Programme turns lives around

29 September 2003

Going places: Second-year students on the Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) in Business Science include (from left) Khanyisa Chirwa, Thandekila Bavu (CADP student), Bulelwa Shandu, Masande Ziphethe and Shirley Pale. (Front) Samukelisiwe Magudulela.

Sanlam Investment Management (SIM) recently hosted the UCT Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) in Business Science Award ceremony to recognise and reward student achievers.

The programme is funded by SIM as part of their corporate social investment strategy and was established to help talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds complete the internationally recognised Bachelor of Business Science degree at UCT.

The students and lecturers who spoke at the function were highly appreciative of the vital role that SIM plays in the programme's success.

"It is heart warming to see the big difference that SIM is making in the students' lives," said programme co-ordinator Ramona Francis. "I am passionate about the potential of the ECP to turn people's lives around. I believe it enables UCT to attract and retain students whose school backgrounds did not adequately prepare them for tertiary study."

Third-year student Faustina Akakpo said the programme had not only helped her academically but had also empowered her to take the knowledge and skills she had gained to her community.

"The real value of the ECP lies in the supportive environment within the programme, which makes the transition from school to university more manageable," Francis added.

SIM's Temba Mvusi said: "As a business we don't operate in a vacuum. We're acutely aware of the environment we operate in and how our society and industry have been affected by past injustices. There is a great shortage of appropriately skilled women and black people in the industry and our support of this programme is one way of facilitating their entry into the business sector.

"So although it addresses the injustices of the past, we view it as a significant investment in South Africa's future."

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