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SAS receives inaugural Diamond Award Certificate from Stellenbosch University

Johannesburg, South Africa  (08 Nov. 2013)  – SAS today announced that it has been awarded the inaugural Stellenbosch University (SU) Vice-Chancellor's Diamond Award for the company's involvement with and support of the university over the last 10 years. In the past, SU only presented Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awards.

Over more than a decade, SAS has been assisting SU to build a culture of data analytics through the provision of SAS software, academic toolkits, eLearning modules and various sponsorships. In fact, this year alone, more than 120 students in the Statistics and Actuarial Science department are benefiting directly from this relationship, not to mention the impact right across the university from IT to Genetics and Agricultural Sciences.

According to Murray de Villiers, General Manager: Middle East, Africa Regional Academic Programme at SAS, we live in a world where computing technology, processing capability, storage capacity and software functionality have successfully overcome major obstacles in order to provide the world with High Performance computing, Cloud Storage and Computing, Data Quality and Management and Big Data Analytics.

Says De Villiers: “We are witnessing the greying of boundaries between disciplines such as Forecasting, Statistics, Operations Research, Artificial Intelligence, Financial Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Information Science, Informatics and Computer Science  into the new world of Data Analytics. The needs, infrastructure and resource requirements of Companies and Government Departments are maturing to the point of demanding integration of these converged disciplines into their strategy, decision-making and operations.

"This provides new challenges and employment opportunities that we were unaware of 10 years ago, such as a Data Scientist, Deep Analytics Consultant, Computational Business Analyst and the Advanced Analytics Practitioner. But this also leaves us, as analytics consumers, analytics practitioners and academics with the responsibility to adequately develop our youth in order to be well prepared for their future. A future that transcends from learning individuals, to learning organisations, to a learning world."

Says SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Russel Botman: "Universities worldwide have to do more with less. We have to serve more people, yet we get less state funding to do so; we have to make an impact worldwide, yet remain locally relevant; we have to empower students for an uncertain future. All of this we have to do with what we have at hand – our people, striving for excellence, relying on their ability to innovate, guided by our institutional values of inclusivity and fairness, and the desire to change the world.

"SU greatly appreciates the support of our donors. When former President Nelson Mandela was inaugurated in 1994, he said that there must never again be oppression in our country. This will only be possible by good education and this is where our donors fit in. With our new Vision 2030, through which the University strives for innovation, inclusivity, and a focus on the future, we are strategically geared for the challenges that face higher education institutions worldwide in the 21st century."

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