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'I seized the opportunity''I seized the opportunity'Othmar Vorster<p><strong>Othmar Vorster</strong></p><p>SciMathUS class of 2017</p><p>Degree Programme: BScHons in Earth Sciences 2021</p><p> </p><p>I am Othmar Vorster, originally from Kakamas, but moved to Aggeneys in the Bushmanland region of the Northern Cape at a young age. I was always an achiever at school.<br></p><p>I participated in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists International Science Fair for three consecutive years where I obtained a bronze and a silver medal in my second year of participation. I was also selected as part of the top performers in my province to participate in the Hope@Maties programme in 2016.</p><p>Everything changed when my parents divorced. I was just not the same student anymore and my grades dropped as a result. In my matric year, my results for Mathematics and Physical Sciences were not up to standard and I was unable to apply for the MB,ChB degree at Stellenbosch University. I felt that I had not only disappointed myself but also my parents and teachers who believed in me.</p><p>My former Maths teacher told me about SciMathUS. I seized the opportunity and never looked back. I was difficult for me to see many of my matric year class and some of those who were part of the Hope@Maties programme on the Stellenbosch campus, but that made me more determined to make a success of my SciMathUS year.</p><p>SciMathUS gave me the opportunity to consider many career choices. We were also informed of the pitfalls of studying at university, for instance the issues that previous students had encountered, and what they did to overcome their challenges. This made me more determined as someone from a small town and very far from home, not to fail in any way. The experience broadened my vision and at the end of the year I knew exactly what I wanted to become one day.  </p><p>My attention shifted from the MB,ChB to Geology. The Department of Earth Sciences is located across from the Education Faculty and I often popped in there to find out more about the course, lecturers and qualification requirements. At the end of my SciMathUS year, I decided to rather apply for a BSc in Earth Sciences (Applied Geology). And I did not regret my choice, as I immediately felt at home where I was. I completed my degree and postgraduate degree in the minimum required time. All thanks to SciMathUS who introduced me to the various offerings at Stellenbosch University so that I could make an informed decision.</p><p>My message to students who feel they have failed, or disappointed their parents, is a motivational quote that stood out during my year at SciMathUS: “You have not come this far, to only come this far."</p><p>Whenever you fail or stumble, just remember that it's not the end. You did not get so far only to give up everything. You are not a failure. There is something inside you ready to take on the world.</p><p>Without SciMathUS and their support, I would not have known what was inside me. They helped me gain confidence and to pursue my dreams to the best of my ability. I am grateful to SciMathUS and their team for helping me realise my dreams. The insecure young man who joined your programme is now a man who has the world in his hands. I will forever be grateful to you.<br></p><p><br></p>
Top jazz musicians come to the party to raise funds for students jazz musicians come to the party to raise funds for studentsDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p></p><p>Jazz lovers can look forward to a cosy winter evening with sizzling entertainment aimed at raising funds for a good cause – helping students settle their university fees. On Wednesday, 8 June two of Cape Town's top jazz virtuosos, <strong>Billy Domingo</strong> and <strong>Don Vino Prins</strong>, will be in attendance at the Alumni Clubhouse at Die Stal in Stellenbosch in aid of #Action4Inclusion, a fundraising initiative of Stellenbosch University (SU), under the auspices of Prof Thuli Madonsela, Law Trust Chair in Social Justice.</p><p>Prof Madonsela says that it is a huge honour for the University and the #Action4Inclusion campaign to host Cape Town's top musical talent. “Last year we held a successful comedy evening in aid of #Action4Inclusion, so we decided to focus on music this year. The performing arts are a powerful tool to unite people and provide much-needed relief from our daily struggles. We are grateful for artists who offer their time and sublime talents to support our quest for zero student debt and financial exclusion."</p><p>Billy Domingo is known for being the festival director of the popular Cape Town International Jazz Festival. He started working in the theatre as a young man in the 1960s and later honed his craft in the music industry while working behind the scenes of music productions and as a tour manager for one of South Africa's most famous musicians, Lucky Dube. Asked about the importance of the performing arts, Domingo said, “The arts have always been close to my heart and after the devastation of Covid-19 and its lasting effect on the music industry, it's great to see the arts are starting to revive and thrive again. It's an honour working with and supporting young musicians and performers with my great friend, Don Vino Prins, and I look forward to sharing my experiences and knowledge of the industry at the event."