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Top matriculants prepare for the Wits experience

- Wits University

The top applicants are set to join Wits as it turns 100 in 2022.

Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Zeblon Vilakazi has invited the best of the class of 2021 matriculants who applied to study at Wits University to prepare for an epic journey and become part of the future.

“Wits’ illustrious history in moving South Africa and society in general speaks for itself. However, the future will be even better as we push the boundaries of knowledge in how we teach and prepare students across all our faculties for the rapidly changing world. We are a research-intensive University and that means that we are at the cutting edge of ideas. Wits is where you want to be as the University goes into the next 100 years,” says Vilakazi.

The Vice-Chancellor was among Wits leaders and students speaking at the Top Applicants event, a gathering of the best of the class of 2021 matriculants who have been accepted to study at Wits next year. This annual event is aimed at matriculants with an admission score of 53 to 56 points calculated using final Grade 11 results.

During the event learners engaged with Faculty leaders and staff who helped to answer individual questions from the top achievers and parents. Learners were also treated to talks on the quantum leap by physicist Professor Andrew Forbes and on the topic of Covid-19 by Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Vaccinology. The talks struck a chord with the visitors whose interests are predominantly in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The guests also had a chance to tour the campus and visited laboratories, residences and key facilities essential to holistic student development.

High achievers get first hand experience of  Wits University

Durban matriculant Kyra-Leigh Naidoo, who is interested in science and commerce-based careers, said her plan is to be leader, whichever route she chooses. The Star College learner wants to pursue the business side of science and believes that Wits will get her there.

The matriculant was accompanied by her father Roddy Naidoo. Choosing an academic home for 2022 is a family affair driven by important indicators.

“We are very supportive of her academic future. We want a place that is stable in terms of its academics and will not derail her academic progress. Reliability of qualified teaching staff and a world-class education are also important,” said Mr Naidoo.

The event on Saturday 2 October was a hybrid event with others joining the event remotely. Some of the questions related to the format of teaching and learning in 2022; flexibility and the ability to carry credits between programmes should one change courses; plans for the Wits School of Oral Sciences, while other questions were very career specific.

Vilakazi and Madhi agreed that 2022 will see the University return to contact classes. They encouraged learners to vaccinate.

Wits alumna Morag Rees hoped that her son Gareth Rees would enjoy the full university experience and education beyond the classroom. What matters for her is that he finds himself and his passions at university.

Temilolowa Aina from Hoerskool Drie Riviere in Vereeniging said he was eager to meet like-minded people when he starts university.

The Top Applicants programme also featured first-hand accounts from students. Lesego Mathapo a fifth-year medical student tackled a dilemma that often students often confront.

Mathapo asked the top applicants: “What do you do if you get into the university of your dreams, but not the degree of your dreams?” – a situation that she experienced when she was not accepted into Medicine the first time around.

Wits University has placements for 250 medical students and demand outstrips the number of spaces available.

Mabilanyana Mandlazi, a master’s candidate in Mining Engineering, delivered a thrilling talk about the world of engineering that awaits students – which, according to him, is the ultimate career as all life revolves around engineering.

The Top Applicants' event is organised by the Wits Schools Liaisons Office which is responsible for recruiting student talent.