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Matieland Concert set to light up Homecoming 2023 Concert set to light up Homecoming 2023Development & Alumni Relations<p></p><div>Have you booked your tickets?<br></div><div><br></div><div>Stellenbosch University (SU) is shining the spotlight on talented alumni in the entertainment industry at its first-ever Matieland Concert on Saturday 16 September in Stellenbosch. The concert will feature extraordinary performances by violinist Kirsty Bows, well-known singer and songwriter, Koos Kombuis, the chart-topping singer-songwriter husband and wife duo, RAAF (previously known as Bottomless Coffee Band), and the winners from the recent University Acapella (Sêr) competition.<br></div><div><br></div><div>This Concert forms part of the University's annual Homecoming Weekend for alumni taking place from Thursday 14 September to Saturday 16 September on its Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses, where a host of events are taking place throughout the weekend.</div><div><br></div><div>These events include a Golf Day at the prestigious Stellenbosch Golf Club; the popular Maties Soirée that brings together Matie winemakers and makers of non-alcoholic beverages; esteemed business experts who will share their insights at a Business Breakfast; as well as various anniversary celebrations and reunions. </div><div><br></div><div>The Matieland Concert takes place at the Endler Hall, Conservatorium and starts at <strong>18:30. </strong>Tickets cost <strong>R200 per person</strong> and can be booked online at Quicket (<a href="" target="_blank"><strong>CLICK HERE</strong></a>).<br></div><div><br></div><div>The full programme of the weekend's events can be found <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>HERE</strong></a><strong>. </strong>If you have any queries, please send an email to or call +27 21 808 2710.</div><p>​<br></p>
New bursary donor centre elevates the importance of supporting student success bursary donor centre elevates the importance of supporting student successDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p>​​Stellenbosch University (SU) officially opened its Masiphumelele Centre on Thursday 31 August, signifying a significant milestone in the meaningful engagement between existing bursary donors and the recipients of their generosity, SU students. This accomplishment, championed by the Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) at SU, Karen Bruns, actively strengthens student access and success at the University.<br></p><p>Thursday's inauguration ceremony brought together bursary and scholarship donors, including the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, the Crossley Foundation, Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation, the Russel Botman Bursary Fund, Moshal Scholarship Programme, ISFAP, Feenix and Students for a Better Future, along with students and members of the SU community. </p><p>SU Registrar, Dr Ronel Retief, one of the speakers at the occasion, said education is the foundation upon which dreams are built, futures are shaped, and potential is realised. “We recognise that for our students to truly thrive, they need more than just financial support; they need an environment where they can grow, flourish, and connect. This Centre embodies that vision, providing a space for meaningful interactions between students, donors and the SU colleagues supporting the various programmes."   </p><p>Retief extended her gratitude to donors for their unwavering commitment to transform the lives of countless students. "You all are valued partners in the collaborative effort to help our students realise their aspirations. Together we are working towards opportunity, empowerment, and hope."</p><p><strong>'Let us succeed'</strong></p><p>The isiXhosa phrase 'masiphumelele', meaning 'let us succeed', inspired the name of the Centre, which originated from the efforts of the Development and Alumni Relations Division to extend its services to bursary and scholarship donors. The Masiphumelele Centre was funded through generous contributions from a number of donors.</p><p>This revitalised space on Banghoek Road, Stellenbosch, proximate to the engineering, arts and social sciences, law, and science faculties, offers an array of features, including office space, consultation rooms, flexible workspaces for students and donors, an area conducive to guiding conversations and mentorship, and a small workshop room accommodating 12 to 14 individuals.</p><p>Bruns emphasised the altruism of bursary donors who wholeheartedly support students' educational pursuits and ambitions. “The Centre represents a significant step towards enhancing the University's service to these critical supporters of the access and success of our students, while also underscoring our commitment to our students' holistic well-being and dignity."