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College of Humanities hosts 2016 Parents Day and Orientation

09 Feb, 2016

DVC Prof Cheryl Potgieter (right) and Dean for teaching and Learning Prof Nobuhle Hlongwa (left) and SRC members (centre) at Orientation Day.
DVC Prof Cheryl Potgieter (right) and Dean for teaching and Learning Prof Nobuhle Hlongwa (left) and SRC members (centre) at Orientation Day.
The College of Humanities recently hosted its annual Parents Day on 30 January 2016 and its Orientation day for first year Humanities students on the 01 February 2016 on the Howard College, Edgewood and Pietermaritzburg campuses.

Speaking at Parents Day DVC and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, welcomed everyone to the event, while also informing parents that the University holds the number 1 position in South Africa in terms of research output for two consecutive years, also ranking in the top 3% of the world’s universities. ‘These achievements reflect both the teaching and learning aspect, alongside research excellence within the University,’ she said.

Reflecting on the #Feesmustfall campaign, Prof Potgieter stated that UKZN remains committed to finding sustainable solutions to the challenges that continue to face the higher education sector and is engaging various stakeholders accordingly.

She also expressed the hope that parents would encourage their sons and daughters to pursue postgraduate study while reminding them that their children are ‘competing with some of the smartest young people locally, nationally and internationally. As such, they need to apply themselves diligently. Encourage your sons or daughters to start studying immediately.’

Mrs Sizakele Mtshali from Dundee, described Parents Day as both informative and vital. ‘My daughter Nelisa will be here to study and I am proud that she has chosen my alma mater as her first choice of study. I am confident that she will excel,’ while another parent Mrs Lorna Govender from Chatsworth added, ‘UKZN is one of the best universities in the country and to have my child Mallison studying her is a dream come true. I cannot wait to see her graduate with her Bachelor of Arts degree.’

Then, addressing students at Orientation, Professor Potgieter congratulated them for choosing UKZN and the Humanities field. ‘Draw on the resources offered here, make use of the organisations on campus and take advantage of opportunities, reach out to mentors and academics to succeed. Create and carve out a career trajectory, work smart and lead a balanced life,’ she advised.  

Encouraging students to pursue postgraduate study, acting College Dean for Research Professor Donal McCracken advised students to also be adventurous when filling in modules and to make decisions that benefit them. He also stated that students should not be deceived by the newfound freedom on campus but to be responsible and adapt to the workload.

Student Representative Council (SRC) member Mr Bandile Majola also spoke to what the SRC stands for and how they assist students. Majola urged them to consider becoming a part of clubs and societies that will be enriching to them, their careers and in turn their communities. ‘You are the dream and hope for your families and communities, make the right decisions and remain focused and work hard.’

For both Parents Day and Orientation, representatives from student housing, student financial services and student funding also informed them about what they offered first year students.

During orientation, students were handed information packs and divided into large groups for a guided tour of the University’s campus grounds. Each group had an orientation mentor, easily recognisable by their blue uniforms.

Housing student Mr Rahul Khemraz chose UKZN as his first choice because he believes with the expertise and resources at the University, he will be able to become successful in his career choice. Music student Ms Chloe Bydawell added, ‘Music has always been my passion and to be at UKZN and to study here, I know I’ll be able to make my dreams come true. Some of the best musicians have graduated from here and I know I’ll be one too.’

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Words & pictures by Melissa Mungroo

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