Chatsworth’s Trevolin Pillay one of six deaf students who graduated in IT from Belgium Campus

The calibre of students the institution provides allows them to boast a 100 percent graduate employment rate and provide no fewer than eight percent of the ICT graduates in South Africa.

In a South African first, six deaf IT students graduated from Belgium Campus iTversity NPC each with a three-year bachelor of information technology (BIT) degree, on Friday. Trevolin Pillay (23) from Chatsworth, KwaZulu-Natal is one of the six graduating students and has done his community proud.

The tertiary institution has taken responsibility to be an important catalyst in the growth and development of students with disabilities and students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We collaborate with the industry to provide these students with the financial support necessary to forge successful futures through higher education,” said Dr Elaine van Wyk, chief marketing officer at Belgium Campus, which is a well-established and renowned South African-based private higher education institution.

The institution has campuses in Pretoria, Kempton Park, and a newly opened campus in Stellenbosch.
The calibre of students the institution provides allows them to boast a 100 percent graduate employment rate and provide no fewer than eight percent of the ICT graduates in South Africa. The six deaf graduating students are:

  • Trevolin Pillay (23) from Chatsworth, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Sieshane Perumal (27) from Westville, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Violen Moonee (27) from Darnall in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Nkululeko Lekokoane (29) from Soweto
  • Admar Claassen (29) from Bougainville, Paarl
  • Yazeed Moosa (29) from Portlands in Western Cape

Five of the graduates were sponsored by Liberty, with Tirisano sponsoring the sixth. The six students previously completed the institution’s diploma in information technology before returning to further their studies.

“We are the first higher education institution in the country to offer a dedicated bachelor’s degree and IT diploma for deaf students. We have also made provision to allow students with other disabilities, long-term medical conditions, or special needs to complete their IT studies with us. This allows us to breathe life into the tremendous talents and business concepts of often marginalised groups within society,” Dr Elaine van Wyk added.

Belgium Campus is also currently developing a technical deaf dictionary- which will further open the doors to deaf students entering the IT economy.

She explained that the institute was established in 1999 to address South Africa’s widening skills gap and to ensure that all graduates would be employable in an evolving economic environment by nurturing the IT industry’s next great minds.

For 23 years, Belgium Campus iTversity has contributed to the growth of the South African economy by providing well-rounded graduates whose knowledge, skills, and attitudes make them future-fit and immediately employable.

It has been allowing deaf students to pursue IT qualifications since 2015, at which time the institution only had eight deaf students. The institution’s deaf community continues to grow and today they are proud to have over 30 deaf students pursuing qualifications with them.

“Our success stems from our adoption of a proactive Participative Development Model of Education. It considers the needs of all stakeholders (students, industry, academia, government, and society), resulting in demand-driven, student-centred, and business-focused higher learning,” Dr Elaine van Wyk continued.

Belgium Campus believes everyone should receive an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams and ambitions. The institution makes these courses accessible to deaf students by providing SASL (South Africa Sign Language) interpreters throughout each course and limiting the class sizes to ensure each student gets dedicated time and attention.

-Rising Sun Community Newspaper