A 2016 matric learner from Durban’s Westville Boys’ High School who earned seven distinctions in his final exams last year has been accepted to study at Harvard University, one of the US’s premier Ivy League institutions.
The 17-year-old Sasasa Dlamini is determined to use his Harvard opportunity to learn from the world’s best and invest the knowledge he gains back into South Africa. Ivy League universities are some of the most renowned in the world, with particularly stringent entry requirements and high educational standards, even for American students.
“I want to engage with people from different backgrounds from me, and truly broaden my horizons and my understanding as a global citizen,” Dlamini says. “I’ve worked hard and played to my strengths… I want to stretch myself and my ability to help change the circumstances of people.”
Congratulations to SA student, Sasasa Dlamini, he has been accepted to Harvard University where he’ll be studying Philosophy and Economics. pic.twitter.com/0eYQy0eCzb
— TransAfricaRadio (@TransAfrica872) January 10, 2017
In addition to his excellent exam results, Dlamini took part in a number of the school’s extracurricular activities, including debating, where he represented the province at national level, athletics and basketball.
Applying to Harvard, Dlamini says, was a lengthy, intricate process. “It took me six months to prepare my application, which included four motivation essays, as well as a Skype interview. I had to take the SATs test.”
The SATs are the admissions test for American universities.
With a 6% admission rate, he kept his hopes realistic and got down to achieving his final matric marks, which would boost his chances of acceptance. “I didn’t tell my parents because I didn’t want them to have to share in my possible rejection.”
But the news was good, and he got word in early January that he was welcome to attend Harvard in September, the start of the American academic year.
Dlamini plans on studying economics and philosophy, ultimately hoping that the education will help him find new, innovative ways to develop more practical job creation ideas in South Africa.
“We need job creation that is sustainable. Wealth accumulation is a problem here and it is a structural issue. We need to be looking at a far wider wealth distribution. Philosophy teaches you how to think and expand your ideas.”
Proud parents Nicholas and Thelma Dlamini have faith their son will succeed, thanks in part to their instilling the true value of education in their three children from an early age. They also pay special tribute to the teachers and headmaster of Westville Boys’ High School, whose work with learners, they call “(an) epitome of what a school should be in our South African context in terms of transformation”.
While standards for acceptance to American educational institutions are high, most of the Ivy League universities and other state colleges are open to hard working, qualifying students from around the world. Thanks to a number of specialist education advisers in South Africa, exceptional high school learners and tertiary students interested in studying overseas can find guidance to the processes, receiving comprehensive information about all accredited foreign institutions.
Applicants are also taken through orientation sessions and individual consultations that help them not only prepare academically, but also adjust socially to the experience.
For more information, please visit the official EducationUSA website.
Source: Good Things Guy website