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The UYDF has produced 305 graduates and currently is supporting 230 students studying a wide range of health science disciplines - Medicine, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, Nutrition, Biomedical Technology, Social Work, Optometry, Dental Therapy, Dentistry, Environmental Health, Speech Therapy, Social Work, Nursing, Radiology and Psychology. 

We believe the success of the programme is due to the comprehensive student mentoring system that provides students with academic and social mentoring throughout the course of their studies. The impact of the mentoring system can be seen in the pass rates of our students. A 93 % university pass rate was achieved in 2015 and 94% in 2016.


Some graduates are involved in the day-to-day running of the Umthombo programme at hospital level, while other alumni remain active in the mentorship and support of students, as well as participating in school outreaches.


UYDF has been cited as one of the few sustainable solutions to health professional recruitment and retention in rural South Africa. The number of graduates produced has had a significant impact on the quality of the healthcare provided at the participating hospitals. In many cases new services have been established at rural hospitals by our graduates eg. Optometry, Speech Therapy, Psychology.

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