Willem Wilken wins Schumann medal

Posted by Johan Fourie on 2020-05-18

Willem Wilken is the 2020 winner of the prestigious CGW Schumann medal for the best postgraduate student in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at Stellenbosch University. The Schumann medal is the highest student accolade in the EMS Faculty.

Willem was awarded five prizes for his academic achievements during his university career, including the Cloete medal for the best undergraduate student (over all three academic years) in Economics in 2016, best Honours student in Economics in 2017 (competing against students who offered only 120 credits) and the Cloete medal for the best postgraduate student in Economics in 2019.

Willem's high-level econometric skills resulted in him being selected a member of a team of four students to represent Stellenbosch University in 2018 at the highly prestigious World Championship of Econometrics presented by the University of Amsterdam. (Teams from the top universities in the world are invited to take part and Stellenbosch is the only representative from the African continent.) He was again selected in 2019 and this time the Stellenbosch team was placed under the top ten for the first time ever.

Willem has also been recognised for his academic excellence outside of the economics department. He was awarded a Mandela Rhodes Scholarship in 2017, elected an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellow, and is currently studying towards an MPhil (Economics) at the University of Oxford with a Rhodes Scholarship.

Willem has been very active and successful in debating, in leadership positions and in serving the broader community. Regarding the latter, his coaching of the debating team of a high school in Kayamandi deserves special mention as well as volunteering at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab Africa.

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