Academics and parents gave a standing ovation to 167 top achievers from the Matric class of 2009 who are currently students at UKZN.

The students received certificates and scholarships at a special ceremony on the Westville campus on March 16.

In her welcoming address, Executive Director: Corporate Relations, Ms Nomonde Mbadi congratulated the students and affirmed the key role played by parents in supporting their children in their studies.

“To the students I would like to say, you have earned these awards, congratulations; and we hope to see you graduate …summa cum laude,” she added.

Executive Dean of Students, Ms Mochaki Masipa noted that in order to retain their scholarships, the students will need to continue to excel in their studies.

“You are the future around which we should build a new South Africa”, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, told the students. The annual ceremony is hosted by the Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Makgoba also raised concerns about students who failed to keep up the standard of excellence achieved at school when they come to university.

Electrical Engineering student, Mr Ashish Mothilall was one of the top ten matric pupils in KwaZulu-Natal. “I really appreciate the blessing and kindness extended by the University,” he said.

Mr Luyanda Ndlovu was also among the top ten. “Coming from a previously disadvantaged schooling background, we are very proud of Luyanda’s academic performance, especially for getting 100 percent for Accounting,” his parents said. Luyanda is registered for a BCom Accounting Degree.

One hundred and sixty three students each received a UKZN Merit Scholarship to the value of R15 000 and four (who were among the top ten matriculants in KwaZulu-Natal received a Merit Scholarship to the value of R30 000). The sum value of scholarships was R2 565 000.