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Students help to get the economy back to the rural areas
2009-08-14

 
At the launch of Sanlam’s Creativity for Progress Competition for the Ekn 324 group were, from the left: P.J. Bothma, Mr Frank Louw, National Sponsorship Manager of Sanlam, Dr Karen Thomas, lecturer in Economic Policy at the Department of Economics, Kaylee Wells and Eugene Maseme.
Photo: Lacea Loader


Third-year students in the subject Economic Policy Analysis at the UFS are hard at work to think of ideas on how knowledge and expertise can be taken back to the rural areas of South Africa. This is the theme of Sanlam’s national competition for universities called Creativity for Progress with a total prize money of R900 000. This year's topic is "Rural areas are failing to retain and attract skilled people and graduates, resulting in economic stagnation. How would you remedy this?"

The group of 162 students, which is divided into groups of six, must compile a project that is academically grounded, practical and implementable. They must also approach the project from a community service learning perspective and it counts a quarter of their semester mark. To encourage the students, Prof. Tienie Crous, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, has sponsored some prizes for which the groups must compete. Teams of between four and six members will first compete at intra-varsity level to determine a varsity winner. The national panel members will then adjudicate the varsity winners, and invite the semi finalists to the finals. Teams will be assessed on their business proposals as well as the presentation of these proposals to a panel of judges. Last year the group from the UFS ended second in the final round of the competition.

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