The Science and Mathematics at Stellenbosch University (SciMathUS) programme has once again delivered successful results at this year's graduation ceremony.
The programme, which is presented by the Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP), offers students from educationally disadvantaged circumstances across the country a second chance to qualify for higher education. After completing the SciMathUS programme, many of these same students choose to further their tertiary education at Stellenbosch University (SU).
At the March graduation ceremony, 16 former SciMathUS students will be graduating from various faculties, including the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Since the inception of the programme in 2001, 323 degrees have been awarded to former SciMathUS students.
This year, the following students will receive degrees at the March graduation ceremony:
- Charlton Roux BComHons
- Rowan Mathews BComHons
- Steven O'Ehley BComHons
- Lungiswa Tolobisa BComHons
- Vuyolwethu Mngeni BCom (Economic Sciences)
- Fundeka Ndyoki MSc (Food Science)
- Jillian Mary Kuluse BScFor
- Anthono Kayster BScAgric
- Allistair November BEd (General Education)
- Charné Ross BSc (Human Life Sciences)
- Joanne Levendal BA (Humanities)
- Siphiwo Zidubule BSc (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology)
- Reece Murray BSc (Computer Science)
- Mnqweno Mvundlela BComHons
- Alupheli Ndudula BAcc
- DS Dukhan Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Development
According to Dr Trevor Louw, SUNCEP Director, the success of the SciMathUS students is a testament to the hard work that every staff member at the programme puts into the students. “It's an absolute thrill to see our students performing at this level. They have shown it is possible to overcome the challenges many young people face in our society. Our big thing at SciMathUS has always been to provide access to a second chance at tertiary education. It's even better when that access leads to success."
Most of the 16 students graduating feel very grateful to the SciMathUS programme and the opportunities that it created for them afterwards. “SciMathUS was the best thing I could have done for myself. Stepping into that course makes you driven and motivated. During the programme, we had to dedicate ourselves to something that would help us in the future. The programme not only helped to improve my marks but it also actually changed my perspective on life as well," says Charné Ross.
Lungiswa Tolobisa says that the SciMathUS programme helped her to be more conscious of playing it forward and giving back to other prospective SU students. While completing her degrees at SU, she helped with administrative work for prospective SciMathUS students and was a resident mentor at Boland College in Stellenbosch, where many of the SciMathUS students are accommodated while completing the programme. “There are many things you learn throughout the programme that you don't always appreciate until you actually go through experiences and then you can apply those lessons. I wanted to share those experiences with new students in the programme and, hopefully, help them achieve their goals at SU as well."
According to Reece Murray, who will also be graduating in March, the SciMathUS programme made it possible for him to study what he loves. “I always loved working with computers and completing this programme changed my life. The SciMathUS programme was very encouraging and we really had the best teachers. They always motivated us and pushed us throughout the course. I was able to complete a degree I love and make my mom proud by being the second person in our family to go to university. One day, I hope to return to SU to further my education and, hopefully, have my own software business in the future," says Reece.
Since the inception of the SciMathUS programme in 2001, more than 1 000 students have successfully completed it. The programme focuses mainly on helping matric learners to improve their National Senior Certificate marks in Mathematics and Physical Sciences. The programme also offers Accounting and Introduction to Economics.
In SciMathUS, students have class every week from 08:00 to 16:30.
• Matriculants can contact Adele Poole at 021 808 3032 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the programme.
• For more information on the programme, please liaise with Programme Manager Nokwanda Siyengo at 021 808 2356.