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Top KZN matriculant joins university of choice - UKZN

The top matriculant achiever in KwaZulu-Natal, Shweta Harilal, joins the "University of Choice" to study medicine, which will enable her to realise her dream and passion to help others.

Shweta's mom, Sunitha Harilal, said from a very young age, her daughter would give injections to her dolls and act like a doctor, and as parents, they had to motivate her to work hard in matric so she would qualify for medical school, because they could see she loved medicine.

"I am very excited to be joining the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). I am relieved that my dream of becoming a doctor will be realised. I chose UKZN because it's closer to home and has the best facilities that any medical student could hope for - I couldn't have chosen better," said Shweta. "I am just grateful to God for making me realise my dream of studying medicine. I'm also grateful to my family, parents - Sunitha and Rajesh Harilal - for their support and encouragement; they are my pillar of strength."

The 18-year-old Durban North College matriculant achieved seven distinctions and is still overwhelmed with emotion. She could not believe that out of the 116 937 Grade 12 pupils who sat for the 2019 NSC exams in KZN, she was the one with the best marks.

She achieved 96% in maths, 95% in life science, 97% in accounting, 97% in Afrikaans, 94% in English, 99% in physics and 90% for life orientation. She says her recipe for success was nothing more than "long hours dedicated to studying and practising maths over and over again - anyone can do it, it's possible".

"We pride ourselves on being an institution of choice for many high-flyers like Shweta. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has recently been ranked number one in Africa on the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings, which lists the world's best universities that are 50 years old or younger. This shows how serious we are when it comes to academic and research excellence," expressed Professor Ncoza Dlova, Dean and Head of School: Clinical Medicine.

Words by: Lihle Sosibo