</p><p>The name 'Masiphumelele Centre' emerged as the clear choice through a survey conducted in May 2023 among bursary recipients, donors and staff who will be invited to use the space. Through sentiment analysis it was determined that students appreciated the unified vision of the University, the SU donors and fellow students to succeed and progress, with one respondent saying, “The Masiphumelele Centre will be for a community of individuals who wish to work together for a better future." Another student said, “Masiphumelele is a call for all people to come together for a common purpose, which is to thrive, as all of us should."</p><p>Bruns, added, “The Division takes immense pride in fulfilling its responsibility of facilitating institutional engagement between donors and the beneficiaries of their generosity. The Masiphumelele Centre will be instrumental in creating a physical space for collaboration and a common purpose. As a testament to SU's dedication to nurturing these essential relationships with donors, the Centre is symbolic of both our commitment to a good donor experience and to our student success."</p><p><strong>About</strong> <strong>Development and Alumni Relations (DAR)</strong></p><p>The Development and Alumni Relations Division builds relationships, creates awareness and generates support for the University's academic, research and social impact vision. The Division strives to ensure the future success of SU by securing private philanthropic donations and engages donors on the priorities most important to them. Putting donors at the centre of the process, DAR fosters an environment where excellence in student, staff and community interaction can be achieved through philanthropy and corporate funding.<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Stellenbosch University installs sanitary pad dispensing machines on campus University installs sanitary pad dispensing machines on campusDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p></p><p>​Stellenbosch University (SU) has taken a significant step towards eradicating period poverty by installing state-of-the-art sanitary pad dispensing machines on campus. The installation was made possible by the generous financial support of a UK-based donor.<br></p><p>Two units have been installed on the Stellenbosch campus, and a third unit will be set up on the Tygerberg campus in Bellville in the coming weeks.</p><p>In South Africa, period poverty affects more than seven million young women, forcing many to choose between buying food or sanitary products. Many female students at SU also share this experience, lacking sufficient resources to access these products, which in turn unduly impacts their education, physical health, and mental well-being.</p><p>To tackle this issue on SU's campuses, the Development and Alumni Relations Division launched the #EndPeriodPoverty initiative as part of the University's Bridge The Gap Annual Fund (BTG). #EndPeriodPoverty aims to raise funds to purchase sanitary pad dispensing machines to address the stigma around menstruation and provide students with dignified access to female hygiene products.</p><p>"For the pilot phase, we have opted to purchase two large dispensing machines for our Stellenbosch campus that will dispense a total of 1 000 packs of pads a month and a smaller machine for our Tygerberg campus that will dispense 100 packs a month. Each pack contains eight locally manufactured, biodegradable sanitary pads. The machines will be refilled on a monthly basis," says Viwe Benxa, Alumni Relations Co-ordinator and BTG ambassador.</p><p>"Our students will be able to access the pads by tapping their student identity cards. In using the student identity card, we will be able to track the usage and determine the demand for the products which will subsequently inform our decision to make more machines available at more locations on our campuses."</p><p>The dispensing machines are strategically located in areas easily accessible to female students. For the Stellenbosch campus, the two locations are the Jan Mouton Learning Centre and outside the Tinie Louw Hall.</p><p>"We are hoping to raise enough funds for the next two installations earmarked for our Saldanha campus," Benxa adds. </p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Visit <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong></strong></a> to support this initiative.<br></li></ul>
A gift for the next generation of Maties gift for the next generation of Maties    Darryn Havenga<p>Last year Nick Smit, a graduate of Stellenbosch University, and his husband Francois Conradie decided it was time to reinvest some of their privileges into a positive bank balance for deserving students.<br></p><p>They are both employed at a global bank with headquarters in New York and in June 2022, the couple established the NY Postgraduate Bursary Fund.</p><p>Nick currently serves as a trustee and treasurer of the Friends of the University of Stellenbosch Foundation, a 501(c) entity registered in the US.</p><p>“We have received so many opportunities and exposure underpinned through the great education received from Stellenbosch University, that we could not think of a more precious gift to give to someone special," says Nick Smit.