CUT Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Neil Garrod officially opened the CUT Winter School 2014 to more than 1500 learners from all walks of the Free State Province. The school dates back to 1996, and has grown from strength to strength over the years, bearing fruits that saw a drastic improvement in the Free State matric results. Partners in the project are CUT, Standard Bank of South Africa, and the Department of Education in the Free State.

During his address to the learners, Prof. Garrod encouraged learners to take full advantage of what CUT winter school has to offer and remain focused throughout the duration of the school. “We at CUT pledge to continue improving learners’ performance and support leaners’ education in the province. I am thankful of your parents and guardians who have supported you this far, prepare to make them proud, think big and think beyond the two weeks that you’ll be here; think 2015,” he concluded.

The Winter School, runs for 10 days and has been privileged to receive generous sponsorships for the past four years from Standard Bank South Africa’s Corporate Social Investment Office. The R700 000 grant in 2013 has been increased to R1 million in 2014 making it possible for more learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to be part of the programme.

The Honourable MEC for Education in the Free State, Tate Makgoe said that the class of 2014 should lead by example and exceed the high standards that the class of 2013 has set for them. “To be in matric is a special thing as some people did not get the chance to be there. You must walk tall and finish with distinctions. The class of 2013 was the best and I know you can do better than them. It is not all about money or resources but determination. I have faith in the CUT-winter school programme. In 2013 my own daughter was part of the pack and had challenges with the Life Sciences subject and bringing her here,  was the best decision I’ve ever made because she finally got a better understanding of the subject, passed and is now at UCT studying towards her degree in Chemical Engineering! We need more researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs in this province,” the MEC said.

Although the winter school focuses on eight subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Geography, Engineering Graphics and Design; Business Studies, Accounting and Economics, the project render support to scarce subjects, nurturing the talent of prospective students who might enroll at CUT in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The pack is led by eighteen highly qualified tutors who are more than committed to adding value to the grade 12’s in the Province moving it from 87% of matric results in 2013, to a new target of 90% and retaining the top spot in the country.

Standard Bank South Africa Provincial Head, Mr Anton Nicolaisen, said that education is the most powerful weapon. “We are living in a world of continuous learning, a world that is forever changing. Success doesn’t come cheap; it needs discipline, hard work and dedication.”


The event was graced by the MEC for Free State Department of Education (FSDoE), Mr Pule Tate Makgoe (middle); from left: HOD for FSDoE, Mr Stanley Malope; Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of CUT, Prof. Neil Garrod; Director for CUT-Schools Advancement Academy, Mr Giel de Villiers; Standard Bank South Africa Provincial Head, Mr Anton Nicolaisen.

Class of 2014 at the Official Opening and gearing up for the two week class schedule.

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