Lack of Actuarial Science students’ funding, a national crisis, but an opportunity to invest in actuarial education

The negative impact of Covid 19 on the South Africa’s economy is slowly easing up and the economy is gradually improving. According to Statistics South Africa, the country’s economy slightly expanded by 1,2% in the second quarter of 2021 (April–June 2021). While this is a positive sign of economic recovery, several sectors are still facing … Read more

Actuarial Science bursaries 2022 in South Africa

South African Actuaries Development Programme SAADP was founded in 2003 to actively address the problem of the acute shortage of black actuaries in South Africa. Since its inception, SAADP, has produced over 490 graduates and 70 of whom have qualified as actuaries. Among other bursary providers, SAADP has been and still is the only actuarial … Read more

Congratulations to our recent qualifiers

SAADP congratulates all graduates who have recently qualified and earned new statuses as Associates, Fellows and Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuaries. Our mission is to transform the actuarial profession in South Africa by growing the number of black Actuaries. Applying our simple model – attract, select, and support; we have successfully supported 447 Actuarial Science students … Read more

COVID-19: SAADP students’ academic support goes online

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic; higher education institutions around the world were forced to end face-to-face lectures. This added an immense burden on already straining SAADP students, especially those coming from economically challenged backgrounds. Nevertheless, SAADP students continued to receive academic support via online and social media platforms. We thank the facilitators and … Read more

Meet Jose Benjamin Vattakunnel, our recent qualifier

Each year, SAADP never stops celebrating the great achievement as more of our Alumni qualify as Fellow Actuaries. The number has now grown to a total of 68 qualified Fellow Actuaries produced since inception. In our quest to understand the difficult academic journey they have travelled; we were able to capture the story of Jose … Read more

Passion for Maths inspires graduate to pursue Actuarial Science

Addressing the shortage of black actuaries in South Africa remains a crucial subject as the demand for actuarial professionals continues to grow at a rapid pace. This is the core reason why the South African Actuaries Development Programme exists. Through the donor partners, SAADP continues to produce black actuarial graduates and qualified actuaries who play … Read more

The long and short of a SAADP Alumnus journey

Muhammad matriculated in 2014 from Northwood Boys’ High School in Durban North, KwaZulu Natal before embarking on his Actuarial Science journey at the University of Cape Town the following year. He recalls back in high school when he had to start applying to universities and choose a career path to pursue. At this time, his older sister had already graduated in Actuarial Science at UCT and had begun working in the field. She shared her actuarial experiences with Muhammad and subsequently convinced him to follow the same career path.

Muhammad has recently passed his General Insurance Fellowship exam with the Actuarial Society of South Africa. The Fellowship exam was the final ‘hurdle’ in his Actuarial examinations journey. He has also recently joined the Actuarial, Risk & Quants (ARQ) team at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as an Associate.

The role of SAADP

In his 2nd year of studying, he spoke to his close friend who was in the same class and was one of the SAADP beneficiaries at the time. Through their interaction, Muhammad learnt about the valuable support that SAADP offered both in the classroom (extra tuition sessions) and outside of it (recreational activities). He applied for the programme and was successfully admitted during his 3rd year onwards. After joining SAADP, Muhammad began to truly appreciate all the programmes offered. “Apart from financial and academic support, SAADP uses its network of sponsoring companies to arrange networking events for their students. These events connect students with a number of professionals in the industry and seek their advice,’ he says.

“Where possible, SAADP also organizes vacation work for their students to expose them into the world of work they will eventually become part of. On the softer side of things, SAADP regularly checks on their students to ensure their general well-being and progress are on track,” he continues.

Muhammad expresses gratitude to SAADP for the support he received. He sends his special appreciation to Mr Khwezi Bonani, the Programme Manager at the time. “Khwezi significantly contributed to my ability to secure a job that I enjoy and to swiftly complete my exams,” he remarks.

A word of advice to current & aspiring Actuarial students

The key point of advice for current Actuarial Science students is to persevere. The actuarial career is not for the faint-hearted, however, the rewards awaiting you down the line make the sacrifices worth it.

Muhammad suggests that Grade 12 learners who are interested in pursuing Actuarial Science must speak to current Actuarial Science students. This will make them understand their journey as well as those already working in the field.  He alerts Grade 12 learners that there may be plenty of actuaries who are willing to offer their time to keen individuals. He says this is the best way to know what one can expect from the degree itself, as well as what kind of work one will be involved in, to inform their career choice.

He adds that Actuarial Science plays an important role in managing financial and other risks for entities in the South African economy. Drawing from their strong technical skills, Actuaries are sought after in various sectors ranging from healthcare to pensions which are vital in shaping a better South Africa.

Closing date extended until further notice

Due to the delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the South African Actuaries Development Programme has extended the closing date for bursary applications until further notice. Grade 12 learners and current university students may still submit their applications. To learn more about how to apply, click here. The SAADP Actuarial Science Bursary application goes through … Read more