Mineral Education Trust Fund for South African Universities
The Braamfontein-based Mineral Education Trust Fund (METF) promotes, supports and does all it can to advance education in the field of minerals. It does this by providing funding that is used to supplement the salaries of academics teaching in the various mining disciplines: geology, and metallurgy and chemical engineering. These funds are generated by donations and ensure that the METF is able to contribute toward “sustainable access to the economy”.
The Mining Qualifications Authority of South Africa, established nearly two decades ago, is the SETA for mining and minerals, and one of the most successful Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) in the country. And it is the MqaSETA that sets the qualifications and unit standards for this particular educational sector.
Mining is, of course, an immensely critical industry and it is vital that people are well trained to teach those who will enter the industry as employees.
About the METF
Constituted 14 years ago, the METF’s main objective is to ensure that minerals education at tertiary level is sustainable within the country’s higher education institutions. Initially it grew from the previous Chamber of Mines Education Fund, but today it is not allied to the Chamber in any way, but has been constituted by its own Trust Deed.
It is recognised as an important funding body within the mining industry and in the sector to which the MqaSETA is allied.
The reality is that even though teachers of mining and metallurgical elements, geology, and minerals processing engineering are considered a vital part of the mining sector, salaries are considerably lower than those paid elsewhere in the industry. The METF therefore aims to increase salaries of MqaSETA-related teachers to within 66 percent to 80 percent of the industry norm. By doing this they are providing an incentive for teaching staff in the mining sector to continue teaching, and to encourage newcomers to the industry to consider academic careers teaching mining-related subjects.
Institutions Funded by METF
Universities in four of the country’s provinces are funded by the METF, and bursaries are available for a total of nine institutions, the:
- University of Witwatersrand’s Schools of Mining Engineering, Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, and Geosciences
- University of Pretoria’s Departments of Geology, Mining Engineering, and Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering
- University of Johannesburg’s Departments of Geological Sciences, Extraction Metallurgy, and Mining Engineering
- UNISA’s Department of Electrical and Mining Engineering
- University of Stellenbosch’s Departments of Process Engineering, and Earth Sciences
- University of Cape Town’s Departments of Geological Sciences, and Chemical Engineering
- University of KwaZulu Natal’s School of Geological Sciences
- University of the Free State’s Department of Geology
- North West University’s School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering
How to Get Funding
Career Wise, a specialist company that manages scholarship and bursary programmes, handles all applications for funding by the METF, and they administrate the Fund.
Where to find the Application Form?
Applications forms are available from METF, but are sent to Career Wise.
Because the METF is registered as a public benefit organisation, those who donate to the fund are exempt from tax. The Fund also has a B-BBEE scorecard evaluation and contributions made can be claimed via socio-economic development.