Building an inclusive creative industry starts with a good education, ensuring young people are empowered to hold their own in the working world and sustain successful careers in the future.
Vega, a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), supports transformation in South Africa’s brand communication fields with bursary programmes and annual events, like the famous ‘Vega Brand Challenge’, that nurture the next generation of decision makers.
“We want to make sure that every student who passes through our doors, regardless of their background, has the tools to build a successful career and make valuable contributions towards the growth of South Africa’s creative economy,” says Shevon Lurie, Managing Director at Vega.
There are currently 73 bursary students registered at Vega, many of which are recipients of bursaries from the Vega Grant Fund. Bursaries from this Fund are typically granted to deserving second and third year and honours students who have a strong academic record. The Fund is supported entirely by proceeds from the Vega Brand Challenge, an exciting annual event, in which students form their own brand consultancies and tackle real-life briefs for real-life clients.
Vega emphasises the importance of students being paid for their work and ideas to instil a sense of ownership and give them practical insight into the realities of the working world. In addition, with the money they receive being re-invested towards helping others enjoy similar opportunities, the students play an active role in nurturing the next generation of talent.
“Our bursary programmes are designed to create a ripple effect, so that our students understand how hard work, determination and innovative thinking can have a positive impact on other young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds,” says Lurie.
In addition to bursaries supported by the Fund, Vega provided seven KZN-based students with full scholarships in 2017 as part of its ongoing association with the Loeries Creative Future Scholarship programme, which provides deserving youth with bursaries and education opportunities in creative fields worth over R1 million. Each bursary covers the cost of tuition, accommodation, travel expenses, textbooks, and a laptop.
In 2015, Vega partnered with Rockstart, a non-profit organisation which provides talented young people from disadvantaged communities with access to quality and relevant education for careers in creativity. Saraah Saint and Maliya Muhande are among the 24 Rockstart Bursary students currently at Vega, with both having already won awards for their work.
Saint, a third year Visual Communications student, won a D&AD Pencil Award for the Who Wore it Best? a campaign idea she co-submitted to the D&AD’s ‘New Blood’ category for 2017, and 3rd-year student, Muhande won a Gold Loerie for The Dumbest Project, an integrated campaign she submitted with a fellow Vega student.
Lurie elaborates, “Bursary and scholarship students across the board have access to unique opportunities which allow them to immerse themselves in their chosen industries, whether their choice is commerce or advertising. Vega has been committed to providing wider access to education and unique career opportunities through its bursary programmes since the school was established in 1999.”
Vega is dedicated to building a more inclusive brand communication industry in South Africa, with IIE qualifications ranging from a Bachelor of Computer and Information Science in Game Design and Development, to a Bachelor of Commerce in Strategic Brand Management all designed to promote strategic, solution-focused thinking.
For more information about Vega and the range of IIE qualifications available for study in 2018, as well as the bursaries and scholarships the school facilitates, visit www.vegaschool.com.