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The awards are designed to recognise and perpetuate excellence and achievement in student leadership. This gives the awards a unique niche and positioning at the university, for they are neither bursaries nor merit awards for academic success.

All too frequently, scholarships and bursaries are awarded to a narrow band of sports stars or intellectually-gifted students, who focus - often to the exclusion of everything else - only on academic pursuits, giving little back in terms of involvement in student government, be it through sports clubs, student affairs or community work.

In contrast, these awards are deliberately focused on rewarding and encouraging student leaders who - by virtue of the time they commit to the university community outside the lecture theatre - enrich the life of UCT. They seek to reward students who, through exceptional leadership qualities in student affairs, have shown dedication to the University of Cape Town and have advanced the ideals of the university's Mission Statement. Such students must display an enlightened approach to life, generosity of spirit, humour and integrity.

This Kerry Capstick-Dale - himself not only a gifted student but whose life at the university was both rich and full - supported, for he believed very strongly in the concept that involvement in student government was integral and crucial to a rounded university education.

As far as we know, outside of UCT and the University's own awards, these awards are unique in all of Southern Africa, and there appears to be no comparable award at any other university in the sub-continent.

These awards are generously funded by Corporate Image and the Ackerman Family Foundation.

University of Cape Town Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation