Southern African Wildlife College

Scholarships and Bursaries

Lesley Richardson and Coutness Sylvia Labia, Chairperson and founder member of SAWCT respectively, with some of the students who received scholarships from SAWCT.

There is no doubt that the conservation industry and Africa’s threatened species are reliant on having good people who are skilled, educated and motivated and who can make a significant difference at all levels. As such, every effort should be made, whether formally or informally, to develop skills and abilities and to provide opportunities for people to maximise their contribution. The future of the Southern African Wildlife College and the future of Africa depends on it.

Since opening its doors to students in 1997, the SAWC has held fast to an unwavering course to empower and inspire protected area managers and others involved in environmental practices to embrace the challenges of conservation in Africa. We however need help in growing and developing the conservation and tourism sector’s human capital, which will in turn help to ensure the growth, development and sustainability of parks and other natural areas.

At the outset, the aim of the College was to meet SADC training needs within the sphere of natural resource management, and from its inception, the College has offered full time qualification course programmes which run for a full year. The curriculum covers a broad range of conservation management skills including a wide spectrum of wildlife management, nature-based tourism, community-based natural resource management and other environmentally-related topics. The courses trained at the College are all accredited with the necessary education bodies and are designed with input from conservation organisations across SADC and remain relevant to training needs identified across the region.

Unfortunately, conservation education and training is not well funded across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and most of the students are reliant on donor funding to enable them to further and continue their studies. The College also receives no government subsidies. As such, the College needs help to support the development of students by way of scholarships and bursaries.

Mathapelo Sehloho of Afrisam with two students sponsored by the company as part of their CSI programme

How You Can Help

The College currently offers two fully-accredited year-long qualification courses: The Higher Certificate in Conservation Implementation and Leadership and the Advanced Certificate in Trans-Frontier Conservation Management. 

Each year the College trains approximately 50 students across both these Programmes. Most of these students are mature individuals drawn from agencies where they are already involved in conservation management.

Each student's organisation makes a contribution towards their studies to show their commitment but the bulk of the funding has to be raised. We thus appeal to organisations, donor organisations, trusts and individuals to consider funding these our flagship students many of whom will go on to senior positions. Here, with the support of a broad array of stakeholders, they will achieve long lasting conservation results that address the economic and ecological needs of the region.

Contribution Options

  • The cost of a full scholarship is R 90,000 which covers the full cost of the course, student accommodation, meals, transport, learning materials, course development, lecture fees etc. This is then subsidised in part by PPF's contribution and the organisational contribution. 
  • The bursary contribution is R 60,000 per student which is then further subsidised by PPF's contribution, the organisational contribution and also through the cross subsidisation of other courses run at the College. 
  • Assistance can also be provided by way of a donation to SAWCT, the College's capital trust which ensures that funds donated are used to secure the future of the College and the training of its students. 

SAWCT is exempt from Income Tax under South African law. Donors can claim donations to SAWCT as deductions against their taxable income, and donations are exempt from Donations Tax and Estate Duty.

SAWCT enquiries:
Janet Wakelin
HR, IT and Finance :: SAWCT Fundraiser
+27 (0)82 924-3749

Thank You

A big thank you is extended to funders of our student scholarships and bursaries 

Special appreciation is extended to:
  • Peace Parks Foundation for having secured funding to subsidise the core costs of students admitted to the programme. 
  • SAWCT which provides scholarships and bursaries for students to attend the Advanced Certificate Course in Transfrontier Conservation Management. 
  • The National Lotteries and Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) which has also played a major role in supporting the development and capacity building of the College’s students. For the period 2010 to 2012, the NLDTF funded 90 South African students to attend the Higher and Advanced Certificate Training at the SAWC. In addition the NLDTF has funded essential equipment including a game drive and light duty vehicle, laundry equipment, IT equipment and has also made a contribution towards campus maintenance and administration.
  • Friends for African Wildlife, our supporters in Zürich, who every year through their donor base, support students on this programme.
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