Stakeholder Comments

Previous Students and other Stakeholder Comments

2023 Nov:  Ian de Bruyn, Senior Manager: Enterprise Risk, Nedbank (Class of 2023):

A sincere note of appreciation from myself to you and the team on what I consider a tough but gratifying year. The process has been empowering and nothing at all what I expected...  😊. 

In saying that, it is therein that the value of the course hides and although several personal setbacks throughout the year, when I had time to dedicate to my studies, it acted as a refuge more than a deliverable.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." – Dan Rather

PS: Thanks for assigning me to Eddie, our Lord works in mysterious ways 😊


2023 Oct:  Altus Denyschen, Senior Risk Manager: ERM, Sasol (Class of 2023), on the Risk Assessment Tools module:

"The risk assessment tools module provided valuable insights into various tool categories and their respective applications, along with research on how some tools can complement one another. I found the assignment to be a stimulating experience, where we had to select a tool and provide sound justifications – it was truly enlightening.

Looking ahead, I recommend delving into how standards like ISO 301010 (2009 and 2019) have evolved and influenced the accessibility and knowledge regarding the use of risk assessment tools. Perhaps including a case study that demonstrates the practical application of a risk assessment tool like “Failure Mode and Effect Analysis” would be beneficial. Nonetheless, I found this module to be excellent, and I appreciated its presentation.

NWU is excelling in delivering this master's course."


2021 Oct:  Ane-a Harding, Senior Specialist: ERM, Vodacom (Class of 2016)

‘I always wanted to have a master's degree but did not want to go through all the effort if I would only have a piece of paper to show at the end of it. The M.Com in Applied Risk Management caught my attention specifically due the "applied" part. The different modules also covered aspects of risk management that I knew existed but have not had the opportunity to apply myself yet at that stage of my career.  I really enjoyed the practical application through assignments to cover the course work.

The dissertation was daunting at first, but the guidance we received throughout the process really made it much easier. It was a proud moment to hold the bound dissertation for the first time. But that is not where it ended for me. The research I conducted informed the changes I had to make in my daily work as an enterprise risk manager to improve the risk culture at the organisation. Since the changes were informed by actual feedback received from the staff I surveyed, the level of buy-in was so much higher. They did not feel like it was just another "flavour of the month" being forced on them, because I now took the time to address the shortcomings they highlighted. I was also equipped to be able to do a follow-up survey a year later to see if what I did made any difference and could use the feedback again to make further adjustments. All of this would never have happened if I hadn't decided that the M.Com in Applied Risk Management was the right degree.

Over and above the very real impact it had on the way I did my job and the risk management culture where I worked, through the whole process I also grew as a person and gained more confidence in myself and as a risk manager. I really do believe that this degree, the many things I could implement and the additional knowledge and experience I gained, played a huge role in me being appointed in my dream job.'


2020 Mar:  Alan Waller, Chief Executive Officer, Richards Bay Coal Terminal - Line manager of Zanele Mthiyane (Class of 2019)

‘I would like to commend the process.  I was saying o Zanele, one often looks at qualifications of this nature and you wonder what the person will bring back to the company.  In this instance the value proposition to RBCT other than the study has been immense with the new initiatives that Zanele has taken on and the manner she and her team are driving Risk.  Another incredible outcome is the report writing skills. Zanele’s report writing not only in terms of risk but all her other areas of responsibility is now of an exceptional quality.'


2019 Mar:  Fedile Kekana, Assistant Manager: Insurance Risk, Absa (Class of 2018)

‘After a rigorous application process I have been selected to participate on the first phase of a Compliance Rotation Programme. I must say what really made me stand out (this was a comment from the recruiting team) was the survey study I conducted in the organisation. The qualification is really opening doors for me in the organisation. I appreciate the effort the UARM team has been putting into the programme, it is indeed yielding fruits for us.I just wanted to share this great news. I believe I will learn a lot from this programme.

Once again a BIG THANK YOU for all of your efforts!!’


2019 Feb: Jaco van Wyk, Former Chief Risk Officer, Fraser Alexander (Class of 2018)

‘Well done to all. A very good outcome considering the overseas marking of some of the dissertations. Thanks to the UARM team for challenging our thinking, giving us new insight and teaching us to write up our dissertations. Thanks to all my class mates for sharing your risk worlds, these learnings have truly shaped my risk thinking’.


2018 Feb: Bafana Mabale, Manager: Enterprise Risk Management, Noth-West Development Corporation.

'Dear Prof Zaaiman

On behalf of the CEO, Management and the staff in general, the NWDC hereby wishes to send our thanks and gratitude for a captivating interactive workshop on risk management that you presented on 25 January 2018. The knowledge and the information that you imparted is certainly going to be a helpful tool in the day to day business activities of the NWDC.

We feel truly honoured to have associated with you in this venture and we hope you will accede to similar requests in future should we need to be invigorated again'

2018 Feb: Bongani Monareng, Risk Coordinator: ERM, National Home Builders Registration Council (Class of 2017):

'Firstly, I would like to say ‘THANK YOU’ to Prof Hermien, the NWU UARM and Kerlick Teams for all the support and guidance provided throughout the programme. May God bless you all. Secondly, I would like to CONGRATULATE all my 2017 classmates , most importantly Malora on her big achievement. Well done !!! Indeed, hard work does pay off eventually.'

2018 Feb: Roland Carries, Risk Manager, FirstRand (Class of 2017):

'Thank you Prof , Emmanuel, Fred, Helei, Neels, Sonja for the guidance and making this journey memorable and rewarding. Grateful also for the assistance from the two smiling, pencil carrying editorial assassins aka the Kerlick team.  Please pass my deep gratitude to them.'

2017 Feb: Wilna Meiring, Managing Executive: Corporate Risk and Security Management, Vodacom (Class of 2016):

'I am still astounded at how much I grew and learned during the past two years. The masters gave me so much more than I thought it could. Unbelievable at how positive it assists in my work. We have changed our whole approach to ERM in business and this makes me so excited.'

Click here to view a video interview with Wilna.


2016 Feb: Eddie Lindeque, a 2015 graduate and General Manager: Enterprise Risk Management, Transnet:

Dear Hermien

I just want to thank you for opening up a new world of behavioural risk management to me this year. It was a good learning experience and I have grown, even as a mature ERM specialist, in knowledge and what academia has contributed to the science of risk management. All the knowledge sharing and differences of opinion added the necessary spice to the learning experience.

Responses received from students to the feedback question: “What did you like about the course?”

  • I liked the course because it is applied and research based. It allows me to conduct research on current issues and that I am to apply those that I can apply in my working environment”
  • “The content.  The invited speakers on specialised areas.  The environmental scanning project was extremely useful”
  • “Case studies that are dealt with during the lectures, gives us an opportunity to have meaningful discussions of real life examples”
  • “I enjoyed the course content, for most parts it was practical and refreshing and not just text book styled and theoretical. The international angle with the colleagues from Holland was the stand out learning points to date”
  • “The practical nature of it. I had to opportunity to perform various exercises that I would never have been able to do at work. I also like that the presenters also have "practical work" experience and that they are not pure academics. There is a big difference between theory and practice.  I also like the small class and the very personal feedback after each assignment”
  • “The networking and sharing of information. Especially where we can see and experience how other people implemented the theory. That I could make the case studies practical and add value to my current work”