The Siyaphumelela (“We Succeed”) initiative seeks to broaden evidence-based postsecondary student success strategies across South Africa.

In its second phase - Siyaphumelela Network 2.0 – aims to carry forward the work, achievements and learning from the first phase of the initiative which involved five South African universities (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, University of Pretoria, University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and Durban University of Technology) focused on using data analytics to improve student experiences and success and expand these learnings across the South African higher education sector.

To catalyse student success across the South African higher education system, the key goals of the Siyaphumelela Network are to:

  1. Establish a more student-centred culture in South Africa’s higher education system to improve student completion rates and reduce race and gender equity differences
  2. Improve institutional capacity to collect and use student data to improve student success across the higher education system
  3. Expand evidence-based student success efforts on a national scale, using a networked approach that builds on existing strengths, shares capacity throughout the system, and serves institutions based on their current needs and abilities.

Africa is the only place the Kresge Foundation works outside of the United States. They began funding South African universities in 1989, and to date have invested nearly $30 million to promote South African postsecondary access and success – especially improving student graduation rates.

In 2014, they launched the Siyaphumelela (“We Succeed”) initiative to encourage the use of data analytics to enhance South African university student success. Specifically, Siyaphumelela seeks to build institutional capacity to collect and analyze student data to determine when and why students are not succeeding so that institutions can focus on the most effective interventions through the learnings of the expanded network.

The Siyaphumelela Network 2.0, the second phase of the programme which builds on the experiences of the past six years of the Siyaphumelela initiative is led by Saide, and informed by student success innovators from across the world, such as the University Innovation Alliance and Achieving the Dream. 

The Kresge foundation continues to support the second phase of the programme which remains committed to identifying cost-effective methods of delivering high-quality postsecondary instruction through the latest technological and productivity advances.

Institutional Categories

Siyaphumelela Partner Institutions play a leading role in the development of new tools for their own institution and for the system, lead and support development of a regional network, provide services, and make use of and learn from other services.  

Siyaphumelela Associate Institutions, are high performing new members of the Siyaphumelela Network, and provide additional services as appropriate and could either lead or contribute to the regional networks. In addition, they make use of and learn from other services. 

Siyaphumelela Participant Institutions are more developmental in their orientation and contribute to regional networks and make use of services to develop their institutions.

Siyaphumelela Coaches

Institution who join the Siyaphumelela Network often find it difficult to maintain and maximize the impact of their student success work. Working with a knowledgeable, experienced coach can help. Coaches work with participating institutions to develop strategies based on data, to implement those strategies, and to evaluate whether they help students succeed.

Saide Members