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Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education

The Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education (ASPIHE) provides a rigorous and in-depth overview of philanthropic support to universities in South Africa. This research reveals the commitment of global and South African philanthropy to the South African university sector, and also showcases the important role of Advancement offices in managing philanthropic support.

Information about the state of philanthropic support to higher education institutions in South Africa was sparse and scattered until the first ASPIHE report. Few universities collected comprehensive data on this kind of funding and its costs for internal purposes, least of all made it available to others, and no reliable national perspectives existed. Data about philanthropic funding to the higher education sector has since taken on added significance in the context of the national crisis in university and student funding, and protest actions. 

The composition of the ASPIHE samples has shifted slightly over the years, and the participation rate has ranged from nine to twelve universities.

The research has shown the positive impact when education institutions adopt Advancement principles, and invest in greater numbers of professional staff to undertake fundraising and alumni relations.

ASPIHE has also alerted the sector to skewed systems of philanthropic giving in the South African university system, pointing to the need for more research on the patterns of philanthropic support.

ASPIHE Round Table

Inyathelo held a round table discussion on 23 June 2022 on the Annual Survey of Philanthropy in Higher Education (ASPIHE). This debate on the role of philanthropic support to South African universities was moderated by Bill Moses, managing director of the Kresge Foundation’s Education Programme, and a strong supporter of Inyathelo. The discussion included a presentation from the author of the research, Prof. Beverly Thaver, Professor of Higher Education at the University of the Western Cape. Panelists included  Prof. Ahmed Bawa, the Executive Director of Universities South Africa (USAf), Sarah Rennie, Board Chair of the Independent Association of Philanthropy, Prof. Sibusiso Moyo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, Durban University of Technology; and  Dr Russell Ally, Executive Director: Institutional Advancement, University of the Free State.

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