Change the world


It’s off to Germany soon for Sunel Esbach, a former student in Nature Conservation at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s George Campus at Saasveld.

Sunel, who completed her BTech degree in Nature Conservation Cum Laude in 2009 has been accepted for her first choice of master’s programme - the MSc Environmental Governance (MEG) programme at the reputable University of Freiburg.

The two-year full-time programme, which has been developed with the purpose of being ranked amongst the top ten international study programmes in the area of sustainability, society and environment, annually selects only thirty students based on criteria of excellence and geographical representation.

“I feel so blessed”, says Sunel in an e-mail to her former lecturers. “Out of the 180 applicants they only chose thirty students, and I am one of them”, she enthused about this exceptional opportunity. “The 48 1st and 2nd year students currently in the programme represent 29 different countries. What a cultural experience it is going to be!” she continued.

Sunel, who has been working for Sonae Novobord in Nelspruit has resigned her position as ISO Administrator in preparation of the two year study programme which commences at the beginning of October.

As part of her studies at NMMU George, Sunel did a year of experiential training in the Mountain Zebra National Park. A further activity in her final year of study included a research project on the habitat of Cape Mountain Zebra in the Bontebok National Park, for which she got a distinction.

The MEG programme has an interdisciplinary nature, drawing lecturers from various departments of the university, and from external research institutes, national and international partner universities. It is, amongst others, aimed at developing a “sound knowledge basis of the most pressing environmental issues facing the planet and their underlying societal causes”, and the provision of the necessary methods, skills and knowledge to design and manage environmental governance processes that are sensitive to the particular context in which they will be used.

Sunel Esbach

NMMU George alumnus, Sunel Esbach, is one of only thirty students from across the globe to be admitted to the MSc Environmental Governance programme at the University of Freiburg in Germany.

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