Nurturing engineers and scientists of tomorrow

Post-matric programme, Ukuqonda InstitutePost-matric programme, Ukuqonda Institute

The post-matric programme offered by the Ukuqonda Institute is a mathematics and science-based thirteenth school year. The purpose is to add to the pool of successful university graduates in engineering, scientific and related fields. It is currently based at Grenville High School in Rustenburg.

Applicants are primarily drawn from historically disadvantaged backgrounds and are put through an intensive interview procedure in which their overall capacity to take advantage of what is offered by the programme is assessed. In 2009 the intake was increased to 47, divided into two main groups. There is also a support component for the students who are already enrolled in higher institutions of learning in cases where it is required.

The focus is two-fold. The first one is to produce an individual who has acquired the academic and social maturity to cope with the heavy demands placed on university engineering and science students. This typically involves mediating a break with an expectation that learning is about exam preparation and mastering certain pre-existing procedures.

Another purpose is to offer individuals opportunities to improve their academic performance. For some this entails achieving better symbols in essential subjects in which good results are a prerequisite for acceptance at tertiary institutions. The candidates rewrite one or more of mathematics, physical science and English exams. Since very few candidates sit for mathematics paper 3 in their final school year, this paper is a compulsory component of the programme. Students who are further advanced are also provided the option to sit for the Cambridge International Examinations AS-level Mathematics exams (Pure mathematics 1 and mechanics 1), or if functioning at a very high level, two additional papers (Pure mathematics 2&3 and mechanics 2) to make up the full A-level mathematics qualification.

In addition, a number of additional enrichment activities are offered - a course in computer literacy and elementary programming is the most significant one. Technical drawing and technology classes are also offered.

The size of the academic staff has grown along with the programme. Its members constitute a diverse and highly motivated group of self-driven individuals whose common purpose is to achieve the goals outlined above. It is a source of pride to the staff that a number of former students are involved in the broader educational initiatives run by the Ukuqonda Institute during school holidays.



The table below indicates the number of students who are at different tertiary institutions and faculties:

Field of StudyYear of studyNumber
Chemical Engineering33
Information Technology3 
Electrical Engineering21
Industrial Engineering33
Mechanical Engineering32
Mining Engineering31
Physical Science18
Business Management21
Implats Sustainable Development Report 2009