The Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) has awarded 15 postgraduate students from the UKZN Criminology and Forensic Studies Discipline with bursaries worth a combined R1 000 050.

Since 2016, students in Criminology and Forensic Studies have been funded with a total of more than R3 million towards their studies. This funding is used towards the students’ tuition fees, accommodation and books.

SASSETA promotes a culture of ongoing learning which facilitates opportunities of skills transfer and development for all South Africans in the safety and security sector.

The students, who are mainly pursuing postgraduate (Honours, Master’s, PhD) qualifications in Criminology and Forensic Studies, were selected on the basis of their academic prowess. The bursaries are a huge financial injection into the postgraduate cohort of students within the Discipline. Through this initiative, students who were previously unable to continue with their studies due to financial constraints are now able to pursue their postgraduate studies.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and UKZN was also extended for the next five years. During this period, the students will participate in the Experiential Learning Programme and will in turn gain experience by assessing inmates within correctional centres in KwaZulu-Natal and other provinces. Students will learn assessment tools used to develop profiling and sentence planning for offenders. The tools will assist students in identifying basic needs and risk factors. They will also be introduced to community profiling to learn the importance of reintegrating offenders back into society once paroled or released.

‘We would like to thank SASSETA for their support,’ said UKZN lecturer, Dr Siyanda Dlamini. ‘By awarding students with these bursaries, they have lightened the financial burden which will allow them to focus more on studying. We hope that one day, these students will be able to help other students achieve their goals just as they (SASSETA) have helped them,’ added Dlamini.

Words: Melissa Mungroo and Siyanda Dlamini

Photograph: Melissa Mungroo