“There are more people [in my rural community] who are thinking of going to higher education, because of what they see possible. People have definitely changed their view on the education and what they can achieve through it.”

The SARiHE program has helped me in so many ways that I can see as a better student now. My public speaking confidence has improved, my doubt has decreased and I am more courageous now. I have gained some knowledge of how to do research and how to deal with people better.

My university life has changed for the better as I am more now more confident and open to new ideas and ways of life than I was before. I no longer feel like a village boy in the big city.

When people ask what the SARiHE project is about, I tell them to think of it as a very informative session with a psychologist that knows and feels everything you are about. I tell them that it is where you get to learn more of life by acknowledging the differences the similarities of people whilst being proud of who you are and where you are from. I always say to them that they should start participating in research groups on campus and when they ask me, I’m always like SARiHE is a good starting point to embrace who you are whilst learning research basics.

Although I am studying a civil engineering I have considered not being an engineer for at least two years after graduation and help the local school learners with career information whilst helping them with school, just to give back and help where I can because helping others is the biggest achievement any living soul could do.

I have received research skills that I will forever be grateful for from SARiHE. I have learned to collect relevant data and ways of finding it through various methods like by using the internet and asking people questions. I have learned to record data by the various mediums one can use like photography, video and sound recordings.  I received IT skills in mostly how devices work to capture information. I learned how to use online apps, peer reviewing aps, sound recording devices, video editing and camera operations.

The most impact was at my house, where they [were] pleased by the way I have turned out to be as a man after I started showing them my captured research data before I left for the city. They [were] proud that I was now seeing the need to help out in the community even more and they were happy that I was doing something other than worry about the situation back home.

There are more people [in my rural community] who are thinking of going to higher education, because of what they see possible. People have definitely changed their view on the education and what they can achieve through it. Someone asked me why a village boy would try to do engineering whereas there is almost nothing happening related to engineering in the village and I told them that because of the possibility of making a village turn into a town and laying the foundation for others to turn it into a city, from that day the person said he regards me as their big brother and they too will study something related to engineering hoping they are the ones who will turn my town into our city.

Rocky Ramaube (co-researcher, University of Johannesburg)