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Johan Fourie | Here's what I would study

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Johan Fourie.
Johan Fourie.
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It is late January. Soon, thousands of wide-eyed first-year students will descend on university campuses around South Africa, eager to gain new knowledge and skills that will help them prosper.

Many will find the road to riches paved with potholes. According to a March 2021 report by the Department of Higher Education and Training, one in 10 students at in-person universities in South Africa won’t make it past their first year. (It is one in four at distance learning institutions.) For those who get over that hurdle, things don’t necessarily get easier. Fewer than a third of students will graduate within the minimum three years; most take four to five years to complete their degrees, adding a significant financial burden on the state and themselves. And the sad truth is that one in every five students that enrol over the next few days will never complete their degrees.

But for many first-year students, these issues are not at the forefront of their minds. Their primary concern, besides figuring out how to pay for their education in an increasingly underfunded sector, is deciding what to study. With so many options available, it's no wonder they're feeling overwhelmed!

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