Engineering honours top schools

“The Faculty of Engineering is honoured to be associated with you,” August Engelbrecht said to an audience of 300 people during a very special event on 17 March 2018. “Today we acknowledge school principals, their management teams, parents and learners for their outstanding academic results in the 2017 Matric examinations.”

During the function, certificates of recognition were handed over to 49 schools on the Western Cape Education Department’s merit list. “Significant numbers of learners from these schools come to study at Stellenbosch University (SU), and particularly at the Faculty of Engineering,” added Mr Engelbrecht who is responsible for student recruitment and retention at the Faculty of Engineering.

Schools were represented by principals or their deputies, as well as the schools’ top Matrics and their parents.

In his address, the Dean of the Faculty, Prof Wikus van Niekerk, said: “Engineers make dreams come true! We believe we make a huge impact in society, by improving quality of life for instance by providing electricity and clean water.”

He encouraged learners to consider Stellenbosch Engineering as their first choice of study in 2019. “Why study at SU Engineering?” he asked them. He then provided a few solid reasons:

1. The Faculty’s has an excellent reputation. It is the only SA engineering faculty that received ECSA accreditation the past ten years with no deficiencies;

2. The Faculty has a high success rate: 72% of first-years do graduate with a BEng degree;

3. There is a common first-year programme which provides some exposure to all disciplines. This allows students one year to decide which discipline they are really interested in. If their performance is satisfactory, they can switch to another programme in their second year if they wish to do so;

4. The Faculty has an excellent research programme which is strongly supported by industry;

5. Residence life in Matieland is phenomenal, and solid mentorship programmes exist in residences and the Faculty.

6. The Faculty of Engineering offers great support to its students. Apart from two personnel members dedicated to looking after the interests of students, there are also two part-time educational psychologists who assist engineering students with academic and personal challenges. The Faculty has a well-established tutor programme where senior students assist groups of first-years who grapple with technical modules.

The audience also heard that 72 of the current 780 first-year Matie engineering students obtained an average of 90% or more in Matric.

“Some of the trust that SU has placed in the Faculty of Engineering is the fact that close on one billion Rand is being spent on the refurbishment of the Engineering building complex. If you come to this Faculty, you will become part of a dynamic, growing faculty,” the Dean added to strengthen his argument why learners should choose Stellenbosch Engineering for their studies.

The Faculty then played its trump card and introduced and honoured Janke van Dyk. Janke, who hails from Bellville High School, was the country’s top Matric in 2017 with an astounding average of 98,3%. And what is Janke doing this year? This bright young lady is studying Chemical Engineering at Stellenbosch University!

From the left: Prof Steven Bradshaw (Chair: Process Engineering that offers the Programme in Chemical Engineering), Janke van Dyk (top Matric in 2017 and currently first-year student in Chemical Engineering) and August Engelbrecht (responsible for student recruitment and retention at Engineering).