The objectives of the NSLA are to:

Core areas of activity

1.1.1 Leadership Development Programme (LDP)
The Leadership Development Programme (LDP) aims to build a strong student and youth leadership to enable them to participate effectively in the strengthening of education in South Africa. The focus of the LDP is on emerging and current student and youth leaders. It is the objective of the NSLA to ensure that the LDP will become the flagship leadership programme for the Higher Education sector. Its mission is not only to pursue the “Development” of student leaders to ensure that they are capacitated to effectively fulfill their current portfolios, but also to ensure the advancement of these leaders to play key roles in the South African society at large.

  • Provision of a broad range of development and support services to achieve NSLA goals.
  • Maintaining focus on student development and support contributing to individual and collective growth of students leaders as critical resources for their organisations.
  • Offering a diverse range of coherent, well planned leadership development strategies.
  • Provision of resources and good practice to support and extend institutional activity throughout student organisations.

1.1.2 Student & Youth Affairs Research Institute (SYARI)
As a component of society, the youth constitute the biggest group in South Africa.
There is currently a lack of youth focused research in this subject area.
There are many social issues that require a youth-oriented interpretation and focused analysis.

To advance youth development work, it is imperative for the leading youth development organisations to have scientifically collated information on the experience of youth in the different areas of youth work.


  • To create a research institute that will undertake research aimed specifically at issues affecting students and the youth in general.
  • To contribute towards entrenching the culture of research in the country through the recruitment of students and community youth activists.
  • To establish an organisation that will work with other research institutions to gather, analyse and interpret information about youth affairs.
  • To provide civil society, government and private companies with a youth research service.

1.1.3 Leadership Exchange & Advancement Programme (LEAP)
In an attempt to give South African student and youth leaders a global perspective, the NSLA will seek to build relationships with other likeminded institutions the world over. This will go a long way in entrenching an appreciation of diversity amongst our future leaders as well as exposing them to continental and international best practices.


  • To establish multi lateral student and youth leader exchange programmes with other countries in both the developing and developed world.
  • To facilitate cross border leadership development programmes.
  • To facilitate international research projects through SYARI.

1.1.4 Dialogue Lab
Constructive dialogue is the cornerstone of any society and it is vital that discourse of this nature is encouraged at all levels throughout the South African landscape. The Dialogue Lab is the NSLA’s attempt to encourage healthy debate amongst young people.


  • To facilitate constructive dialogue amongst the youth of South Africa.
  • To ensure that the youth is given a voice in a wide range of issues facing South Africa including political, social and economic matters.
  • Host national and international conferences on topical issues facing students and the youth.

Our Vision

To meaningfully contribute towards producing skilled youth who are conscious of their responsibility to build a united and prosperous South Africa.

Our Mission

To position ourselves as a socially conscious youth trust that prides itself with contributing to projects that uplift the lives of youth in our country.

To champion youth development programmes that build capacity and create opportunities for young people and the youth movement.

To attack the scourges of gender inequality and racism through an active promotion of patriotism and equality amongst youth