Boipelo Moncho – a success story of note

Annette Willemse -- Thu, 06/04/2015 - 17:31

Boipelo Moncho – a success story of note

The 22-year old Boipelo Moncho has a lot to be proud of – especially when it comes to her academic achievements. During the recent Autumn Graduation Ceremony of the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), she received her honours degree in BCom Chartered Accounting (also known as CTA). 

Boipelo (far left) with some of her fellow graduates during the Autumn Graduation Ceremony

It is almost ironic to think that Boipelo – who matriculated in 2009, would never have even set foot in an accounting lecture room if it was not for her determination to succeed and the opportunity created by the introduction of the extended degree programmes on the campus. 

Extended degree programmes

At the NWU Vaal a series of extended degree programmes offer learners – with low Mathematical scores or Mathematical Literacy as a subject, the opportunity to study towards degrees such as Chartered Accounting; Financial Accounting; Financial Mathematics; Quantitative Risk Management; Business Analytics and Information Technology.  In short: BCom and BSc degree programmes that they would otherwise not have had access to due to either their marks in pure Mathematics or their subject choice of Mathematical Literacy.

Five years after the introduction of the extended degree programmes on the Campus, the success of the intervention remains unrivalled. Extended programmes are just as they sound; instead of being a three-year course of their original module; the extended programmes are full-time four year courses. What makes them different is the extra classes in certain fields of the modules to help the students understand what is needed, and to help increase their chances of better grades and subsequently future career success.

Boipelo’s story

In 2010 – armed with her National Senior Certificate (NSC) and two distinctions (one in Mathematical Literacy and the other in Business Studies) she applied for the extended degree programme in accounting.  “Despite my decision to choose Mathematical Literacy as a school subject, I have always known that I wanted to pursue a career in Accounting,” says Boipelo and adds that she was determined to prove, that through hard work and determination, there are opportunities for dedicated students with Mathematical Literacy.

According to Prof Heleen Janse van Vuuren, Director of the School of Accounting Sciences, the young Boipelo immediately impressed her – not only because of her positive spirit but also because of her very good NSC results. In fact, Boipelo scored very high on the Admission Point Score (APS) upon applying at the Campus and as such she was accepted into the extended degree programme for chartered accountancy. “Boipelo is living proof that hard work pays off,” says Prof Janse van Vuuren and proudly boasts with the fact that Boipelo is currently busy with her academic clerkship at the Campus.

When asked why she chose Mathematical Literacy, Boipelo says: “The pass rate at my high school for pure Mathematics was not really good and I wanted to pass matric in record time with as high marks as possible, and henceforth I knew that I would be shooting myself in the foot if I were to choose pure Mathematics”.  She also says that she did not have the confidence to apply herself to pure Mathematics since she did not believe that she was smart enough to handle it. “Only once I was in Matric did I realise how well I was doing in my academic work and how my decision to take Mathematical Literacy would impact on my future plans. This realisation – late as it was, pushed me to work even harder and to improve my grades even further”.

To get into the extended programme for Chartered Accountancy programme, one needs to have English and Mathematics. “As already established, I did not have pure mathematics so technically I did not qualify to take part in the course. However, because of the extended programmes within the field of accounting, I was allowed me to pursue my dreams and finally get to the point where I was accepted into the chartered accounting programme. The rest is – as they say, history”.

According to Boipelo she has learnt a valuable lesson, namely that Mathematical Literacy does not necessarily have to put a damper on dreams of success. “I appreciate that as students within the extended degree programmes, we are nurtured into the course, with modules such as critical and analytical thinking, as well as foundation mathematics”.

* To read more of Boipelo’s story, please visit 

Boipelo Moncho - an inspiration to all