“SciMathUS is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I met people who believed in me, people who wanted to see me win and be a better citizen. SciMathUS was the best university foundation that I needed."
These are the words of gratitude from Ezile Mkhosi, who graduated today (30 March 2021) with a BAccounting degree from Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.
Mkhosi always dreamed of being a successful businesswoman and knew that studying towards being a chartered accountant would help her achieve that dream. However, when she failed to meet the entry requirements for the course at Stellenbosch University (SU), she decided to apply for the SciMathUS programme instead, as she knew that it would help her improve her marks and get her closer to her dream.
“SciMathUS helped me to be certain of my career choice. The programme helped me in so many ways besides improving my maths mark. There are a lot of things that the University considers as assumed knowledge, which other people were privileged to be exposed to in high school. I was not literate enough for a person who was supposed to be a first-year student. If I had not been afforded an opportunity to be part of SciMathUS I would not have made it through first year or this far."
Mkhosi is a first generation university student in her family. She says the tertiary education journey sometimes felt lonely, but she knew she had to persevere and make her family proud.
“Coming to Stellenbosch University made me feel like a small puppy competing with big dogs, people who came from good, well-established expensive schools, who knew nice things, had support and did advanced Mathematics, which at the time I did not even know was a thing. However, I also learned that for some of us, education is painful and hard but so is being poor, so it is crucial to persevere when you are given opportunities in life and to speak up because there is always someone who is willing to help you."
Mkhosi is currently completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting and hopes to be a successful chartered accountant one day. She also hopes that she will have enough means to plough back resources into underprivileged communities and inspire other young people to also achieve their dreams.
More about SciMathUS
The SciMathUS programme forms part of a variety of units within the Faculty of Education at SU and specifically in the Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy. The programme annually offers 100 learners, who have already passed Grade 12, but do not qualify for higher education selection, a second opportunity to improve their NSC results in Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Accounting to enable them to re-apply for university programmes; specifically those focusing on STEM related fields.
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.
SciMathUS celebrates its 20th year of changing lives this year. The 20-year celebrations will take the form of an online campaign, called #ChangingLives. The aim is to make sure that the programme, with support from all stakeholders, continues to create even more opportunities for students to reach their full academic potential over the next 20 years.
Please follow SciMathUS' social media pages over the next few months, where the spotlight will shine on the programme as well as alumni who have since graduated and made great strides in their respective fields.
You can follow SciMathUS on the following channels:
Facebook – Stellenbosch Alumni / SciMathUS
Instagram – @MatiesAlumni / @scimathus
Twitter – @SU_Alumni / @SUNCEP
Join Maties Connect: https://matiesconnect.com/groups/53/feed
Matriculants who are interested in SciMathUS can contact Adele Poole at 021 808 3032 or email@example.com for more information about the programme.