</p><p>State-subsidised funding for postgraduate studies is limited to research degrees, leaving a vast majority of students studying postgraduate level degrees without access to adequate funding sources. This is particularly hardest hitting on students from families where the joint household income is between $0 and $37 500 per annum.</p><p>The increased need to have a postgraduate degree to secure viable employment has called for increased financial support for post-graduate bursaries. Such an opportunity is not only a lifeline out of poverty for a deserving student, but equates to uplifting an extended family and a community.</p><p>The Fund will support successful undergraduate students from SU wishing to further their studies through honours' or masters' degrees at the University. They are students who come from families where the joint household income is R600 000/$37 500 per annum or less who do not qualify for government funding or loans.</p><p>For this Fund to be successful in supporting one student per year they need $9 650. We invite all our Maties, not only those in New York or the tri-state area, but across the US, to give generously and support the next generation of Maties at SU.</p><p>You can support the Fund by donating at<br> <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong></strong></a><br></p><p>​<br></p>
Renowned international philanthropist invites SU choir and Rector to Japan international philanthropist invites SU choir and Rector to JapanDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p>​Stellenbosch University (SU) Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers and 50 members of SU's internationally acclaimed choir are off to Tokyo, Japan, where they will participate in the ISPS Sports Values Summit‑Special Edition on Wednesday (9 August).<br></p><p>Prof De Villiers and the choir were invited by His Excellency Dr Haruhisa Handa, a renowned international philanthropist who is known for his longstanding commitment and contributions to public service and charities across the world.</p><p>Handa's support of various causes over several decades spans the arts and education, access to healthcare, disaster relief, empowerment of disabled individuals through sports, HIV/Aids education in Africa, promotion of democracy, religious tolerance and many other fields.</p><p>Notably, Handa serves as the co-founder and chancellor of the University of Cambodia with His Excellency Dr Kao Kim Hourn, the incumbent Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Handa has also been a major supporter of multiple universities in the UK, China, the US, Australia, Japan and South Africa. Handa's International Sport Promotion Society (ISPS Handa) will be hosting the ISPS Sports Values Summit-Special Edition 2023.</p><p>The summit will bring together sporting legends Dan Carter (former All Black rugby player), Nacho Figueras (one of the world's greatest polo players) and Steve James (Royal Australian Navy veteran and Invictus gold medallist). These legends will be in conversation as panellists alongside Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who will attend as the co‑founder and patron of <a href="">Sentebale</a> to discuss ways in which the power of sport can change lives and the impact of sports for philanthropy on the global stage.</p><p>De Villiers will participate in the panel discussion, while the SU Choir will display their musical talents with an opening act at the summit. The SU Choir has been ranked the leading mixed amateur choir in the world for the past 11 years by <a href="">Interkultur</a>, organisers of the World Choir Games.</p><p>De Villiers says: “We were grateful to receive the invitation from the founder and chairman of ISPS to participate in the summit. This gives Stellenbosch University the opportunity to make meaningful connections, and to contribute to the discussions with other distinguished participants at the summit.</p><p>“Stellenbosch University is committed to achieve excellence and to advance knowledge in service of society, and I believe we share a common vision with Dr Handa in making a positive impact on society."</p><p>SU Choir conductor André van der Merwe says: “We are honoured to have received this invitation and we are filled with excitement to showcase a taste of our rich South African culture on the global stage."<br></p><p><em></em></p><ul><li><em>​Photographer: Mark Cloete</em></li></ul><br>
Your contribution is a 'beacon of hope' contribution is a 'beacon of hope'Development & Alumni Relations<p>When Paige Schimper's student debt threatened to derail not only her academic career but also her career prospects, she would not have thought that a little-known Stellenbosch University (SU) bursary fund would present her with the clean slate she was praying for.<br></p><p>But that is exactly what happened when the Matie alumna became the first recipient of the EU/UK Bursary Fund in March 2023.</p><p>Established in 2019, the EU/UK Bursary Fund gives academically gifted but financially disadvantaged students the opportunity to pursue success at SU and reach their full potential. An amount of 8 000€ will provide at least one student, for one year, with a full bursary that covers tuition, housing, food and textbooks.