Crowdfunding Models for Higher Education in Africa

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Crowdfunding Models for Higher Education in Africa
Crowdfunding Models for Higher Education in Africa.

The cost of higher education tends to rise at rates considerably high. This resulted in a spate of university protests that saw students demand free education in South Africa.

Students argue that, with a large number of students entering universities, financial need should not be an obstacle to students who qualify to enter university at a suitable academic standard. But it is critical to recognise that the government cannot fund education on its own.

Higher education funding models have moved towards cost-sharing, which involves the collective contribution of students, parents or guardians, government and other stakeholders.

There are various models that can be used to fund higher education which includes amongst others setting up student loan systems, bursaries, scholarships- and there is crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. This model is gradually gaining traction in funding education across Africa.

Initiatives such as which is supported by Standard Bank, raised over $161 450 00 in just 2 months to help fund students in South Africa., provides a digital channel that allows individuals and enterprises to donate money to students. The initiative addresses the lack of funding for tertiary-level education in South Africa. The initiative was launched following #FeesMustFall student protests which took place in the country between 2016 and 2017.

In July 2016, Masego Maponyane, a South African celebrity, started the Bursary Network which is a platform that enables students to appeal to the public for help. Students in need of funding upload their profiles to the website and potential donors can then go through the list of students and choose to whom they want to donate, donors are allowed to contribute as little as $7.50 USD.

In Nigeria, e-learning startup, ScholarX launched a crowdfunding platform for not only university students but for secondary school learners too. Village, allows students to create fund requests to help with costs such as school fees, accommodation, books and exam fees. Sponsors can search through the various profiles and fund those that appeal.

Innovative funding models for higher education will be one of the key topics at the upcoming Education Innovation Summit to be held at the Hilton Sandton on the 31st of May 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The summit will bring together innovation leaders and the academic community to accelerate innovative thinking in education. It will further provide discussion topics about cutting-edge education technology challenges facing the industry today. Education Innovation Summit 2018 will encourage interactive, roundtable discussions and case studies from leading academics, CIOs, regulators, NGOs, service providers and EduTech entrepreneurs, all sharing their experiences while exploring technology innovations that will enhance teaching and learning in the academic institutions.

Other key topics will include:

  • Overcoming barriers to tech adoption in education.
  • Change management: administrators and educational technologies- narrowing the divide.
  • Fostering creativity through introducing design thinking to the educational process.
  • Practical challenges of digital learning: getting the balance right for future-thinking.
  • Transforming education: the power of ICT policies.
  • Navigating the roadblocks to innovation in education.
    Transforming Education: The power of ICT Policies.
  • Reimagining the Role of Technology in Higher Education.
  • Innovation in Education: what works, what doesn’t, and what to do about it?
  • ICT Integration in Education – Incorporation for Teaching & Learning Improvement.
  • Creating an e-learning strategy that works.

Speakers at this year’s event include:

  • Riaan Van Der Bergh, Technology Manager Education Lead, FEDSAS
  • Anele Davids, Director, Ict And Teacher Development, Sci-Bono, Discovery Centre
  • Dr James Keevy, Ceo, Jet Education Services
  • Michelle Lissoos, Managing Director, Think Ahead Education Solutions
  • Michele Botha, Assessment Specialist: Primary Schools: Independent Examination Board (IEB)
  • Prof Duan Vd Westhuizen, Professor: Learning Technologies, University of Johannesburg
  • Tom Parry, Co-Founder and MD South Africa, Instill Education
  • Sean Laval, Innovations and Customer Solutions Executive: SqwidNet
  • Wesley Lynch, CEO and founder of Snapplify


For more information regarding the summit, visit:

Sponsorships & Exhibitions:

[t]: 011 026 0981/2 [e]: