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15 May 2006

Students REAP the rewards

Over the years, a good number of UCT students have benefited from the support of the Rural Education Access Programme (REAP). An initiative of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, the programme works hand in glove with the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to help overlooked rural students get into universities around the country, providing both additional grants and mentoring. Recently, the organisation, which has aided some 400 students since it was established, celebrated its fifth birthday. UCT science student Ayanda Majola, a REAP beneficiary who hails from Ezakheni in KwaZulu-Natal, thought the occasion was just the right one to say thanks in a special way. So he and fellow performers on the UCT Christian Students Fellowship Choir performed at REAP's birthday function on April 24, attended by Minister of Education Naledi Pandor.

Students cut out for surgery

On medical dramas - poker-faced or slapstick - surgeons are portrayed as a cut above the rest. And maybe they are, but in real life it takes some elbow grease. That's the message medical students got at the inaugural meeting of the UCT Surgical Society on May 4. Taking its lead from similar groups across the world, the society, founded just last year, aims to pique the interest of UCT medical students in the field. "South Africa is a good country for surgical training because of the numerous pathologies and the high number of trauma cases seen," says fifth-year MBChB student Sanju Sobnach, founder and chair of the new society. "Yet at medical school, students don't know a lot about surgery." For its first meeting, the society aims to set this right, and rolled out a string of UCT surgeons, including Prof Jake Krige of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Prof Alan Taylor of the Division of Neurosurgery and Dr Kevin Adams of the Division Plastic & Maxillofacial Surgery, to speak on the challenges of their specialities. "The beauty of surgery," speaker Dr Sean Burmeister told the students, "comes in separating the patient from the disease and putting the disease in a bottle." Patron for the society - which may well be the first of its kind in the country - is Prof Del Kahn, head of general surgery and transplant surgery at UCT.

GSB hosts top marketing researcher

Professor Vijay Mahajan, a leading marketing researcher and the former editor of the Journal of Marketing Research, will visit the UCT Graduate School of Business this week to host a seminar. His presentation will draw on his new Wharton School Publishing book, The 86 Percent Solution: How to Succeed in the Biggest Market Opportunity of the Next 50 Years, which highlights the importance of emergent economies to global business and identifies some things that firms can do to refine marketing strategies in the new global marketing environment. Over the course of his career, Mahajan has researched and written extensively on product diffusion, marketing strategy, and marketing research methodologies. The seminar takes place on Wednesday, May 17, at 13h00 in LT4 at the GSB in Portswood Road. Contact (021) 406 1442 for details.

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