</p><p>Versatile saxophone wizard, Don Vino Prins, has been a shining star on the music scene for over 20 years and is best known for his Saxy Vibes show. He is masterful in any genre – from gospel to reggae, hip-hop, pop and jazz. </p><p>The musical duo will be introduced by compère Pieter Swart of SU's Alumni Office and guests can look forward to cheese and wine to complement the evening's entertainment.</p><p>Prof Madonsela says that it is heartening to see how the support for the #Action4Inclusion campaign has grown over the past two years. The initiative, launched in 2020, was conceptualised by SU's Student Representative Council, Prof Madonsela, Prof Sonia Human (former dean of SU's Faculty of Law) and Social Justice Ambassadors. The funds raised via #Action4Inclusion are used to support students who cannot register for the next academic year due to outstanding fees, as well as graduates who cannot access their academic records upon graduation.</p><p>The main aim of the #Action4Inclusion campaign is to ensure the academic inclusion of all students, explains Prof Madonsela. “The plight of students who are overwhelmed by university fees debt is of great concern. Many students from under-resourced backgrounds struggle to pay their university fees and are often at risk of dropping out."</p><p>Join Prof Madonsela and the #Action4Inclusion team for an evening of first-class entertainment that will drive away the winter blues <em>and</em> help deserving students. </p><p>Tickets for the #Action4Inclusion Jazz Concert on 8 June can be booked on the website <a href=""><strong></strong></a><strong> </strong>at R200 per person. </p><p><strong>Donate to #Action4Inclusion:</strong> <a href=""><strong></strong></a><strong></strong><br></p><p>​<br></p>
Alumna can't wait to 'impact lives for the better' can't wait to 'impact lives for the better'Development & Alumni Relations<p></p><p>It is not how you start out but where you end up – this is the lesson first-generation student Agnes Molebatsi had to learn on her higher education journey at Stellenbosch University (SU). But, thankfully for her, it was a lesson which was made much more bearable through her participation in the university's SciMathUS university preparation programme.</p><p>The SciMathUS programme gives high school learners who have already passed Grade 12 but do not qualify for higher education selection a second opportunity to improve their National Senior Certificate (NSC) results in mathematics, physical sciences and accounting. This will enable them to re-apply for university programmes.<br></p><p>Molebatsi started life in the small town of Khutsong in Carletonville in the Gauteng province.<br></p><p>“In our town the top careers that were highly esteemed and deemed significant by the community were engineering, medicine, law and teaching.  So, growing up my aspirations were centred around those career fields as well as my choices of study. But my matric marks did not qualify me to get into medicine or engineering, and because of my Christian background I chose to study something related to youth ministry (B.Th. Youth work) at SU. But in 2015, during an SU open day, I discovered animal science farming and became passionate about the possibility of finding new ways to farm sustainably and new technology that can be adopted to help feed our growing population. Right there I knew that this is what I wanted to do."</p><p>She decided to change her course but the obstacle was her matric marks which did not meet the minimum requirements for her to embark on the BSc Agri (Animal Science) programme that she wanted to study. It was then that she encountered the SciMathUS programme and managed to enrol in the class of 2015.<br></p><p>“My SciMathUs journey was not an easy one. I struggled a lot because the NSC syllabus had changed the previous year so I had to start from scratch to learn some mathematical concepts. But the lecturers were patient with me, and they encouraged me to book extra sessions to help me understand the concepts. I persevered and was able to improve my physical science and mathematics marks and to obtain admission to the BSc Animal Science course."<br></p><p>Molebatsi is currently studying towards a MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and plans to one day start her own poultry farming business where she would be able to transfer the skills she learnt from SU to her community.<br></p><p>“My aim is to improve livelihoods through the science of sustainable farming, to help small-scale farmers to increase production and to increase their efficiency in an environmentally friendly manner."<br></p><p>But for the moment she is ploughing back into the SciMathUS community as a SciMathUS mentor.<br></p><p>“I was fortunate enough to be appointed as a mentor and can now share my experiences with the current SciMathUS students. Just to be in a position to inspire those who are on the path that I walked, is fulfilling. One day when I am financially stable, I would love to become one of the donors who keep the programme running and who impact so many lives for the better."​​</p>
