Breaking barriers with a unique approach to student recruiting

Breaking barriers with a unique approach to student recruiting

“Your mother tongue is your comfort zone, a place where you can be yourself without hesitation.” – Unknown

The Faculty of Engineering hosted its annual Telethon on Saturday, 28 October 2023, for the fifth time since it was first held in October 2019. Fifteen engineering students in their second, third, and fourth years participated in this initiative, orchestrated by student recruiter August Engelbrecht.

The Telethon entails current students reaching out to prospective students who received a provisional offer to study engineering at Stellenbosch University.  Nine official South African languages were heard at the Stellenbosch University (SU) Client Contact Centre on the day.

Engelbrecht says the current students play a crucial role in this unique approach. “They phoned prospective students who were offered a place to study engineering in 2024 and engaged them in their home languages. They shared their personal experiences about their ‘home away from home’, shared tips, and answered questions.”

He adds: “It is a fact that prospective students from Generation Z are seeking authentic views into life at university. Allowing current students to share their personal experiences is a great way to give the insider’s perspective on what it’s really like to attend Stellenbosch and become a Matie. They are a real asset to our Faculty and the University.”

Prof Wikus van Niekerk, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, also greeted the participating students. The 15 engineering students will keep contact with their group until registration, either on WhatsApp or by email. “Upon registration, the new students become part of the ‘Engineering Buddy System’,” says Engelbrecht.

Photo: Senior engineering students engaging with prospective students in their native languages.

[Article by Amber Viviers]