First years receive Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship award

2017-03-29 06:03
< NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz with the 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship recipients.Photo:SUPPLIED

< NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz with the 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship recipients.Photo:SUPPLIED

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FOR many young South Africans, getting a tertiary education is only a wish.

For 24 first-year Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) students who were awarded the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship on Friday night, this wish has become a reality.

The 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Scholars bagged the R89 000 a year scholarship – up 8% on last year’s R82 782 in line with the fee increase – based on their excellent academic achievements in high school. The scholarship, awarded during an intimate function at the North Campus Conference Centre, is renewable for each year of the scholars’ undergraduate studies, provided they maintain the levels of high academic achievement.

NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz introduced the scholarship in 2009 with the main objective of attracting top performing school-leavers from a diversity of schools, including those in the lower quintiles, across the country.

Presenting the coveted scholarships for the last time at the university’s helm, Prof Swartz said the scholarship was just one of the many ways in which the university recognised and awarded top academic performance and widened access to higher education.

“I created this scholarship some years ago in response to a desire on our part, as has always been the case, to affirm and to vindicate the importance of achievement, individual endeavour, hard work and merit. These, for us, are as important as all the other principles around which the university is organised,” he said.

The 24 scholars underwent a rigorous selection process were chosen from a total 319 applicants from some of the country’s poorest and more affluent schools, with the majority (76%) coming from the Eastern Cape. The remainder come from Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.

The 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s scholars are now counted among the more than 200 students who have to date been supported through the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship, many of whom have gone on to make successes in their respective careers.

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