Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
The UYDF first selects young people to participate in the program in collaboration with the community, which identifies potential applicants through traditional rural councils and other participatory citizen bodies. The second step is School Outreach: UYDF graduates organize Hospital Open Days at local hospitals to share their experiences with prospective applicants from rural public schools. Once students selected by their community for participation in the UYDF are accepted into a university, they qualify for financial support from UYDF, which covers full tuition and board, a book and food allowance, and any other essential expenses required by the curriculum. Alongside financial support, the UYDF offers ongoing mentoring support by a network of mentors, who are in contact with the students monthly and hold them accountable for their academic work. After graduation, all students sign a formal year-for-year Work-Back Contract, which stipulates that for every year of studies supported by UYDF, graduates must work at the rural hospitals.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
The UYDF supports almost 200 students per year (with about 50 of them expected to graduate every year) and has to date produced 185 graduates who received degrees in 16 different health professions: the majority in medicine, but also in nursing, optometry, social work, radiography, physiotherapy, biomedical technology and psychology. Almost 70 percent of graduates are working at rural hospitals. The retention of these professionals really works: even with no further work-back obligations, 60 percent of them continue working in the rural hospitals and the remaining are working in urban public hospitals, doing research or specializing. By 2016, the UYDF plans to increase intake to manage about 250 students per cycle in the program and to scale out into other provinces.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Over the next few years, the UYDF plans to increase student intake and to scale out into other provinces in South Africa facing shortages in medical personnel by sharing the critical aspects of the program and encouraging them to adapt their bursary programs. The UYDF has also signed an agreement with the Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) of the South African government, who will provide loan funding to half of UYDF’s students every year, and is working closely with the provincial Departments of Health. In the next five years, Andrew plans to create a whole new branch of the UYDF to concentrate on post-graduate training opportunities.