Girl power and mechatronics: WC’s Melissa Müller tops matric class of 2023
Meet South Africa's top public schools matric achiever, the brainiac supergirl Melissa Müller, who wants to 'engineer' a better life for all.
The Western Cape’s Melissa Müller has been named the No 1 learner in the country. The Rhenish Girls’ High School matric achiever plans to specialise in biomedical engineering in the future. Photos: iStock/ Supplied
Boasting seven distinctions and an overall average of 97.6%, Melissa Müller from Rhenish Girls’ High School, in Stellenbosch, has been named the country’s top 2023 matric pupil out of the 717 377 candidates who sat for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams last year.
The elated maths and physics boffin told The Citizen on Friday morning that she plans to study mechatronics engineering at the University of Stellenbosch this year.
Top 2023 matric pupil Melissa Müller to study mechatronics
“I’ve always been inclined to maths and physics, but couldn’t decide whether to study medicine or engineering.
“I found the perfect loophole in biomedical engineering,” Melissa said, explaining that she first needs to get her degree in mechatronics before she would be able to specialise in this new and upcoming field of engineering.
And the brainy blue-eyed beauty – who got 100% for maths and accounting respectively, as well as 99% for physical and life science – wants to make the world a better place…
I want to use my degree one day to engineer medical devices for people in the poorer areas of our country.Melissa Müller
Advice for 2024 matrics
The 18-year-old first-team hockey and water polo star advised 2024 matric pupils to enjoy their “jam-packed” final year despite it being an overwhelming experience.
“Stay updated with your schoolwork. It will help you identify problem areas early, which will help you avoid the stress of cramming the night before the exams. Your teachers are there to help you and they will if you ask them,” she said.
Melissa also served on the school’s learner council as head of its academic pillar.
High praise for dedication to studies
Rhenish Girls’ High School deputy headmaster Rika Kroon had high praise for the matric pupil’s work ethic and dedication to her studies.
“As one of the players in our school’s hockey team [which ranked fourth in the country last year], Melissa went on a lot of tour around the country. But she always took her school books along and whenever she had a free moment, she would knuckle down and study.”
NSC matric pass rate
Melissa was among the 34 matric pupils hosted by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga for the class of 2023 congratulatory breakfast on Thursday morning, in Randburg, and the official result announcement of a 82.9% pass rate in the evening.
The national matric pass rate is up by 2.8% from the 80.1% pass rate in 2022 with the Free State retaining its top position nationally, with a pass rate of 89.03%.
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