(Article by Nane Zietsman)
Being in the prime of your life amidst a pandemic is far from the fantasy versions of the matric experience one has dreaming of for more than a decade. Faced with a hard lockdown, the closing of schools and adjusting to online learning, the class of 2020 wrote their final exams under more scrutiny and stress than their predecessors. It is only a privilege that Stellenbosch University will become home to newcomers who are not only able, but also irrepressible.
Amongst the Faculty of Engineering’s 2021 first year group is Danie Gouws, who achieved the highest mark for Maths in the National Senior Certificate (NSC). Gouws, who attended Hermanus High School, is enrolled in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (E&E). “I chose E&E because I have a strong interest in electronics. This includes the Arduino-based systems and control systems that I use to develop semi-autonomous, radio-controlled drones and aircraft.” Stellenbosch University was Gouws’s first choice for a tertiary education, and he was particularly drawn to the university’s reputation of being a world-class institution as well as its rich history, which he hopes to become part of.
Gouws contributes his achievement to the valuable lessons he learned during the challenging circumstances of 2020: “The past year taught me the values of good time management, being self-motivated, staying committed to your work and engaging in effective self-study.” He plans to make the most of his time at Stellenbosch University and strive to find a healthy balance between his studies and student life. “By the end of my studies I wish to be a qualified engineer that can enter the workforce as a well-rounded and professional individual.”
This new chapter in Gouws’s life holds great promises for his future. He firmly stands by the words of Malcom X: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
The Faculty congratulates Gouws on his outstanding performance in his NSC and wishes him all the best with his future studies.
Photograph: Danie Gouws, eager to kick off his Matie career at the Faculty.