The Academy for Environmental Leadership SA (AEL) is offering academic bridging year courses at a unique tertiary institution in the Northern Cape. Photo: Supplied
The Academy for Environmental Leadership SA (AEL) is offering academic bridging year courses at a unique tertiary institution in the Northern Cape. Photo: Supplied

Study options for those who didn’t meet university entry requirements

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Mar 8, 2021

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A career in the science field can almost guarantee you a high-paying job once you join the working industry. However, failing to meet admissions requirements for a university science course should not mean the end of your dream.

The Academy for Environmental Leadership SA (AEL) is offering academic bridging year courses at a unique tertiary institution in the Northern Cape.

AEL head Professor Leopoldt van Huyssteen said: “Every year, there is a large number of matrics who barely miss meeting the admission requirements and are therefore shown away by universities. These matrics can benefit from using the AEL’s academic programme as an alternative route to tertiary studies.”

Van Huyssteen, who was the dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences, as well as the chief operating officer and acting rector of Stellenbosch University (SU), said with the AEL qualification, students could either enter the job market as environmental assessors or in environmental positions in, for example, the agricultural sector, or undertake further studies.

One of the students who has benefited from the course is Jeandré Voges, 20, of Philadelphia in the Western Cape, who was sorely disappointed by his matric results.

He applied to pursue a degree in conservation ecology at Stellenbosch University. Voges needed to have 60% in maths, but he unfortunately was eight percent short and was rejected by the university.

“It felt like the door to tertiary study was being shut in my face.”

He subsequently decided to do an academic bridging year, a higher certificate (NQF Level 5) in conservation ecology. “I was prepared to follow the longer academic route in order to realise my dream of studying.”

Voges passed the course with good marks and was admitted to the extended degree programme in BScAgric. He is now a second-year student and wants to qualify himself in the area of agricultural economics.

Meanwhile, another student, Peter Joubert, 25, from Stellenbosch, had to bid his BSc studies goodbye in 2018 after he failed some of his subjects and couldn’t secure readmission. He enrolled at AEL in conservation ecology and the environment.

He achieved distinctions in that year after which he re-enrolled at Stellenbosch University and is currently in his final year.

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