for tomorrow

NMMU News

09/02/2015

IT could have gone either way, but this time around twin Deon Beauzec got the higher mark – and won the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).

But he’s sharing the R82 782-a-year bursary with brother, Michael.

Had Michael got the better matric pass, he would have shared it with his sibling too. That’s as the twins from Otto du Plessis High School have always done.

“We’ve always shared everything. I never for a moment thought of keeping the bursary for myself,” said Deon (pictured right), who received 85.1% average for his matric results, just 1.5% more than his equally-bright brother.

“It could have been Michael as we always swop marks and places in class. Most of the time we shared the academic trophies at school.”

Both boys, 18, will also be studying BSc Chemistry as a stepping stone towards the medical degrees they hope to obtain one day.

“We’re hoping to be among NMMU’s first medical students as we know the university is working towards having its own medical school,” said Michael. NMMU plans to introduce a clinical associate degree from 2016 and the general medical practitioner degree from 2018.

The financial windfall is an answer to prayer for the Beauzec family, who recently moved from Algoa Park to a small holding at Little Chelsea with other extended family members.

The boys’ father, Mike, is unable to work after a car accident in 2010, while their mother, Pam, was retrenched in February last year, with her part-time job coming to an end this month.

The scholarship, one of 25 awarded to the most academically-deserving students to NMMU, means that the boys’ tuition of R36 000 each will now be covered with some money to spare for books. The scholarship is the highest offered by a public university in South Africa and is only awarded to top academic candidates.

“We weren’t sure how we were going to manage. We paid the registration fees and waited for the outcome of the bursary. If they hadn’t received the bursary we would have applied for a loan because I know my sons are bright and will become doctors,” said a proud Pam.

The couples’ elder daughters are both NMMU graduates.

Bianca, 25, works at a township school, while Simone is completing her community service year as a radiographer in the Humansdorp hospital.

Apart from financial challenges, the boys had to deal with the departure of their physics teacher in grade 11.

“We gave up soccer in our matric year so that we could concentrate on our studies,” said Deon, who along with his brother are excellent club soccer players.

They and another academically-strong classmate always worked and studied together at school. The twins also went for extra maths and science classes after hours.

“This scholarship is such a relief and blessing for our family. It also means we won’t have to cut the grass every weekend because we’ll be studying and playing sport again,” said Michael.