Old Oak Matthew Myers is a recent recipient of the Skye-Cambridge Scholarship, which will cover the full cost of his studies and living expenses for an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge in the UK, which he will study from September 2015.
This fantastic achievement comes over and above a number of incredible accomplishments that Matthew has raked up since matriculating in 2010. At school it was obvious to all around him that he would excel. For starters he was SRC President and top achiever in matric in Mathematics, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Geography, while also playing first team hockey, swimming and adventure racing.
After school he headed off to the University of Cape Town to study Chemical Engineering and, having completed his BSc.(Eng), is now studying towards a Masters in Chemical Engineering, specialising in Bioprocess Engineering. He will take a leave of absence from his current masters to begin studying in Cambridge later this year.
At UCT, he received the Timothy Nicholson Memorial Award for being the top academic student in his university residence (Smuts Hall), and the 4th year award for the best grade point average in his final year Chemical Engineering class. He was a Golden Key International Honour society member, and was on the Dean’s Merit list for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year for obtaining a year average of over 70%. He also received a number of scholarships for his studies. He has a dream, and studying at Cambridge is part of it.
“I am a South African and am passionate and patriotic about advancing the needs of my country. South Africa is one of the most successful and progressive nations on the African continent, however, we are currently the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses on the continent. This is a strong indication that we are in desperate need of developing new pathways in order to progress toward a sustainable future.
My dream is to be at the forefront of sustainable development engineering in South Africa within the next ten years. To do this I require skills and knowledge outside the realm of what South Africa currently has to offer. The MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at Cambridge is undoubtedly one of the best of its kind, the world over, and will empower me to find robust ways of implementing sustainability at a practical level within South Africa. When I get back to South Africa, I intend to make use of the skills learnt and apply them in solving issues created by the environmentally hazardous mining and energy sectors.
“My long term dream is to be able to make decisions at government policy level that are more informed and equitable for all parties involved. Devising policies and working on projects that affect the sustainability of the future of the country for the better, will provide me with the ultimate sense of fulfilment.”
Matthew has very fond memories of Oakhill, particularly “the fantastic teachers, personal attention, epic sport practises and matches. I would just also like to mention and thank some of my past teachers by name:
- Ms Le Fleur: We had so much fun in Bio, thanks for always backing me!
- Mrs Brown/Meter: Positively the most fantastic Geography teacher
- Mrs Cloete: A world-class English teacher. If only I had another year in your class
- Mr Vieyra: Made the assimilation of most mathematical concepts seamless
- Dave Pryke: The most legendary sports coach ever – thanks for teaching me things that just can’t be learnt in the classroom”
“The Oakhill family encourages one to participate and keep a balanced lifestyle. I often found that my peers at university were too focused on certain areas, either sports, academics or socially, whereas Oakhill encourages one to focus on all spheres of life. I hope that Oakhill keeps classes small because that’s what the unique Oakhill ‘personal education’ and family feel is about. The close-knit Oakhill community and continued encouragement of participation, whether it be on the sports field or in the classroom, encompasses ‘the joy of learning’.”