GRAD first-year booklet being packaged. Photo by Roger Gladwell.

135 000 Copies Of GRAD First-year Booklet Supplied Across SAn Universities

135 000 copies of GRAD – which is a concise guide in the form of a booklet primarily for first-year, university students – were distributed from the 12th to 22nd January 2018 among universities throughout South Africa (SA).

“[T]he bright and accessible publication covers a plethora of subjects in its 54 pages: taking responsibility, setting goals, managing time, managing money, handling stress, studying effectively, using test and exam results to improve, overcoming failure,” according to a letter from the GRAD’s team to stakeholders.

“[I]t even explains in two pages how you can feed yourself on a very small budget,” reads in the letter.

The booklet’s deliveries occurred across 23 campuses situated in cities (ranging from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Kimberley to Durban) umbrellaed by distinguished, South African provinces.

They will be given to first-year students during orientation gatherings as part of the welcome packages, skills development programs or simply as items accompanying registration parcels.

With Capitec as the sponsor, whilst Van Schaik Publishers took the responsibility of hours of pro bono work, the booklet was tentatively drafted by Ruda Landman hand-in-hand with StudyTrust, a national bursary organisation, which began aiding students with funding and mentorship since 1974.

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In particular, “[t]he content of GRAD was compiled from first-hand experience with hundreds of students, and from research done in partnership with the Sasol Inzalo Foundation,” says in the letter.

GRAD, furthermore, was endorsed by SA National Resource Centre for First Year Experience, which provided the booklet’s team with assistance in the form of contacts of all the campuses.

Primary purpose

The booklet serves as a guide to first-generation students (those who are first from their families to attend tertiary education), considering that there is an annual enrolment of more than 150 000 first-years constituted of about 60% of “first-generation”.

“They can’t phone home . . . No one at home has walked the road.  There’s no one who can say, ‘Don’t worry, I know it’s hard, but you can make it – I know because I did it.’,” says Landman.

“Often the student carries the whole family’s hopes and aspirations on her shoulders.  It is simply impossible to say to your mum or your granny, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ Where must they turn for help?” she continues.

An online copy, made available by Van Schaik Publishers, will further improve the learning experience of this year’s edition as it allows students to be more pragmatic about GRAD’s “lessons”.

For more details about GRAD, contact . . .

Ruda Landman: 082 452 7774,;

Murray Hofmeyr:

About Gaby Ndongo 42 Articles
Gaby Ndongo Nkolo is a liberal Congolese nationalist who is currently studying Journalism at the University of Johannesburg. He works as a journalist for both The Open Journal and The Journalist. His interests are diverse ranging from skateboarding, boxing, the culinary arts, cycling and most importantly journalism which brought with it, interests in reading and writing. In particular Gaby enjoys activities that require speed or concentration; however, music beguiles his soul and rejuvenates his mind. This individual’s aspiration is to always be his true self and love who he is as a person; additionally, he aims to appreciate people for who they are as individuals.

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