Today sees the start of a new academic term at universities across the Western Cape. The final few of our continuing bursary students have returned to their student residences over the weekend. They have been joined by seven new students, for which we must thank the generosity of our sponsors in the United States and the UK. It was actually a very difficult process to select the new students this year, with a record number of applications coming from Masiphumelele students that had completed high school in Masiphumelele, Fish Hoek, Simons Town, and Ocean View. It is pleasing to see that awareness and interest in the programme seems to be expanding each year amongst Masiphumelele learners.
We met up with the seven new students at Masiphumelele library this weekend to complete the formalities of accepting the bursary. Each student was introduced to their mentor, who will be both their guide and friend in the weeks of study to come. We also provided each student with their laptop computer, which comes as part of the bursary. The importance of this was highlighted by Lindokhule’s experiences last year. She is already in the second year of her course, but completed the first year without assistance because she did not think her grades would be good enough to make an application to Masicorp. She completed the year whilst living in Masiphumelele and travelling to and from CPUT for her course in Operations Management.
Lindokhule (seen here accepting her new laptop) had to complete her assignments after waiting for a computer to become available in the university computer room after lectures. It was then a two hour commute home before starting again the following day. This determination made a big impression on the bursary team during her interview and a place in residence and her own computer to work on should be seen as a big reward for her hard work so far. The other new students will be studying a popular range of courses including pharmacy, accounting, mechanical engineering and law.
After meeting the bursary team and their mentors the students were taken for their first class of the year – setting up their laptops and training in how to use the new machines. Once again we thank the Yenza Internet Café for providing the location and staff from Masiphumelele library for the training. The students all left knowing that their aspirations for study at university had now become very real and we wish them all a successful year.