SciMathUS plays integral part in Timothy's success plays integral part in Timothy's successDaniel Bugan<p></p><p>Timothy Juries is well on his way to establishing himself in the animal science sector after the Stellenbosch University SciMathUS programme offered him a second chance at higher education study. </p><p>The SciMathUS university preparation programme gives high school learners who have already passed Grade 12 but do not qualify for higher education selection, a second opportunity to improve their National Senior Certificate (NSC) results in mathematics, physical sciences and accounting. This will enable them to re-apply for university programmes. </p><p>Having been involved in the Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy's (SUNCEP) Eskom Expo for Young Scientists throughout high school where he rubbed shoulders with staff, lecturers and researchers, Juries was set on furthering his studies there. But poor matric marks thwarted that plan. </p><p>“I did not know what to do and where to go and became very depressed. I was running out of options but then I discovered the video of Dr Gerald Maarman (who was in the SciMathUS class of 2003 and is today a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences). I immediately called my mom, but couldn't get through to her. But meanwhile she was trying to contact me because she saw an advertisement (about the programme) in <em>Die Burger</em>. That was enough motivation for me to give it a go."</p><p>He was accepted into the SciMathUS class of 2013 and managed to double his grades for mathematics and physical science at the end of the year-long programme. </p><p>“I am very grateful that I got this opportunity. In the beginning I was a bit demotivated because my friends started as full time students while I couldn't. But I am grateful to my SciMathUS mentor, Mr Lynthon Jacobs, who motivated us to do better." </p><p>Juries says the programme further exposed him to university life and strengthened his decision to remain at SU.</p><p>In 2017, Juries embarked on a BSc (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology) degree but then switched to a PGDip in AgriSciences “because I realised that my passion lies in the animal sciences sector". He then completed a MSc in Aquaculture (Animal Sciences) in 2021 “as I saw great potential for future research and job opportunities in this field". </p><p>He is currently working as an assistant hatchery manager at Three Streams Holdings in Franschhoek where he is responsible for overseeing the hatching of trout ova (eggs) and their growth. </p><p>“In this position I am hands-on involved in the process and it is challenging me to think out of the box and to be innovative to increase output and production. I am also gaining a lot of experience that you don't get as a student." </p><p>Juries, who hails from the Western Cape town of Atlantis where unemployment, lack of housing and crime are major challenges, said: “I come from an environment where the fastest and easiest way to make a living is to join a gang and to take part in criminal activities. I had to swim against the tide to get where I am today. I can only thank my family and teachers who supported and motivated me along the way, and, of course, SciMathUs which I see as a lifeline for kids growing up in environments where I came from."<br></p><p>​<br></p>
THINK Bench ‘a well-timed addition’ to changing SU landscape Bench ‘a well-timed addition’ to changing SU landscapeDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p>Stellenbosch University (SU) has unveiled an iconic 10-ton functional art piece – the THINK Bench – which was donated to the University by GT Ferreira, a Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) founder and SU alumnus. <br></p><p>The 13-metre sculptural public artwork, designed to celebrate and encourage innovative and collaborative solutions, will now be a permanent fixture on the lawn in front of the Faculty of Engineering complex in Banghoek Road.</p><p>The bench was designed by renowned artist Louis Olivier and his team from the Workhorse Bronze Foundry in Johannesburg. <br></p><p>​The bench spells out the word 'THINK' from one side, while another perspective reveals life-sized human silhouettes in different thinking poses. It acts as a reflective reminder to students passing by that sometimes one needs to change one's perspective to think differently. <br></p><p>Sandri du Plessis, Engineering Student Council Chair, said the artwork will contribute immensely to a more transformative and diverse campus and community.<br></p><p>“We are really trying to move towards a more diverse, more transformative student experience and I think the THINK Bench will really be a constant reminder of that (vision). We are planning on utilising this extensively and I hope that other faculties will use it too. We really want to try to get to a point where we are an integrated university community."