National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Glasson Osborne believes the knowledge gained from his degree will allow him to do much to improve society

Glasson Osborne matriculated at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch. He is studying BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University. He was selected as one of the students for the NSTF’s Brilliants Programme in 2022.


“I am studying electrical and electronic engineering with a focus on data engineering. The skills gained from the degree seem to be in great demand, especially with a large shift of attention to data as of late.”

Tell us a bit about your school?


I attended Paul Roos Gymnasium, which is located in the beautiful university town of Stellenbosch. It has a reputation for being one of the best high schools in South Africa and rightly so. Aside from having stunning school grounds, the school and its pupils excel in sports, culture and academics. The school has amazing facilities that are available to the scholars, ranging from the aquatic centre and gym up until the IT lab and library. The teachers are incredibly passionate about the work they do and influence they have on the pupils’ futures. Paul Roos is a school that has a place for everyone, from chess enthusiasts to committed rugby players. The school is a breeding ground for success.


Why do you think some people have a problem with math and science? What would you do to solve the problem?

I believe the reason why some people don’t do well is because they don’t put in the practice necessary to master it. I also believe there is an underlying issue that leads to this lack of practice: the true importance of maths and science isn’t effectively conveyed to people. Additionally they are seldom taught about the real life applications of the work they are doing. People don’t realise that a solid foundation of maths and science is essential for making informed decisions that are necessary for success on a daily bases. I don’t think people realise that although the high school maths and science requirements generally aren’t that high for certain degrees in university the level of difficulty of maths and science in university is much higher than in high school. Another problem is that pupils cannot solely rely on teachers to convey knowledge to them, it is essential to put in the work on your own and to ensure that you understand it by going through the work again.

Why did you enjoy science and maths?

I always found solving problems incredibly rewarding. I also constantly reminded myself of the importance of maths and science, so working hard seemed worthwhile and fun. It felt like my understanding of the world around me became clearer when my understanding of maths and science was good. In Paul Roos there was a lot of competition when it came to maths and physical science, they were the two most revered subjects, so when you did well in them it was quite respectable. 

What inspires you?

The vision of a well-run society, Elon Musk and my religion.

Why did you choose the course you are studying?


I am studying electrical and electronic engineering with a focus on data engineering. First of all, the skills gained from the degree seem to be in great demand, especially with a large shift of attention to data as of late. The modules of the degree aligned with my interests and I could see how having the knowledge-base of this degree would allow me to do much to improve society.

A message to South African youth?

South Africa has a lot of potential to be great and I believe there is a lot of opportunity here. Do your best, never give up and stay informed about what’s going on in South Africa and the world around you. You can’t keep a good man/woman down.


Any tips for learners in grades 11 and 12?

Make sure that you are fully aware of why you need to do well this year (even write the reasons down if it’s easier), remember to take constructive downtime, e.g. exercise and socialize, and start to think realistically about where you want to be in a few years’ time. 

What advice do you have for matriculants who have to apply for places in higher education institutions?

Make sure you apply for a degree that you will be passionate about, apply for a bursary if need be and start looking into realistic study options as early as possible.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I see myself as either a high ranked employee of a large company, the owner of a company, or a farmer. Most probably I will still be living in South Africa.

Understanding excellence – what makes an achiever?

Someone who believes they have great potential and wishes to come close to reaching their full potential. Maybe also someone who despises mediocrity in themselves. Someone who has their own long-term interests in mind. Someone who partially attaches their self-worth to their success in life.


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