UP dominates list of South Africa’s top 100 tertiary students

Posted on September 06, 2018

After receiving thousands of entries from across the country and putting entrants through a rigorous four-phase judging process, South Africa’s top 100 university students have been named. With 30 entries, students from the University of Pretoria dominate the list.

The GradStar programme, sponsored by DHL, IBM, Comair, Accenture, Fasken and Epiroc and set up by BlackBark Productions (creators of the Rising Star Awards), is a unique programme designed to provide previously unrecognised students with opportunities for employment, and allow them to contribute positively to South Africa’s growth.

The top 100 students are selected based on leadership criteria, readiness for the workplace, and academic performance. These university students show the best potential as the country’s future leaders, and their assessment throughout the process is conducted by key assessment providers, employers and universities.

The world of work is constantly evolving, and there is an increasing demand for tertiary institutions to produce employable graduates who possess the attributes, capabilities and dispositions to work successfully. Against this background there is a renewed focus on the work-readiness of UP graduates. The university’s Ready for Work initiative was launched to prepare graduates for the world of work, and provides additional skills training – including entrepreneurship – over and above academic competence and work experience. Self-actualising skills that students can acquire during their undergraduate studies are highly valued. This contributes to UP graduates being assertive and confident in any environment.

The competition process is designed to emulate the process that top employers use to find their future talent, and uses behavioural testing and personal interviewing, among other methods, as measurement tools. It allows students to familiarise themselves with the formal graduate programme application process, and enables them to identify their own strengths and weaknesses along the way.

The programme culminates in employer workshops with the Top 100, who come from the financial, accounting, IT, engineering and legal disciplines, among others. The Top 100 graduates will compete for a spot in the “Ten of the Finest” at these workshops, which will take place on 26 September, with SA’s top ten students named at a gala dinner at Johannesburg’s Indaba Hotel that evening.

- Author Department of University Relations

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