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Amber Meyer was the South African Institute of Industrial Engineering’s Best Final Year NDip student in 2019, yet she never thought she would graduate, twice in a row or cum laude, having had to overcome educational and financial hurdles.

This year she is graduating with her BTech in Industrial Engineering also cum laude at the Autumn Graduation.  

“I cannot believe it. I am even more proud because there has been so much during my student years that would be considered impossible to overcome. But here I am, a graduate for the second time, and hopefully a third after I finish my master’s in industrial engineering, Amber says.

Amber attended five different schools in the Eastern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga and had to study in Afrikaans, which she did not speak or understand. Her classmates always had an advantage over her.  She was also home-schooled for a few years, which did not provide for sufficient mathematical and scientific skills and she started off with 15% for maths and physics, when she returned to school.

In Grade 11, she decided to teach herself every grade from the beginning again and after six months she was in her school’s top 10 for academics every term until she matriculated with a distinction at DF Malherbe High School in 2016.  

“After matric, it was my dream to study Industrial Engineering, but this was not realistic for me and my family, as I am one of five sisters and an identical twin. In spite of not having the money, I attended first-year orientation until I was able to register” she says. 

Soon after her first semester, she received an academic bursary which she continued to receive every year.

“I knew that the only way to receive funding, would be to achieve high marks. I could not afford university books, so I sat rewriting the books at the library. Today I believe that the reason for my academic success is because I had to find so many ways to study.

The opportunity to study was not a reality, I had to make it one. I wanted to succeed so badly. It was hard and I wanted to quit many times, but the support from my friends and family always prevented that, Amber says.

Amber’s youngest sister has just matriculated and will be studying at Mandela University next year in Political Studies. Her sisters are all entrepreneurs.


Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160