17% of students that qualify for funding will get it.

“The fees will be paid directly to the university through the trust. Students won’t be required to pay back the money.

“All degree types for accredited courses at any of the 26 public universities across South Africa will be accepted.

The donations will cover accommodation‚ tuition and textbooks‚” she said.

“Students can create profiles on the website of Feenix and upload their fees statement and bio. The trust will then verify them and once they are live on the site‚ donors can choose to donate to them‚” said Johan De Ru‚ manager for business development on education at Standard Bank.

Anyone can donate from a minimum of R100.

Donors are required to upload their information and will go through verification‚ according to the standards of the bank.

He said 120 students are already live on the platform and 604 have registered and awaiting approval.

“TVET institutions and long distance will be included later‚” he added.

 “Students will be required to upload their fees statement every year. And the trust does not have any academic requirements. There is no limit to who can apply‚” De Ru said.

In 2015‚ students across South Africa embarked on a nationwide protest to call for tuition fees to be scrapped.

“The fees protest was one of the elements that indicated that this project is not only necessary‚ but needed to solve some of the problems in the country‚” he said.