Accessing Tertiary Education

We currently deliver three key services aimed at enabling learners to access and succeed in meaningful employment. We acknowledge the increasingly linked relationship between level of education and employability and are committed to continue to add further innovative and creative services in a bid to meet our objectives in this area.

GADRA Matric School (GMS)

GMS provides a 1-year fulltime programme of classes to prepare students to rewrite selected National Senior Certificate subjects. Since 1994, over 2000 students have graduated with an improved matric. Over the past six years GMS has successfully transformed itself from being an all-purpose finishing school to a top-end bridging school. There are now three categories of student at GMS, namely

  1. those trying to improve their level of pass,
  2. those who have already secured a Bachelor-level of pass and who are trying to improve their university admission points, and
  3. those who previously secured a Bachelor level of pass and who are registered in one of GADRA’s bridging programmes (offered in partnership with Rhodes University).

Demand for spaces at GMS is huge and applicants are selected based on their proximity to Bachelor-level passes. GMS now has over 200 students.

GMS Application process

You must have completed your NSC to apply for the GADRA Matric School. We do not accept online applications, but interested candidates can apply via email. Request an Application Form from

Applications open on 1 September for the following year and close shortly after the release of the NSC results for the year in which you are applying.

Mentoring Programme

Nine Tenths is a mentoring programme geared towards equipping matric students in selected local schools to cope with their final year of school and to pass to their full potential. Pupils are given one-on-one attention from a Rhodes University student through nine guided and structured contact sessions.

In its five years of implementation this programme has had increasing success with enabling learners from Grahamstown/Makhanda High Schools to achieve Bachelor-level passes and access Rhodes University. This programme has recently received recognition by the Talloires Network in winning the 2021 First Place MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship.

Bridging Programmes

We offer 4 distinct Bridging Programmes, linked to 4 of the major Faculties at Rhodes, as follows:

  1. Faculty of Humanities: Psychology 1 and/or Politics 1;
  2. Faculty of Commerce: Theory of Finance 1;
  3. Faculty of Science: Cell Biology 101 in Semester 1; and Zoology 102 in Semester 2;
  4. Faculty of Education: IsiXhosa Mother Tongue 1 or IsiXhosa Non-Mother Tongue.

GMS students accepted for a Bridging programme register at Rhodes as Occasional Students for their respective course and simultaneously select a maximum of 2 NSC subjects to study at GADRA Matric School (in order to improve their performance in these subjects or to increase their total number of university admission points).