There were a few new faces in accounting lectures at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on Tuesday (7 October), as top learners from 11 schools in the Bay shadowed top students for the day.
The 23 Grade 11 learners were matched up in pairs or individually with 15 first and second-year accounting students – most of them recipients of the university’s prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship – in the School of Accounting’s first “Student for a day” initiative.
They attended lectures with their students – and passed the day as any student does, including lunch at the on-campus restaurant Madibaz and take-away coffee on their way to lecture halls. They were each given a backpack, complete with exam pad and pen to take notes, along with information relevant to their forthcoming studies.
“You’re going into actual lectures with actual students,” Accounting lecturer and project head Suzette Snyders told the learners on their arrival.
Snyders said the School of Accounting planned to grow this project in the future by including more schools and expanding the number of learners who can participate. “We started the project by just asking schools in the area, sending invitations to the two top-performing accounting learners at each of these schools.
“They are spending the day on campus, seeing exactly what a normal student’s day consists of … We’ve tried to pair them up with students who matriculated from their schools. And we’ve paired the Afrikaans-speaking learners with Afrikaans-speaking students.” Snyders, who is Afrikaans-speaking, is passionate about encouraging Afrikaans learners to pursue their studies in English, as this is the language of the business world.
“Today is an opportunity for the learners to ask questions and find out what it’s really like to be a student at NMMU,” she said.
Riebeek High’s Yolanda Mni, 17, who is aiming to become a Chartered Accountant, said she was looking forward to “seeing how university actually is”. “It’s a great opportunity to see how things work.”
“I’m a little nervous,” said her classmate Kauthar Ravat, 16, “but more excited.”
Andrew Rabie’s Lance Johnson, 17, said he was looking forward to “mingling with the students and getting a feel of the university.” “I have a lot of questions. I want to be a CA … The only other time I’ve come to the university was to play tennis. I feel very excited about the day.”
Johnson’s student “buddy” Ryno Burger, 19, a first-year BCom (Chartered Accounting) student said: “I love the idea of this programme. I have a brother in Grade 11 and I keep saying I want to bring him to varsity to experience the lifestyle of a student. High school is very different from university. You grow up a lot in a year.”
Other high schools included in this first initiative were Alexander Road, Despatch, Brandwag, Cillie, Victoria Park, Framesby, Collegiate, Pearson, Linkside.
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