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The recent introduction of free higher education for the poor and working class in South Africa has given us reason to celebrate...
... because REAP’s core mission since our inception in 2001 has always been to assist rural students make it into Higher Education – and then to succeed...   READ MORE
The recent introduction of free higher education for the poor and working class in South Africa has given us reason to celebrate because REAP’s core mission since our inception in 2001 has always been to assist rural students make it into Higher Education – and then to succeed.

However, whilst the financial barriers to access have now been substantially removed, retention and throughput rates of NSFAS students remain unacceptably low. REAP’s core focus now therefore is to ensure that there is a far greater return on the dramatically increased public investment in higher education, in terms of graduations and employment rates for rural students. We also strive to inculcate values consistent with our Catholic ethos such as integrity, community service and active responsible citizenship.

REAP no longer recruits new students from rural schools but rather online or directly from university, though still retaining our previous selection criteria, namely that the student matriculates from a rural school and comes from a household with an income less than R122,000 per annum. This is in keeping with our shift in emphasis whereby our core business is no longer getting rural students into university but rather getting those who make it there through to graduation.

We only recruit new students from six Higher Education Institutions, namely UJ, UWC, NMU, UKZN, UFS & CUT – and Motheo TVET College in Bloemfontein. We will however continue to support all current students until completion of their studies.
MINIMIZE


Due to a programmatic shift, REAP will NOT be accepting unsolicited online applications for 2021. Our focus areas for 2021 are very targeted, based on funder guidelines and therefore limited to a small selection of institutions, courses and new students, all of whom will be recruited from very specific geographic areas.


2020 Annual Report

We are proud to present our latest and first-ever online Annual Report. Read all about our 2020 Cohort and Results Analysis as well as the impact of Covid-19 and how REAP has adapted to an ever-changing environment. CLICK HERE

Future Directions


The Rural Education Access Programme was formed in 2001 as an associate body of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference with a desire to reduce rural poverty by facilitating access into higher education for learners from financially disadvantaged households. REAP has always supplemented state funding (NSFAS/NSF loans and bursaries) with top up grants and holistic... READ MORE

The Impact of Covid-19

Following lock down announcements in March, all REAP students had to vacate their residences and return home. Classes were suspended indefinitely until the institutions could convert their academic programme to an online platform. Most of the institutions managed to negotiate zero rated data status for their websites and learning portals and also made data directly available to students...READ MORE