<br></p><p>Schimper, who graduated with a BCom in Information Systems and Logistics and Supply Chain Management in 2021, takes up the story.<br></p><p>“When I started my first year in 2018, I was granted a NSFAS bursary that would fully fund me while I studied. However, in my final year, for the entire 2021, I had no money from NSFAS paid into my account. I was left with an unexpected amount of debt and no explanation. I was also not able to receive my degree or academic records because of my outstanding student account. From 2021 until March 2023, there were no payments forthcoming and I suffered tremendously under the emotional toll of the situation. Debt collectors were on my case and I struggled to find a job as most companies want to see your academic transcripts which I didn't have."</p><p>She says thankfully Karen Bruns, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations at SU, heard about her predicament and put her name forward to the directors of the EU/UK Bursary Fund.</p><p>“I was unaware of the bursary until Karen had told me about it. However, there are not enough words to describe the amount of gratitude I felt when I heard the news that I had received the bursary and that my debt would be settled. The weight of this burden disappeared into thin air and I was brought to tears, tears of relief, joy and appreciation. I could not believe that people can be so giving. I am extremely grateful and humbled by the generosity of all who contributed to making this all possible."<br></p><p>Schimper encourages her fellow alumni to consider contributing to the bursary fund.<br></p><p>“By giving to this bursary, you transform someone's future, allowing them to pursue their dreams that otherwise might seem unreachable. Your contribution goes beyond financial assistance, it serves as a beacon of hope, motivation, and belief in the abilities of aspiring individuals. Your generosity can make a lasting difference and serve as a catalyst for someone's success."<br></p><p>The Durban native, who recently started her first full time position as a junior information systems administrator, will herself start making a contribution to the fund this year.<br></p><p>“I would like to be part of the difference this could make to someone else's life like it did to mine," she says.<br></p><p>Prominent SU affiliates who contributed to the EU/UK Bursary Fund include SU's Vice-Chancellor and Rector Prof Wim de Villiers, who two years ago cycled the London to Brighton Cycle Ride with five Maties and friends to raise just over 8 000 pounds for the fund. ​</p>
Leading-edge Biomedical Research Institute a 'game changer' for healthcare in Africa Biomedical Research Institute a 'game changer' for healthcare in Africa Corporate Communication and Marketing Division / Afdeling Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking<p>​​The launch of its new state-of-the-art Biomedical Research Institute (BMRI) places Stellenbosch University (SU) at the forefront of biomedical sciences on the African continent. <br></p><p>The BMRI is a world-class biomedical research complex on par with the best in the world and is unparalleled, not only on the African continent, but the entire southern hemisphere, in terms of its cutting-edge facilities and extensive research capacity. </p><p>The BMRI, situated on SU's Tygerberg Campus in Cape town, is being inaugurated over the next week.</p><p>“The realisation of the BMRI resonates with SU's vision of being Africa's leading research-intensive university with the objective of being globally recognised for our excellence in innovation to advance knowledge in service of society," says Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor.</p><p>The facility houses more than 500 biomedical researchers and students, including some of the world's foremost scientists in the fields of bioinformatics, tuberculosis, neuroscience, and urology. The leading-edge research emanating from the facility has a decidedly African focus and seeks to understand the genetic and biomolecular basis of diseases afflicting South Africa and the rest of the African continent.</p><p>“Scientists at the BMRI conduct research that translates into discoveries that help improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of illnesses affecting the people of South Africa and the rest of Africa," says Prof Nico Gey van Pittius, Vice Dean: Research and Internationalisation of SU's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), where the BMRI is based.</p><p>Construction of this R1,2 billion facility (approximately US$ 66 million) commenced in 2018 and was completed in 2023 – despite major challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The planning and design of this multifaceted complex followed a future-focussed approach resulting in a high-performance research hub that is modular, functional and sustainable. </p><p>The BMRI boasts numerous state-of-the-art laboratories, including the largest (600m<sup>2</sup>) biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory and fully-automated biorepository in Africa, lecture and conference theatres equipped with the latest audio-visual technology, and large modern dissection halls custom-engineered to minimise formaldehyde exposure. The BMRI was also awarded a 4-star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.