UWC’s Tina Fransman has won the 2018 Economic Society of South Africa (ESSA) Founder’s Medal for Best Economics Master’s Thesis in South Africa.
Fransman’s thesis, in which she used a multidimensional poverty index (MPI), was based on multidimensional poverty in South Africa between 2001–2016. At the time of writing, the approach of MPI was relatively new in South Africa as many local studies were not utilising it.
“I did not expect to receive that medal at all. Completing my Master’s on a part-time basis while working my first job ever, with the intention of paying for my own studies, was the best feeling in the world. I was so extremely proud of myself because I did it on my own. That was enough for me but when I received the letter stating I had won the medal, I literally started shaking. It was just the cherry on top,” says Fransman. “I am grateful for guidance and support from Prof Derek Yu during my journey. He played a major role in this. I am very humbled by the whole experience.”
Fransman is currently pursuing different research topics in her doctorate studies. “I feel that there is indeed growing interest regarding multidimensional poverty and fresh approaches to measure it. I feel that poverty is still a major issue that South Africa seems to be grappling with and I think there is room for much more research to be conducted regarding all types of poverty analysis,” she explained.
Professor Yu said Fransman completed her undergraduate, Honours and Masters Economics studies at UWC. “While pursuing her Masters’ full thesis studies, she also worked part-time at Standard Bank. Yet, she had the determination and put in extremely hard work to complete the dissertation after two years,” says Prof Yu.
At the end of 2018, Fransman was awarded a scholarship from the Economics Department at Stellenbosch University where she is completing her Doctorate studies.
“Her hard work paid off further by being the first economics student from UWC to have won the ESSA medal at any postgraduate level. It is a very tough competition, as she had to compete against the nominations from other Economics departments across the country,” explains Prof Yu. “The Economics Department and the Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) faculty are very proud of her achievements and we hope that in future, we will have more Economics students winning the ESSA medal at all three postgraduate levels.”