Nine 'wannabes' off to a great start in 2012

21 Feb 2012 - 16:04

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Its all systems go in 2012! The nine successful students are (back row, L-R): Amkelisiwe Ngalimani, Tuleka Tose, Siwaphiwe Sibeko, Sandile Tyulu and Mzwandile Mangqangala. (Front row, L-R): Lwando Mpikampi, Mduduzi Mpikwa, Khwezi Bonani, Simamkele Dyonase and Anele Sihlahla

In 2011, the Faculty launched an initiative called wannabe@humanities to identify and support prospective applicants amongst a pool of grade 11 and 12 learners. This year, the dream of becoming UCT students became a reality for nine of these former 'wannabes' when they accepted offers to study in the Humanities.

During 2011, 'wannabe@humanities' participants attended a series of workshops on Upper Campus designed to prepare them for university life. These sessions included: career guidance and counselling, Humanities academic offerings, UCT funding opportunities as well as the university and Faculty admissions processes. In addition, they obtained assistance with the NBT registration process, the creation of email accounts, with application fee payments and in some case, with NBT rewrites.

Participants were mostly recruited from schools in Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Gugulethu and Phillipi. Mfuleni High School learners have been particularly successful in the project with five out of the ten offers made to wannabe students being awarded to Mfuleni High School students. This is an important achievement as Mfuleni High School has only ever had one other successful enrolment at UCT (in the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment). Without these types of interventions, it is unlikely that any of these students would have considered UCT a viable academic destination for themselves."UCT was not even in my dreams until I participated in this project. Then I suddenly realised that it is doable and that I can achieve it, so I studied hard because I simply fell in love with UCT during the workshops." says Tuleka Tose, a former Matthew Goniwe High student.

Project leader, Khwezi Bonani attributes the success of the project to dedicated mentorship and support from the faculty as well as to the commitment from the students themselves. 'I believe that that at the heart of this project is constant motivation and encouragement. Also, I introduced this project because I felt that student recruitment in the traditional sense of the word was not in itself sufficient in the disadvantaged communities, we needed to add an element of outreach to it.'

Of the nine students, two will be studying Social Work; two will pursue Bachelor of Arts programmes and the remainder will undertake the Bachelor of Social Science degree. To find out more about the wannabe@humanities network as well as other student recruitment activities, contact Khwezi on 021 650-5235.