<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Think_light.jpg" alt="Think_light.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p>Ferreira, who co-founded RMB over four decades ago, said he donated this bench to act as a visible prompt to inspire students to do what all students are supposed to do but don't always do – and that is to sit and think instead of just absorbing information in class and regurgitating it in exams.<br></p><p>“While this might sound trite the effort that is put into thinking is often underestimated. It was Henry Ford who coined the following phrase in 1928: 'Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few people engage in it'."<br></p><p>He added that students should use the bench to think how they can make the world and South Africa a better place.<br></p><p>“Think about important issues such as how can I help to promote racial harmony in the country, how can I assist in solving the problem of unemployment, how can I assist this university to become even better."<br></p><p>Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said that the U​niversity is on a journey of renewing its institutional culture, of visually redressing its physical spaces.<br></p><p>“Therefore, this RMB THINK Bench is a very well-timed addition to the changing Stellenbosch University landscape. We strive to be forward thinking and thought leaders and innovators through research who come up with solutions to complex questions and challenges we face in our country, continent and the world. That is exactly the response that we would like the THINK Bench to evoke in us. But not only that, it will also force us to have diversity of thought, to have students and staff and a greater university community who don't just think alike but who challenge each other to improve our ideas."<br></p><p>The interactive sculpture that could host more than 20 students, seated, is a replica of a greater edition in concrete commissioned by RMB, the first of which was installed on the RMB Think Precinct at its Sandton headquarters in Johannesburg and now is a recognisable landmark in Sandton. The THINK Bench project was inspired by RMB's vision to be part of an initiative to unlock creative and innovative energy in prominent places of 'fearless thinking' around the country.<br></p><p><strong>ABOUT RAND MERCHANT BANK</strong></p><p>Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) is a leading corporate and investment bank and part of one of the largest financial services groups (by market capitalisation) in Africa – FirstRand Limited. It offers clients innovative, value-added advisory, funding, trading, corporate banking and principal investment solutions.</p><p>As the corporate and investment banking arm of FirstRand, RMB has access to a network of banks in 10 African countries, as well as representative offices in Kenya, Angola and China, and branches in the UK and India.</p><p>RMB believes in art (in all its diverse forms) as a universal language. It has no boundaries and has the ability to capture the spirit of time, transform lives, impact the economy and unite societies. Unlike sport, in art there are no losers – everyone wins. The RMB Fund supports organisations in the disciplines of music, dance, drama, visual art and heritage to develop talent, empower artists and unlock social transformation. The bank also creates powerful platforms to provide easy access to art, develop and showcase artists and elevate art collecting across a wider, more diverse market to strengthen the Creative Economy.<br></p><p>Another key focus is the attraction of young talent through the Minds that Matter graduate campaign.</p><p><strong>For more information please visit: </strong><a href=""></a> <br></p><p>​<br></p>
Convocation meeting set for 21 April meeting set for 21 AprilDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p></p><div>Members of the Convocation of Stellenbosch University (SU) are invited to the annual meeting of the Convocation Thursday, 21 April 2022 at 19h00. The meeting will be held at the Coetzenburg Centre in Stellenbosch and online for Convocation members unable to attend in person.</div><div><br></div><div>The Convocation is a statutory body consisting of all SU graduates and diplomates, including current postgraduate students who completed their undergraduate studies at SU, as well as all full-time and retired academic staff of the University.</div><div><br></div><div>The guest speaker is Ms Helen Zille, former Mayor of Cape Town and former Premier of the Western Cape Province. The Mayors of Stellenbosch and Cape Town will be guests of honour at the event.<br></div><div><br></div><div><a href="/english/donors/Documents/Agenda_Convocation_2022.pdf" target="_blank" title="Final Agenda" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Click here</strong></a> for the final agenda of the meeting.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Please confirm your attendance via e-mail to <strong style="text-decoration:underline;"></strong>. Light refreshments will be served after the meeting.​</div><p>​<br></p>
