South African Education and Environment Project  

SAEP Educational ProgrammesProgrammes » Bridging Year Programme


About the Bridging Year Programme. In the impoverished black townships surrounding Cape Town, thousands of students sit their final high school examinations at the end of each year. The lucky ones, those who have had teacher and parent support, have a chance at passing, although many will fail. Those that pass rarely obtain the marks that would qualify them for college or university. 


Having attended under-resourced, under-performing high schools, even the brightest are likely to have significant gaps in their academic abilities, and rarely have help in preparing applications for admissions, student loans, scholarships and/or bursaries.


In response to this need, SAEP launched the Bridging Year programme in 2003 to provide intensive academic development, skill-enhancement and leadership skill training in preparation for programme participants' tertiary study and careers.


SAEP's Bridging Year Programme includes:

  • Academic tutoring to enable students to improve their scores in selected matric subjects;
  • Personal mentorship and life skills development;
  • Basic computer training and experience using Microsoft Office and the internet in SAEP's computer lab;
  • Academic and career counseling;
  • Job shadowing;
  • Assistance in preparing applications to tertiary schools and learnerships and for financial aid;
  • Eligibility for SAEP's Tertiary Support programme;
  • Regular community service in SAEP's High School and Early Childhood Development programmes; and
  • Extra-curricular enrichment activities, including courses on current events, poetry and entrepreneurship, as well as Touchstones discussion groups and outdoor camps and hikes.

Links: Photos. Video. More Information. Download the 2014 application.



SAEP's Bridging Year Programme is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).

National Lottery Logo

To find out about other projects supported by the NLDTF,
visit the National Lotteries Board website.

I am now sure what I want to do with my life because of SAEP.
- Amanda, Bridging Year graduate

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