PR 2017: South Africa’s Top 100 Undergraduates Announced!

After receiving thousands of entries from across the country and putting the entrants through a rigorous four-phase judging process, South Africa’s Top 100 university students have been unearthed from across the country.

The GradStar programme, sponsored by FNB, PwC, Comair and Fasken Martineau, and set up by BlackBark Productions (creators of the Rising Star Awards) is a uniquely developed programme that focuses on quality connections, and compliments existing employer programmes. It is designed to provide previously unrecognised students with opportunities for employment and allow them to contribute positively to South Africa’s future growth.

These university students show the best potential as the country’s future leaders, and their assessment throughout the process is conducted by key assessment providers Khonology, employers and universities.

The Top 100 students are selected based on leadership criteria and readiness for the workplace, in addition to their academic performance, and the programme culminates in employer workshops with the Top 100, who represent the financial, accounting, IT, engineering and legal disciplines, amongst others. The Top 100 graduates compete for a spot in the “Ten of the Finest” at these workshops, which take place on 27 September, and are awarded at the Gala Dinner at Indaba Hotel that evening.

“I am particularly proud of the GradStar programme for the way it develops our very young talent in South Africa,” says Laura Barker, MD of BlackBark Productions. “The Top 100 will each be connected with a business mentor, who has been recognised through our Rising Star Programme, to further ready them for the workplace. This is a unique and valuable opportunity for each graduate to draw upon the expertise and knowledge of those who have gone before them, and start their careers on a solid foundation.”

The competition process is designed to emulate the process that top employers use to find their future talent, and uses behavioural testing and personal interviewing amongst other methods as measurement tools. It allows students to familiarise themselves with the formal graduate programme application process, and enables them to identify their own strengths and weaknesses along the way.

Dr David Molapo, management consultant, educator and well-known motivational speaker, is the patron of the GradStar programme, and sees the initiative as one deserving of the support of employers and educators across South Africa. “This is a worthy programme,” he says. “It is designed to uplift the student youth at this time of unrest, and provide an aspirational platform to assist them in achieving their potential.”



Fasken Martineau, FNB, PwC, Comair, Upstage Productions. (media partner)


  • Self-Motivation
  • Problem Solving
  • Responsiveness
  • Innovation
  • Discipline
  • Altruism
  • Self Confidence
  • Leadership
  • Attitude
  • Logical Thinking
  • Written communication skills
  • General Knowledge
  • Punctuality
  • Appearance (Neatly Dressed, Well groomed)
  • Social Interaction Skills (Body Language, Friendliness)
  • Presentations Skills (Voice Projection, Clarity, Communication, Eye Contact)
  • Presentation Structure & Layout

Click here to view 2017 TOP 100


Visit for more information or contact:


Unathi Mpalo

Media Liaison coordinator

BlackBark Productions cc

+27 21 7882305

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