SU and The Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation introduce new Chancellor’s Bursary Programme and The Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation introduce new Chancellor’s Bursary ProgrammeDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p>​​Stellenbosch University (SU) has launched its new flagship bursary programme sponsored by philanthropic institution The Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation (CEFF) to the value of R9 million.  During the launch the University also introduced the first cohort of 30 students who will benefit from the initiative over the next three years. <br></p><p>The programme, named the <strong>CEFF-Chancellor's Bursary Programme at SU</strong>, is specifically targeted at assisting 'missing middle' students and the scheme encompasses two dimensions: creating access by means of providing financial aid and facilitating the academic success of bursary holders.</p><p>The bursary offers top-up funding to qualifying students to a maximum of R75 000 per year, which can be used to assist in paying for study expenses such as tuition, accommodation, meals, study aids or books. In addition, the bursary also aims to optimise the probability of academic performance by offering 'wrap-around' support services. This includes mentoring, supplementary tutoring, peer learning and sharing events, psychosocial support, study skills, personal and professional development, supplementary academic support and referral of students for specialised services, based on their individual needs.<br></p><p>The 30 students, selected across nine faculties at SU, will each be supported for a period of three years, provided that they meet the academic progression requirements. The eligible students who comprise the current cohort were either nominated and subsequently invited to apply or they had already applied for funding / financial aid. <br></p><p>Dr Riaan Els, CEO of CEFF and himself a former grant recipient, congratulated the students and urged them to commit to ploughing back into the community just as the Foundation has made the investment in their professional development through the implementation of this bursary programme.<br></p><p><strong>Paying it forward</strong></p><p>After providing an overview of the history and grantmaking strategy of the Foundation, it was time to secure the assurance of the CEFF bursary holders.  “I would like to ask for your commitment in identifying at least one person who you can help along the way. Be the best teacher, scientist, lawyer, engineer, accountant, and doctor, etc. that you can be, but also find at least one other human being who you can help. Can we count on you?"</p><p>With that, in a moving and defining moment, all 30 students rose as one to pledge their commitment to indeed make a difference by paying it forward. </p><p>Chancellor Justice Edwin Cameron, custodian of the programme, emphasised how proud he is to endorse the Chancellor's Programme and what an honour it is for him to occupy this position at Stellenbosch University.<br></p><p>“I get enormous joy from it, and why is that? It is to see young people like yourself leading our country and creating the future that my generation, black and white, have not sufficiently lived up to. I think our generation has made so many mistakes, but now you have the chance to make that difference"<br></p><p>He thanked Dr Els and CEFF for selecting Stellenbosch University as partners in designing and implementing this exciting initiative. <br></p><p><strong>Financial peace of mind</strong></p><p>Bursary recipient Dumisani Mugari, who grew up in challenging circumstances in rural Venda, related how, despite getting up at 5 o'clock each morning to travel 60 kilometers to attend a high school with an outstanding Mathematics programme, his dream of becoming a medical doctor was crushed by initially not being accepted for medical studies.  However, after completing a degree in Engineering at VUT, he applied again and was accepted at SU, but now affording the studies was a major challenge. During the course of last week, he received the incredible news - confirmation that he would be awarded a Chancellor's bursary.</p><p>“It felt like I had been given a second chance in life to do what I really wanted to do, and that all those years of hard work and sacrifice have finally been recognised when someone came to aid me in my journey.  As this bursary empowers me to escape the circle of poverty, which a lot of my brothers and sisters back home are still trapped in, I commit to plough it back into the community with the skills and network of people that I'll acquire through this programme."</p><p>Also Joy Schoor, who is in her second year of studying medicine at SU, described it as a huge relief when she heard that she would be offered this bursary. “It is a huge burden off my shoulders and those of my parents' because I have a brother who also needs to be supported. It is really amazing". <br></p><p>Catlin Kedian, who is in the second year of her Dietetics studies at the Tygerberg campus, said the bursary comes at just the right time as her family went through serious financial difficulties during the Covid-19 period. “This will have such an impact on my life as it will allow me to focus on what I am here to do and not to constantly worry about whether I can afford to do it," she said.<br></p><p><span lang="EN-US"><em>Photo:</em></span><em> The Chancellor Bursary recipients are seen here (front row) with Dr Riaan Els, CEO of The Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation, Prof Stan du Plessis, Chief Operating Officer of SU, Dr Ronel Retief, SU Registrar and SU Chancellor, Justice Edwin Cameron.</em></p><p>​</p>