</p><p>“The research conducted in the BMRI builds on SU's commitment to impactful research which takes into account the natural environment, health, human security as well as systems and technologies for the future. At the heart of our scientific endeavours, is the challenge to be locally relevant and globally competitive," says Prof Sibusiso Moyo, SU Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies.</p><p>The immense value of the BMRI was recognised even before its completion in 2023, and high-profile visitors, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, came to view the facility in 2022. The facility's potential was further endorsed when SU's Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI), located in the BMRI, was selected by the WHO as a partner-member of the first Covid mRNA Vaccine Technology Transfer Hub.</p><p>“The investment in the BMRI will allow significant human capacity development through training some of the best students from the continent and exposing them to extensive national and international research networks to results in a next generation of successful scientists," says Prof Elmi Muller, FMHS Dean. “The BMRI will be a game changer for healthcare in Africa and is true evidence of using breakthrough science to improve lives."</p><p> </p><p><strong>MORE ABOUT THE BMRI</strong></p><ul><li>The BMRI is the largest and most sophisticated research complex of its kind on the African continent and in the southern hemisphere.</li><li>Apart from the facilities mentioned above, the BMRI also hosts:</li><ul><li>A Bioinformatics hub;</li><li>Electron microscopy laboratories;</li><li>Proteomics and flow cytometry services (FACS) laboratories;</li><li>A Medical Morphological Learning Centre;</li><li>The Sunskill laboratory; and</li><li>Clinical research facilities.</li></ul><li>At 600m<sup>2</sup>, the BMRI hosts the largest biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory facilities on the African continent. BSL-3 laboratories are used to study infectious agents or toxins that may be transmitted through the air and cause potentially lethal infections. BSL-3 laboratories are designed to be easily decontaminated. </li><li>A system of negative air pressure keeps hazardous fumes or airborne toxins from flowing out of laboratories and into adjacent areas. A powerful ventilation and filtration plant continuously draw air out of laboratories and to the top of the building, where it is filtered and released.</li><li>The BMRI boasts advanced energy recovery technology fitted to the air system that reduces the building's carbon footprint compared to other similar buildings.</li></ul><p> </p><p><em>Click </em><a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/biomedical-research-institute/Pages/Groups.aspx"><em>here</em></a><em> for more information on the research being conducted at the BMRI.</em></p><p><em>Click </em><a href="/english/Lists/Events/DispForm.aspx?ID=5476"><em>here</em></a><em> for more information about the BMRI launch activities taking place over the next week.</em></p><ul><li><em>Click </em><a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/biomedical-research-institute/Pages/Resources.aspx#GB"><em>here</em></a><em> for a link to photos, videos and soundbites</em></li></ul><p><em><br></em></p><p> </p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>
New Director of Fundraising ready to advance SU Director of Fundraising ready to advance SUDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p>​​David Marupen, the newly-appointed Director of Fundraising in Stellenbosch University's Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR) has more than 25 years of experience in the field of fundraising. This, coupled with a commitment to building strategic partnerships and a passion for higher education, mentoring and uplifting communities, has him all set to work side by side with Karen Bruns, Senior Director of DAR, to advance the University's fundraising mission.<br></p><p>Marupen took up this position in January 2023, and comes with a wealth of knowledge honed in various positions within the fundraising arena. His career in fundraising started at the former Technikon Pretoria (now the Tshwane University of Technology), where he was the executive director of the Institutional Advancement Office. He then moved on to the University of Fort Hare, where he served as chief executive officer of the foundation responsible for overseeing all institutional fundraising activities. During this time, he also served as chairperson of the board of the Miriam Makeba Performance Arts Centre and as a member of the board of the Hunterstoun Academic Retreat Centre in Hogsback.</p><p>His journey in the higher education sector continued in the position of senior development officer at the University of Johannesburg’s Advancement Office. For the last five years before joining SU, he was the deputy director of the Resource Mobilisation Centre at the University of Limpopo.