Careers@Maties: A celebration of HOPE
Prof Russel Botman, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University, once again confirmed the University’s commitment to transformation and equal access at Wednesday afternoon’s Careers@Maties Rectors lunch at the Wallenberg Research Centre.
Prof Botman was the host at this event where preparation for higher education was discussed with 70 principals and life orientation teachers from schools across the Peninsula. “We believe the partnership that the university has with the schools around it, is vital for the future of the University.
“I want to thank you for the hard work you do to deliver Maties students. We know it is our responsibility to take the work that you have done further – we believe in the foundation that you laid,” Prof Botman said.
He gave an overview of the various ways in which the University is making a contribution to improving education in the province and country. Prof Botman among others mentioned the extra classes that are broadcasted to 145 schools – a total of 14 000 learners – in the province and has led to a 10% improvement in the six subjects that are covered.
“I would like to thank the Centre for Prospective Students for the work they are doing in the community and the guidance they give to learners.”
The event was presented by the Centre for Prospective Students (CPS), in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Careers@Maties project. Careers@Maties is an initiative that provides academic top achievers with free career assessment and counselling in grade 11. Teachers and school principals of participating schools attended the Rector’s lunch with University personnel. The invitation to school principals and teachers is a continuation of the CPS and the University’s relationship with these schools. In this manner, recognition is given to the participating schools and discussions started about further ways in which the needs of school communities can be addressed.
This project is directly associated with the University’s theme of HOPE, that strives to increase student success. Mr Hambly Matthews, counselling psychologist at the CPS and Careers@Maties project coordinator, has been providing psychometric testing and detailed feedback sessions with learners and their parent(s) since 2002. The University officially launched the Careers@Maties project under this name in 2011.
Mr Leon van den Heever, Director: Centre for Prospective Students, emphasises that there is a significant number of first generation students from previously disadvantaged communities with insufficient exposure to higher education. For this reason, it is of great importance that universities support top achievers from these school communities to gain access to a university and ultimately reach academic success. “Careers@Maties strives to help learners make informed career choices and also allows access to SU via recruitment bursaries,” says mr Van den Heever.
Some of the quotes of participating learners are:
- “I am thankful for the opportunity and wish more, if not all, learners could get this unique opportunity regarding their future planning.”
- “Stellenbosch University, thank you, you are making a difference!”