Stellenbosch University
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OPTIMUS programme launch 2023
Author: Dr Sharon Malan
Published: 28/02/2023

Photo credit: Ignus Dreyer / SCPS

​The top achievers attending the event included 3​​​5 second-year students selected to be part of the programme for 2023.

The OPTIMUS programme provides exceptional undergraduate achievers with opportunities to stretch themselves, explore their interests, connect with industry leaders and build lasting relations with their peers.

Since inception in 2016, the OPTIMUS programme has enrolled 33 to 35 top academic achievers yearly, from each department in the faculty, many of whom achieve higher than 75% in their first year of study. Selected students are requested to commit for one year.

According to Dr Sharon Malan, coordinator of the OPTIMUS programme, the aim of the opening event is for students to get to know each other and to get inspired by others' stories.

The programme is the brainchild of Prof Ronel du Preez-Snyman, Vice-Dean: Learning and Teaching, who wanted to create an initiative for top-achieving students.

Also in attendance were faculty academics Hylton Hollander, Alwyn Visser and Dr Stephen Burgess who act as advocates to help develop the students as leaders in their fields. They shared valuable advice and lessons learned with the students in their talk entitled, “Why are you at university?"

Following the welcome on 20 February, students enjoyed a team building session with José Cabral, a Brazilian soccer coach at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport on Saturday 25 February. The focus of the session was all about living well-balanced lives and becoming well-rounded citizens of the world.