</p><p>He also held the position of fundraiser for the Financial Services Consumer Education Foundation of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, director of fundraising and new business development at LoveLife and acting manager of marketing, communications and fundraising at Johannesburg Child Welfare. "I currently also serve on the board of the Morongwa Foundation, which focuses on improving the lives of marginalised communities," he adds.</p><p>So, why the move to Stellenbosch? Marupen, born and raised in Pretoria, says that this is due to the good reputation of Stellenbosch University’s academic, research and social impact offering. "The institution is intent on improving access to higher education for students, especially those with financial needs. SU is also strategic in building relationships with various partners and stakeholders to advance its mission. This mission, among others, aims to enrich and transform local, continental and global communities."</p><p>As he is joining a well-established team of successful fundraisers, Marupen believes that he will have his work cut out for him. "I am convinced that my experience gained over the years will positively impact the fundraising team and the broader DAR, by complementing the great work achieved thus far, but also ensuring that donor income is increased."</p><p>According to Marupen, fundraising is never an easy task, and it demands a systematic approach, commitment, discipline and a passion for the profession.</p><p>"Having worked with different teams over the years has shown me that teamwork, cross-functional support, and development within the division is required. This is an area that will receive my attention. I will create an optimal working environment that encourages teamwork, professional development, and shared responsibility for both success and failure. I will also focus on diversifying the existing donor base and tapping into institutions that can provide philanthropic grants to the University. The aim is to attract support for different projects that fall within the four fundraising thematic areas; which are student access and success, research, social justice, and infrastructure development."</p><p>Marupen, who comes from a family of teachers and also taught for years early in his career, believes in sharing knowledge and empowering the next generation. "I plan to mentor and coach aspiring fundraisers to become competent and skilled in the art of attracting funding. It is important that they learn to navigate through the difficulty of building authentic relationships that leads to long-term, sustainable partnerships and support."</p><p>He concludes, "I am excited and look forward to working with my esteemed SU colleagues to advance the goals and ideals of the institution as it strives towards further growth and sustainability." ​</p>
SciMathUS: Double success as twins get second chance Double success as twins get second chance Daniel Bugan<p></p><p>As the first twins to complete the SciMathUS programme, Rochelle and Jennelle Cloete serve as shining examples to disheartened matric students - that second chances can knock twice on the same door. </p><p>Stellenbosch University's SciMathUS University Preparation Programme gives high school learners who have 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 after they have successfully completed the programme.</p><p>The Eerste River siblings entered the SciMathUS programme in 2019 after discovering that their matric mathematics marks were not good enough to get accepted into SU for their intended course of study – a Bachelor's in Accounting (BAcc).</p><p>Rochelle recalls: “Our accounting teacher at Kleinvlei High School told us about the SciMathUS programme which we could apply for to improve our maths marks. And when we applied, both of us got accepted into the accounting stream."<br></p><p>Jennelle says the year-long programme was everything they hoped for and more.<br></p><p> “We gained a deeper understanding of maths and the basic principles thereof, which we had not had before. Thus, our maths marks improved exponentially. Consequently, we got accepted for our BAcc studies at SU the following year."<br></p><p><strong>BAcc graduates</strong><br></p><p>She says the programme also equipped them with academic literature and thinking skills as well as an introduction to economics and computer literacy skills, “which helped us in our undergraduate year as those basics were integrated in some of the modules for our degree".<br></p><p>Their SciMathUS journey also provided them with some valuable lessons which they do not hesitate to share with the class of 2023. “Do not be afraid to ask questions in class. Ask the lecturer for help if you are unsure about something, be it academic or personal. Stay up to date with your work and do your homework as required."</p><p>The sisters concede that their participation in the programme as twins had its advantages and disadvantages.<br></p><p>“One of the advantages was that we at least had each other in the beginning when the environment was new and strange. This was especially advantageous since we stayed in a hostel during that year for the first time in our lives," says Rochelle.