Job Details

Programme Associate: Dell Young Leaders Scholarship Programme

Job Summary
This is a one-year fixed-term contract position, which may be renewed subject to performance and funding being secured from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

Stellenbosch University

Registrar's Division

Programme Associate: Dell Young Leaders Scholarship Programme

(One-year fixed-term contract)
Ref. REG/162/0622

This is a one-year fixed-term contract position, which may be renewed subject to performance and funding being secured from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

The Dell Young Leaders Scholarship Programme empowers first-generation university students from low- income backgrounds to overcome their barriers to success and realise their role as leaders in their communities and careers.

The Programme offers relationship-based support and personalised advice and resources in four areas: academic, financial, wellness and career with a goal of ensuring that at least 80% of students make it to graduation and 100% of graduates are placed in the world of work or career-enhancing further study. The incumbent of this position will serve students at Stellenbosch Campus and Tygerberg Campus.

The initial filling of this post is subject to the availability of external funding.

The Programme Associate will be responsible for delivery of student support on the Dell Young Leaders programme, on behalf of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Stellenbosch University. Specific duties will include:
  • Developing and delivering student risk mitigation and student retention strategy and interventions:
    • Identifying university transition concerns with new Dell Young Leaders students and supporting them to drive future throughput to see the Programme maintain at least a 90% persistence rate;
    • Regularly engaging with students on the Programme to understand any changing support needs;
    • Delivering persistence follow-up for high-risk Dell Young Leaders students identified through term- based check-in processes;
    • Facilitating personalised advising that promotes retention by helping Dell Young Leaders students formulate goals and connecting them with key resources at the University;
    • Working closely with on-campus student services responsible for at-risk students to build referral pathways alongside the Programme Manager;
    • Developing insights and strategies that ensure first-generation university students get to graduation and into the world of work through leveraging the Foundation's scholarship management tools;
    • Driving the achievement of the target to ensure that at least 80% of Dell Young Leaders students graduate with a university degree.
  • Developing a programme of academic, wellness, and career readiness advising to all Dell Young Leaders students:
    • Building strong relationships and maintaining close contact with Dell Young Leaders students to help support them at university;
    • Ensuring that all Dell Young Leaders students receive timely academic, psychosocial, and career readiness assistance;
    • Managing all communications and queries from students on behalf of the Programme, referring to the Programme Manager or Foundation as required;
    • Building a structured academic advising workflow to ensure consistent and high-quality case management of student support needs and risks;
    • Designing and delivering a wellness offering for students on the Programme at Stellenbosch University to prevent/manage psychosocial risk factors;
    • Offering holistic consulting services with students, to discuss both academic and career success strategies, including delivering career advice and guidance services where needed;
    • Assisting with approval of contingent support requests and personalised scholarship disbursement plans based on Dell Young Leaders students' academic performance and financial aid status;
    • Acting as a resource to Dell Young Leaders students with special circumstances that require assistance and/or referrals to other services either on or off campus;
    • Responding tactically to students in trauma or in need of emergency support when required;
    • Ensuring the timely update of information of all Dell Young Leaders students on the Programme's scholarship management technology tool.
  • Supporting the application, selection and onboarding of Dell Young Leaders students to the Programme:
    • Supporting delivery of a communications strategy to drive brand recognition amongst the Programme's target audience;
    • Ensuring that potential applicants are provided with information regarding the Dell Young Leaders Programme;
    • Participating in the interview process, with a view to selecting students that meet the Programme's eligibility criteria;
    • Delivering one-on-one onboarding for all students selected onto the Dell Young Leaders Programme and ensuring they have a clear understanding of the Programme's support offering and technology toolset;
    • Building strong relationships with each cohort of students to ensure Programme buy-in;
    • Supporting delivery of the Programme's annual launch event as required;
    • Ensuring first-year students are matched to an Alumni Mentor as part of the first-year offering to manage their transition to university
  • Maintaining contact with Dell Young Leaders students that have transferred to another university, been academically excluded, or have taken a leave of absence from Stellenbosch University
  • Calling or meeting Dell Young Leaders students that are not active on the Programme at least twice a year, and capturing contact notes on the Dell Young Leaders Programme's technology tool;
  • Providing support to students that are not active on the Programme by providing details of how they can return to university or access other post-secondary school opportunities;
  • Liaising with the Programme team at other partner universities in cases where students are transferring to an institution within the Dell Young Leaders Programme's partner network;
  • Managing this process to ensure the Programme meets its outcome targets of 90% persistence and at least 80% graduation rate.
Job Requirements:
  • A relevant degree;
  • A minimum of three years' relevant work experience;
  • Proven work experience of working with university students and/or young people;
  • Experience in supporting psychosocial challenges and the ability to manage students in trauma;
  • The ability to build relationships with students from low-income backgrounds is essential;
  • Understanding the support needs of university students from low-income backgrounds;
  • A passion and energy for supporting young people¿s success and a solutions-oriented mindset;
  • The ability to think strategically and interact tactically with a diverse student population and demonstrate maturity to deal with sensitive student issues;
  • Excellent planning, evaluation and assessment, time management, marketing and problem- solving skills;
  • The ability to think strategically and interact tactically with diverse student populations in an effective and empowering manner
  • The capability to use data and technology daily;
  • High level proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Excel and PowerPoint;
  • Appetite for and the ability to leverage technology to solve issues in new ways;
  • Exceptional relationship management skills;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Sound written and verbal communication skills;
  • Proven presentation skills;
  • The ability to function in a multilingual and multi-cultural environment;
  • Exceptional team player;
  • Readiness to look at seemingly intractable social challenges in new ways;
  • Unquestioned values and ethics with maturity and sound judgement;
  • Empathy and passion for improving the lives of young people
  • A valid driver's licence and own transport;
  • Willingness and availability to work outside of business hours and travel within South Africa approximately four to six times per year.
  • Understanding of the higher education sector in South Africa;
  • Understanding of social impact or philanthropic organisations;
  • Knowledge of student retention and academic development strategies.

Enquiries regarding this post: Anne Havemann-Serfontein on 021 808 9937, or at

Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits, as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process: Human Resources Client Services Centre on 021 808 2753, or at

Commencement Date: 01-Aug-2022
Closing Date: 30-Jun-2022

The University is committed to employment equity (EE), and appointments will be made in line with the EE plan for the specific environment as well as the institutional EE Plan of Stellenbosch University.

The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and e-mail addresses of at least three referees), must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post.


The University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires people in occupations that entail potential exposure to certain hazards (such as, but not limited to noise, hazardous chemical substances, and hazardous biological agents) to be subjected to medical screening, to determine their fitness to work in the said occupations.

Should no feedback be received from the University within four to six weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.

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