Rector to lead Maties in Cape Town Cycle Tour to lead Maties in Cape Town Cycle TourDevelopment & Alumni<p>​Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, is once again showing his support for Matie students.<br></p><p>On Sunday, 13 March 2022, Prof De Villiers will lead a team of 32 alumni, staff, students and friends of the University, in the109 km Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT) to raise funds for #Move4Food, one of the priority initiatives under the University's annual fundraising campaign, <a href=""><strong>Bridge the Gap</strong></a>. This Annual Fund aims to remove the obstacles that are hindering Maties on their road to success. </p><p>#Move4Food is a way of providing immediate relief to curb student hunger on SU's campuses and to ensure that no student will have to study on an empty stomach. </p><p>The past five years, Prof De Villiers has participated in several sporting events to raise funds for student bursaries and for #Move4Food. He completed the CTCT five times, ran the full 42.2 km Sanlam Cape Town Marathon twice and completed the 88 km London to Brighton Cycle Ride twice. </p><p>"I am honoured to be part of a team of caring Maties. Our students face numerous challenges, but food insecurity should not be one of them. I would like to encourage everyone to contribute on our fundraising page," Prof De Villiers says.</p><p>Chris Norton, alumnus and owner of beerhouse and bistro, Casa Cerveza in Stellenbosch, is joining Team Maties accompanied by the Fairtree Imperial Cannondale team, riders who all hail from Kayamandi in Stellenbosch. “They are extremely proud to ride for Maties and understand the challenges that young South Africans face. They have excelled in their previous rides for Maties and aim to make 2022 the best performance yet!" he adds.</p><p>Prof Sadulla Karjiker, alumnus and professor in the Faculty of Law at SU, is participating for the second time and says he is ready to cycle for such a worthy cause. </p><p>For Peter van de Venter, Sunday's race will be his first CTCT, but he has flown the Matie flag before. This former Eendragter and now financial manager, participated in last year's FNB Wine2Whales wearing his Matie colours.</p><p>Abraham de Villiers says it is amazing to participate as part of a group. "Once a Matie, always a Matie! To do it together with other alums has strengthened my bond with the university." </p><p>JP Visser is looking forward to his first CTCT. "I'm happy and excited to take part and represent my alma mater. The University and its students are very dear to me."</p><p><strong>Be our guest</strong></p><p>All Maties riding on Sunday and their supporters are invited to the Maties hospitality tent at the finishing line, where they will have the opportunity to enjoy light refreshments and meet up with fellow Maties. </p><ul><li>To support #Move4Food and the team, please visit <a href=""><strong></strong></a><strong>. </strong>Your support will give Maties the chance to shine without facing undue stress and obstacles. ​</li></ul>
SU researchers, team up to understand neurodegenerative diseases researchers, team up to understand neurodegenerative diseases Development & Alumni Relations<p></p><p>An international partnership between Stellenbosch University (SU) researchers and, an early-stage European biotech company, has the potential for long-term collaboration that could lead to global breakthroughs in treating neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. The partnership also creates excitement and stimulation for the local South African start‑up ecosystem.</p><p>This is the sentiment of Dr Raminderpal Singh, CEO of (<a href=""></a>), which focuses on accelerating drug discovery in neurodegenerative diseases. The company has announced a significant grant for SU's Department of Biochemistry to continue its research related to systems biology of neurodegenerative disorders. </p><p>Dr Singh, a seasoned technology leader and business development executive, with extensive global experience in small and large technology companies, says the partnership between SU and is evolving to capitalise on their existing working relationship. </p><p>“ has been able to demonstrate breakthroughs in computational modelling because of its world-class scientists and system biologists – who are all from Stellenbosch University. The team includes biologists and data scientists with decades of research experience at SU, with a Scientific Advisory Board of current senior academics that includes Dr Dawie van Niekerk, from SU's Department of Biochemistry, and Professor Ben Loos, from SU's Department of Physiological Sciences," he adds.