Science Access Student Moves through the Ranks to Graduate with Cum Laude BSc
Starting a BSc degree through the Science Access programme - a course aimed to assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds who do not meet mainstream entry requirements - and ending the journey with a cum laude Master’s degree in Mathematics is definitely an achievement to brag about.
But Mr Langalihle Mazibuko is not the bragging type, and his unassuming, deprecating and humble manner makes his achievement all the more laudable.
Hard work and determination got Mazibuko to where he is now. ‘My marks in high school for mathematics were average, although I always had a special interest in the subject,’ said Mazibuko.
He is grateful he took this interest further and did not give up even when he failed to gain access into the mainstream BSc programme.
Mazibuko was awarded a Moses Kontane bursary and TATA scholarship for his undergraduate studies and the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Bursary for his Master’s degree.
He specialises is in the field of differential geometry and his Master’s thesis examined the geometry of CR-manifolds.
Acting Dean of Research within the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, Professor Theresa Coetzer, congratulated Mazibuko on his achievement. ‘It is especially pleasing to see such a result from a student who started University through the Access route,’ she said. ‘Langalihle has grabbed the opportunity provided with both hands and made the most of it.’
Mazibuko attributed a large part of his success to his supervisor, Professor Fortune Massamba. ‘Being a top researcher in the field of mathematics himself, he has been more than just a supervisor but also a role model to me, full of inspiration and encouragement over the past few years.’
Mazibuko is now focused on the next milestone – obtaining a PhD degree. For this he has been awarded an NRF innovation doctoral scholarship.
He says he wants to remain in academia as he enjoys the challenge of being at the cutting edge of research and the stimulation that inquiry brings to his life.