Best moment: EDU Student of the Year winner, Yvette Adams, (second, left) is congratulated by (from left) dean of Faculty of Commerce Prof Don Ross, EDU director DrJune Pym and EDU co-ordinator Daniel Munene.
For 11 years, the Education Development Unit (EDU) in UCT's Faculty of Commerce has succeeded in attracting and retaining students who have overcome gaps and disparities in education and life.
But what stood out at this year's EDU annual awards ceremony on 28 July, hosted to recognise students' achievements, is the sense of community that the programme is inculcating.
Associate Professor Rochelle Kapp, acting director of the Academic Development Programme, reflected on the success of EDU, adding: "What is important about the programme is that it develops students who want to achieve individually, but who also have sense of their responsibilities to the broader community."
"This is like a community," said Morne Hoffman, a BCom third-year student. "First, (staff at the EDU) help you to settle in, to fit in and make you feel welcomed. Then they know all of us, not just as students, but they are very involved with our lives. And as students we click, we go out together and help one another."
Classmate Luigi Brown added that it is not always easy to study at UCT, but EDU's support structures, such as workshops, tutorships and social events, make it manageable. In turn, this is encouraging students to give back.
"I have learnt (through EDU) that it is not all about you, but you should also be lending a helping hand to people in need," added business law student Muziwokukhanya Cele.
At the event, outstanding students were honored. Yvette Adams, a student parent who started the Student Parents on Campus society, was named EDU Student of the Year, and Sakhe Mkosi was toasted for achieving 97% in maths in the first-year June examinations, a mark that could not be matched by even mainstream students.
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