<br></p><p>“One of the disadvantages was that we didn't really deem it necessary to make any new friends as we had each other. But in the end, we did actually make really good friends," says Jennelle.<br></p><p>The pair obtained their BAcc in 2022, but their SU journey is not over yet. Rochelle is planning on completing a postgraduate diploma in accounting this year, while Janelle will attempt her postgraduate studies in 2024. They plan to qualify as Chartered Accountants in the future.<br></p><p>And now, as they stand poised on the cusp of their dreams, the twins are full of gratitude for the SciMathUS programme that gave them the second chance to not only improve their maths marks and pursue their chosen degree, but also to change their lives forever.<br></p><p>​"Thank you SciMathUs for helping us to take control of our future, and for making our parents proud of us again."​</p>
Success takes time, says Matie alumnus takes time, says Matie alumnusDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p>​​Being accountable for what you want to achieve in life, was the overriding lesson Jumien Peceur learnt during his year as a student in <a href="">Stellenbosch University's SciMathUS university preparation programme</a> – a lesson that continues to serve him well to this day.</p><p>Peceur entered the SciMathUS class of 2006 after matriculating from New Orleans High School as, by his own admission, “an average learner with a lack of ambition and drive".<br></p><p>“It dawned on me fairly late that there is a whole world after high school and that this world demands something of me. But I did not have the tools or maturity to identify what I needed to allocate, in terms of time and personal sacrifice, to achieve the requisite grades to enter a university. As a result, my matric results were not good enough to study my choices of either science, engineering or medicine.<br></p><p> “I did not know about SciMathUs until a classmate told me about his sister who completed the programme. I then decided to apply."<br></p><p>He said his SciMathUS journey was an eye-opening experience which taught him that second chances and opportunities are scarce and that you must take advantage of it.<br></p><p> “It was made clear from the start and throughout the entire year, that it was not our right to be there, that it was a privilege and that we were not entitled to it. This was the biggest lesson for me: the fact that the world does not owe me anything and that hard work eventually is rewarded. This concept of personal responsibility changed my outlook on the world."<br></p><p>As a result, Peceur was better prepared for his first year than most first-year students and went on to obtain a BSc in Geology from SU in 2010.<br></p><p> “I started my career the following year (2011) at a petroleum resource regulating agency. Thereafter I moved to a mineral processing company where I started out as an intern and over the next 10 years worked myself up the corporate ladder into a senior management role. I'm currently the general manager at this organisation."<br></p><p><strong>'It is our duty to make sure that programmes such as SciMathUs thrive'</strong><br></p><p>But he said the challenges in the corporate world were and continue to be immense.<br></p><p>“I entered the labour market with ideas of grandeur and arrogance but was soon reminded that I had no experience or pedigree to fall back on. I felt exactly the same way as I did after high school, an average graduate with nothing but a piece of paper to my name. But this time, however, thanks to SciMathUs, I had the tools and maturity to put my head down and put in the work, which I continue to do."<br></p><p>It is this mantra of hard work paying off which he wants to pass on to those who want to leave their mark on the world.<br></p><p>“The saying, '10% inspiration and 90% perspiration', holds true. You have to put in the work to become what you dream of being. Let the ego go sometimes because nine times out of 10, it won't do you any good. Get to know yourself and realise that success does not happen overnight. It takes time."<br></p><p>He also appealed to SciMathUS alumni to do their bit to plough back into the programme.<br></p><p> “We know what SciMathUs has done for us and we know how our lives and the lives of our families have changed as a direct result of being given a second chance. We also know what SciMathUs does for the country, by adding productive, ambitious, nation builders to our society. It is our duty to make sure that programmes such as SciMathUs thrive so that each new generation of South Africans have the opportunity that we had. Let's honour this duty by donating to this programme in any way we can. “<br></p><p>​The Paarl native is currently studying towards an MSc in Economic Geology and is also a registered professional natural scientist. </p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">​Click here to learn more about the #ChangingLives campaign.​</a>​​<br></li></ul><span></span><p><br></p>