The Maharishi Institute

The Maharishi Institute: Stepping Stones to educational and economic freedom

Johannesburg, South AfricaJohannesburg, South Africa
Year Founded:
2007
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Maharishi Institute makes tertiary education accessible to all by providing the financing, education access, skills development path, personal development tools, and a supportive environment so that students can make it step by step to a life of success and achievement.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if everyone had access to higher education and could be guaranteed work on graduation?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

South Africa. Despite efforts to reform the education system, low quality schooling persists and traps many in poverty. This is exacerbated by the facts that tertiary education is prohibitively expensive, and that distance learning has not proved to be a viable alternative.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The Maharishi Institute addresses the need of students for a high-quality, affordable tertiary education that leads to job opportunities by providing alternative means by which students can pay for higher education. Students can pay their way through the Business Administration degree in four different ways: (1) manage and maintain the campus; (2) mentor younger students; (3) work in real work-places as interns; (4) provide support services to the community, including teaching. This is “learn and earn” methodology works by allowing students to learn while making the campus self-sufficient. In this way, the institute also allows students to feel responsible for their own learning and financial empowerment.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The Maharishi Institute provides high quality, free education by having students earn the money necessary to go through their schooling in one of four ways: (1) manage and maintain the campus; (2) mentor younger students; (3) work in real workplaces as interns; (4) provide various support services to the community, including teaching. The institution implements options three and four through its on campus call center, as well as its Corporate University. Through both programs, students are able to build employable skills, while earning their way through school. No matter which option, students are encouraged to be responsible for their own learning and financial empowerment.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

As of 2012, Taddy’s efforts have led to over 5,500 unemployed South Africans being educated,finding employment and moving from poverty to the middle-class. Over 600,000 young South Africans have also been trained in learning-skills courses in the other seven institutions Taddy helped found with this model. Now he plans to reach another 3,000 students through Maharishi Institute and establish two new campuses. His agricultural university, Ezemvelo Eco-campus, will reach 200 students by 2013. Taddy hopes to create a “University in a Box” franchising scheme for his model to reach 100,000 students in all Sub-Saharan Africa in 8 years, with an estimated cost of US $2 per student per day. He is also planning a replication of his model in the Brazilian State of Bahia, where 80% of the population is black and where youth face similar problems with access to higher education.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Taddy hopes to create a “University in a Box” franchising scheme for his model to reach 100,000 students in all Sub-Saharan Africa in 8 years, with an estimated cost of US $2 per student per day. He is also planning a replication of his model in the Brazilian State of Bahia, where 80% of the population is black and where youth face similar problems with access to higher education.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The ‘learn & earn’ method is one key component among several to ensure sustainability, with each student able to fund 4 additional students. Students help to run and maintain the university while completing their studies and teach young people in their home villages during their holidays. Once they have graduated and secured employment, they pay for the university costs of another student. Learn more: http://maharishiinstitute.org/learn-earn

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are organizations using particular parts of the Maharishi Institute model; however they do not consolidate all these parts as the Maharishi Institute does. For example, there are many organizations that use the microfinance model to finance college, and there are organizations like SEKEM in Egypt that provide students employment to make schooling a worthy investment; however the Maharishi Institute integrates these methods and others to create an institution that is sustainable, and encourages personal responsibility.
Team

Founding Story

In 1995, Taddy had packed all his belongings and was on the verge of emigrating from South Africa, when he had a moving experience on a 1st time drive into Johannesburg’s black townships, As a highly educated white male, he had never been exposed to the hardships of these townships. “I saw aching poverty but also the greatest and most valuable resource: human potential,” he said. At that moment, he made a life-changing decision to do something to help his country. He realized that if South Africa was going to develop a sustainable future, it needed to provide entrepreneurial education and direct professional paths for the poor black youth. Taddy decided not to move, but instead dedicate himself to transforming South African education.

Team

Richard Peycke: Co-Founder and Chairperson of Maharishi Institute. Richard Peycke started his career in the IT industry. He earned a BA degree in psychology and in economics from the University of SA. He co-founded the Community and Individual Development Association in 1979 and since then has been a pioneer of the system of Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa.
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Comments

Bernhard Hofer's picture

Great project. While I was reading through your project description, SEO (Sponsors of Educational Opportunities: http://www.seo-usa.org) came to my mind. Probably you can check them out and get in touch. I would love to keep in touch and hope you can scale your idea. All the best!