Development unit builds on community

22 August 2011

Development unit builds on communityBest moment: EDU Student of the Year winner, Yvette Adams, (second, left) is congratulated by (from left) Dean of Commerce Prof Don Ross, EDU director Dr June Pym, and EDU co-ordinator Daniel Munene.

For 11 years, the Education Development Unit (EDU) in the Faculty of Commerce has attracted and retained 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.

"What is important about the programme is that it develops students who want to achieve individually, but who also have a sense of their responsibilities to the broader community," said Associate Professor Rochelle Kapp, acting director of the Academic Development Programme.

"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 welcome. They know all of us, not just as students; they're very involved with our lives. And as students we click, we go out together and help one another."

Classmate Luigi Brown added that although academic life is not always easy, the EDU's support structures, such as workshops, tutorships and social events, had made it manageable.

Outstanding students included Yvette Adams, a student parent who started the Student Parents on Campus society, who was named EDU Student of the Year, and Sakhe Mkosi, who achieved 97% in first-year maths in the June exams, a mark that could not be matched even by mainstream students.

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