</p><p>“It is a privilege to work with globally respected academics and their students. I am confident that research in the field of Alzheimer's etcetera will rapidly progress through close relationships such as this," he says. </p><p>Dr van Niekerk, researcher and senior lecturer, says the grant will go towards scholarship funding for a postgraduate student in his department, giving the student an opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies the person would not otherwise have been able to consider, as well as contribute to research output at the University. “Since systems biology is quite specialised in biology, mathematics and computer programming, this should also serve to entice students to pursue this rapidly growing multi-disciplinary research field."</p><p>Dr van Niekerk adds: “Outputs from our research will benefit drug development and further our understanding of mechanisms in the brain. There is still so much that we do not know about neurodegenerative conditions that <em>in silico </em>modelling can address." </p><p>According to Prof Wim de Villiers, SU's Rector and Vice-Chancellor, this partnership is a clear indication of SU's globally recognised research expertise. “This is research for impact – using our research expertise to change society for the better and to make a positive difference to people's lives."<br></p><p>​​<br></p>
#MaroonMondays: Show your Maties spirit! Show your Maties spirit!Development & Alumni Relations<p>​Join the #MaroonMonday movement.<br></p><p>The Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR) and Maties Sport are asking staff, students, and alumni to get behind our manne in maroon, while also doing their part for the student community. </p><p>“To show your support and become part of the #MaroonMondays movement, all you have to do is grab your maroon Maties t-shirt, hoodie or vest, wear your maroon every Monday for the duration of the Varsity Cup tournament, and make a donation to the University's Annual Fund, Bridge the Gap," says Viwe Benxa, Alumni Relations co-ordinator at DAR.</p><p>The University is raising funds for several initiatives under the umbrella of Bridge the Gap, that aims to remove the obstacles that are hindering Maties from having a meaningful student experience and obtaining that sought-after degree. The initiatives include, #Move4Food, the Tygerberg Pantry Project, #Action4Inclusion, #GradMe, #Zim4Zim, #EndPeriodPoverty, #MatiesHaveDrive and Caught in the Middle. </p><p>You can read more about the <a href=""><strong>Annual Fund here.</strong></a></p><p>"It's a win-win situation," adds Benxa. "You get to look good in your maroon, experience the Maties spirit, enjoy top-notch rugby, and help students who are facing so many obstacles on their path to success."</p><p>Stellenbosch University's Maties Rugby team kicked off their 2022 Varsity Cup campaign on a winning note on Monday, 14 February when they beat the defending champions Tuks on their home ground. On Monday, 21 February the maroon machine unfortunately lost their away game against the University of Free State at Shimla Park.</p><p>The next match for Team Maties is a not-to-be-missed home game against long-time rivals Ikeys at the Danie Craven Stadium. Make sure to buy your Varsity Cup tickets <a href=""><strong>here</strong></a><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>.</strong></span><strong> </strong>And remember to visit the <a href=""><strong>BTG website</strong></a><strong> </strong>for all the easy options to donate.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Varsity Cup Fixtures</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Monday, 28 February, 19:00 | FNB Maties vs FNB Wits | Danie Craven Stadium </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Monday, 7 March, 19:00 | FNB Maties vs FNB UJ | Danie Craven Stadium </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Monday, 14 March, 19:00 | FNB CUT vs FNB Maties | CUT Rugby Stadium </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Monday, 21 March, 19:00 | FNB Maties vs FNB NWU | Danie Craven Stadium | TV</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Monday, 28 March, 19:00 | FNB UCT vs FNB Maties | UCT Rugby Fields | TV<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Monday, 4 April, 19:00 | FNB Maties vs FNB Madibaz | Danie Craven Stadium</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Monday, 11 April, 19:00 | FNB Maties vs FNB UWC | Danie Craven Stadium</p><p>For those supporters who cannot attend the matches, visit the Varsity Cup website <a href=""><strong></strong></a><strong> </strong>for the latest fixtures and results, catch matches on SuperSport and post your #MaroonMonday photos on Maties Sport and Stellenbosch Alumni's social media channels.</p><ul><li>Facebook – <a href=""><strong>Stellenbosch Alumni</strong></a> / <a href=""><strong>SUMatiesSport</strong></a></li><li>Instagram – <a href=""><strong>@MatiesAlumni</strong></a> / <a href=""><strong>@matiessport</strong></a> </li><li>Twitter – <a href=""><strong>@SU_Alumni</strong></a> / <a href=""><strong>@MatiesSport</strong></a></li><li>Join Maties Connect: <a href=""><strong></strong></a>​</li></ul><p>​<br></p>