Bursaries and scholarships offer the opportunity to attend university to many students who are not able to afford the cost of a tertiary education. Funding is vital to providing access to higher education for a greater number of young South Africans. However, there is more to student success than simply providing financial support. At Career Wise we know the importance and value of providing our students with personal, professional and academic support in addition to the funding from sponsors.
One such value add service we offer is the Life Skills Programme, which teaches our students many valuable lessons that they may not get in a lecture theatre. This week’s blog post will take a closer look at the Life Skills Programme and how it’s helping our bursars to transition from university into successful careers.
Bursary schemes are a vital part of the tertiary education landscape in South Africa. Not only do they increase access and allow more students to further their education, they also provide businesses in the economy with a valuable means of developing talent. For the companies who sponsor bursary schemes, it is important that their bursars are not just technically capable but also committed, competent and effective in achieving the strategic aims of the company.
That is why Career Wise has teamed up with Palesa Corporate Consultants to offer our students a comprehensive development programme that addresses the typical challenges facing bursary holders as they transition from school to university and into the workplace. The phased approach of the programme identifies four key ‘pressure points’: (i) transition to tertiary education; (ii) vacation and project work; (iii) transition to the world of work; and (iv) becoming an effective contributor. Through a progressive approach, bursars are given “just-in-time” training to equip them to deal constructively and effectively with the transition points and challenges. Importantly, the programme is focused on the issues, skills and the environment in which the bursar will need them and bursars have the opportunity to to learn and apply the knowledge in real life before moving to the next phase.
The phases of the programme are aligned with the pressure points. Phase 1 is ‘Foundations for Personal Effectiveness’, which helps new students and bursars to navigate the transition to tertiary education and become self-empowered individuals with enhanced self-awareness and a greater degree of self-accountability. The next phase, ‘Towards Teamness’ is intended to help students to work more effectively as part of a team and become effective, team-oriented individuals. The third phase is entitled ‘Work Wise’ and equips students with the knowledge to actively prepare for and manage their careers by thinking differently about success and contribution, and developing a proactive action plan for after graduation. Finally, Phase 4 , ‘Achieving Employee Effectiveness’ helps bursars who have entered the world of work and who need more guidance on how they can add value in their new role and achieve a balanced business perspective.
There are numerous benefits to the Life Skills programme. The students gain valuable, real-world skills that help to contextualise their academic journey and help them become effective employees. Employers benefit from new hires who are proactive and properly prepared to add value to the business. And finally, bursary sponsors and management companies ensure they produce graduates who have a balanced skillset and a positive attitude to their careers.
The Life Skills Programme is offered to students on corporate bursaries with an extra value- add and specific focus for career development. The programme is compulsory for students who sign on with the respective corporate bursary as it forms part of the full package.