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Monday, 23 November 2020

Seven students receive Vice Chancellor’s Prestigious Achievers awards

RECOGNITION: Literacy Research Unit director and Vice Chancellor’s Prestigious Achievers Awards committee chairperson, Prof Janet Condy recognised two Master’s and five Doctoral students. RECOGNITION: Literacy Research Unit director and Vice Chancellor’s Prestigious Achievers Awards committee chairperson, Prof Janet Condy recognised two Master’s and five Doctoral students.

Seven recipients of this year’s Vice Chancellor’s (VC) Prestigious Achievers Award Programme have reason to celebrate - the VC and the awards committee recently recognised two Master’s and five PhD students.

The Programme is in its second year of implementation. The Literacy Research Unit director and awards committee chairperson, Prof Janet Condy said they assessed the 2019 recipients and budget to make a decision to continue to support the current two Masters students (each receive R100,000 per annum) and five Doctoral students (R120 000 per annum).

“The committee decided that due to limited funds we will not open the call for applications, but will open it again in 2021,” Condy explains.

The committee attempted to be sensitive towards balancing gender, supporting the neighbouring countries, and being inclusive of Master’s and Doctoral students. Amongst the recipients, are two male and five female recipients. They consist of two South Africans, two Nigerians, one Cameroonian and two Zimbabweans. 

Sivenathi Jayiya, a Master’s student in Public Relations, whose research focuses predominantly on Corporate Social Responsibility said: “Thank you so much to the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee for contributing towards our academic success, none of us would be where we are if it wasn’t for your generosity.”

PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering, Ruvimbo Mukandi, felt honoured to be recognised for the awards. “It’s good to see that hard work has been recognised by the faculty and the University.”

The award has contributed towards meeting the costs for tuition fees, accommodation expenses and logistics associated with her experimental work.  “This recognition will open research doors for me in future. Generally, very few students get this level of recognition, therefore it will be a testament to my academic and professional credibility in future,” Ruvimbo asserts.  

She has some words of encouragement to students who are dreaming of receiving the award. “It is not where you come from that determines your future but what you do with the opportunities presented to you. So never look at your background or play small because you are too scared to be big and impactful. Not even the sky should be your limit...

“I want to encourage particularly the black girl child to work hard and be committed to her studies as she too can achieve this.”

PhD candidate in Civil Engineering and Survey, Bimpe Alabi said: “This is a great honour and a privilege... I'm so honoured and grateful to be the recipient of this award.”

Bimpe says this will relieve her financially: “This will allow me to focus more on the most important aspect of my research. This will also make me to be closer to the achievement of my goal and definitely, it will motivate me for the rest of my future undertakings… My advice to students is to never give up on their dreams... It’s not over unless they want it to be ... I am certain that your hard work will definitely one day give you all the rewarding results and it will enhance your life.”

Executive Director in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Driekie Hay-Swemmer said postgraduate students are the academics and professors of the future and that their development should be prioritised. Hay-Swemmer added that universities were acknowledged for the quality of their doctoral education programmes. She argued that the supervisors play a pivotal role in the scholarship development of doctoral students and should view it as a privilege to shape the mind of a scholar.

“The topics chosen by CPUT’s doctoral students are relevant and attempt to address issues of food security, housing and global warming - our focus is research with impact.”

Furthermore, Condy applauded Advocate Dianna Yach, who is the Chair of the Mauerberger Foundation for her kind donation to make the awards programme possible.   “The Vice-Chancellor and the committee members would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Mauerberger Foundation Board of Trustees for considering CPUT as a beneficiary and for the continued support we have received.”  

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo conveyed his gratitude to the donor and expressed the importance of transforming academia in South Africa as that will showcase black excellence and scholarship. “[This will help in] developing [the] next generation of scholars that will be inspiring, and [become] role models for young people and aspirant academics.”

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

Email: boyceap@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Engineering and the Built Environment and Applied Sciences Faculties.