In remote areas, learners often encounter obstacles when trying to access information related to higher education. Despite the abundance of resources available on the internet, many students lack the means to connect due to limited electricity and other essential resources, thereby preventing them from exploring the numerous opportunities available in the academic world.
According to Dr Letlhogonolo Mabena from TUT’s Department of Chemistry, the impact of limited access to higher education information is particularly acute for learners attending historically disadvantaged schools. “Rural schools often lack proper guidance and counselling services to help learners make informed decisions about subject choices, career paths, and the minimum requirements for higher education entry. Additionally, financial constraints make it challenging for many of these learners to pursue higher education even if they meet the requirements, leaving them trapped in a cycle of limited opportunities.”
Recognising the urgent need to address these disparities, a team of dedicated educators and professionals enrolled with the Haaga-Helia programme has taken the lead in organising a career exhibition during National Science Week. The event provided learners from various high schools in Lefiso Village with the necessary exposure make informed decisions about their future. The exhibition offered a platform for high schools and candidates from diverse fields to share their experiences and knowledge, empowering the attendees to explore their potential career paths.
The community engagement event was spearheaded by Dr Mumsy Chibe from the University of Mpumalanga, along with Dr Letlhogonolo Mabena, Ntombizotwa Memane, and David Shaku from TUT’s Faculty of Science. They were supported by role players from the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, the Faculty of Economics & Finance and Student Recruitment, among others.
The participating schools included Lehlabile High School with 106 learners, Malatse High School with 160 learners, and Seruane High School with an impressive attendance of 420 learners. This promising response indicates the genuine enthusiasm of the learners to explore potential academic and career pathways to become future-ready.
TUT has partnered with Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences since 2015 whereby it trains professionals for business and services through education, research, and development.