SciMathUS University Preparation Programme – #ChangingLives
HELP US BUILD THE NEXT GENERATION OF SOUTH AFRICAN PROFESSIONALS
“SciMathUS is a second chance, because we see potential in you. We don’t look at students who have failed, but we look at students who strongly want to achieve their goals and dreams. It is what you put into the second chance that’s going to determine what you get out on the other side.”
Stirring words from Nokwanda Siyengo, Component Head of the SciMathUS programme, addressing a sea of expectant faces – the intake of another year’s SciMathUS cohort. And it’s been 20 years of creating second chances.
That second chance, is what’s so critical about the SciMathUS university preparation programme. Allow us to take a moment of your time to share why this programme opens doors for talented youth from educationally disadvantaged areas with the motivation and vision to succeed; and how your company or you yourself, as an alumnus, who had the chance of experiencing what being a Matie is all about, can help. In the video above Dr Gerald Maarman*, the first SciMathUS beneficiary to receive a doctoral degree, shares his story of transformation. Indeed, it’s about #ChangingLives.
* PhD – Cardiovascular Physiology, UCT
MSc Hons Medical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, SU
BSc Medical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, SU
BSc Human Life Science, Faculty of Science, SU
Setting the SciMathUS scene
If learner achievement in Science and Mathematics is to be largely predetermined by the type of school attended rather than the learner’s innate potential, many learners with potential will be excluded from an opportunity to study further and ultimately become active participants in the country’s development – a badly missed opportunity, with dire long-term socio-economic costs, as highlighted by Prof Mdu Ndlovu in his research article Re-envisioning the scholarship of engagement: Lessons from a university-school partnership project for mathematics and science teaching.
SciMathUS, a university preparation programme that operates within the Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP), strives to open doors for these young people – who would otherwise stand on the brink of joining the 3.2 million youth in South Africa aged 15 – 24 who are not employed, educated or trained. The unlikeliness to ever complete a degree that enables them to reach their goals and make a valuable contribution to the broader South African economy, should not be set in stone. Here’s where SciMathUS changes the scenario and the many inspiring stories of our SciMathUS graduates are testimony to this transformation.
In 2021 more than 2 000 students applied for the 100 spaces available – let that sink in – 2 000 applied for 100 spaces … you get the urgency.
The SciMathUS programme unlocks the potential of previously disadvantaged students and contributes positively to the diversity profile of Stellenbosch University whilst addressing the shortfall of these professionals in South Africa in sought-after fields. Our graduates take their place in society as accountants, researchers, doctors, engineers, teachers, food scientists, geologists and many others.
The day of the matric results
They were dreaming of university life, the friendships and escapades to be had, a wonderful career and the places they’ll go.
Imagine please, these exact hopes and dreams abruptly shattered: they receive their matric exam results and with it, the slow dawning that these Mathematics or Physical Sciences or Accounting marks do not make the cut; that their schooling has not prepared them for the level of knowledge and insight required to pass well. Suddenly that sought-after degree programme with high-entry requirements is no longer in reach.
The change that SciMathUS brings
Breaking down barriers
Barriers to entry in higher education can take many forms. Stellenbosch University, in its commitment to broadening access to higher education, offers the SciMathUS university preparation programme to motivated and talented young people from educationally disadvantaged communities to help them realise their dreams of becoming a skilled professional.
With YOUR help, we can ensure that many more of these young people gain access to higher education and become economically active citizens contributing to the knowledge economy.
Help us build a critical mass of highly skilled professionals in science, engineering, technology, medicine and the economic and management sciences in our country.
This life-changing experience has over the past 20 years offered young people an opportunity to reinvent themselves, build a solid foundation for entry into higher education and provide them with the skills not only to succeed at university, but also for their career and personal development as well.
We are so proud of the 390 SciMathUS students who have obtained a degree from Stellenbosch University, of which 145 are postgraduate qualifications — including four doctorates.** And counting!
** Annually between 15 – 20% of SciMathUS students choose to study at other higher education institutions.
A programme such as SciMathUS not only enables higher education institutions to fulfil their mandate in serving the socio-economic needs of the country but also touch and transform the individual lives of the students and break the poverty cycle. SciMathUS complements the National Development Plan’s intention of increasing the number of students eligible to study towards Mathematics- and Science-based degrees to 450 000 by 2030.
The national pool of students that can be selected for degrees that require Mathematics or Science with adequate levels of performance has become limited – leading to a critical shortage of skilled professionals in the South African labour market, in effect slowing down the rate at which the economy is able to grow.
Let’s take part in #ChangingLives. Our aim is to raise at least R10 million to cover the fees of 100 or more SciMathUS students. Please donate NOW and give more young people an opportunity to participate in this life-changing programme. Your contribution, no matter how big or small, will make a difference.
Make a difference in a snap – smart, simple and safe.
When you snap the unique SciMathUS QR code you can make an immediate donation. You will be given the option to make a once-off donation or set up a recurring (monthly) donation.
SnapScan is available for free on iOS and Android. Visit the Google Play Store, App Store, or Huawei AppGallery to get snapping.
SciMathUS is also ideally positioned to assist in making a real difference while offering attractive B-BBEE partnerships and scorecard points for businesses; points for either the Skills Development or the Socio-Economic Development pillars are eligible.
**Your verification agency will confirm the points you are eligible for.
Please contact our development officer, Sonia Schoeman, who will help to facilitate the process —firstname.lastname@example.org .
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