College of Humanities Hosts Successful Parents Day and Orientation
The College of Humanities recently hosted its annual Parents Day with parents and guardians of first year Humanities students gathering on the Howard College, Edgewood and Pietermaritzburg campuses to hear about University procedures and the academic structure of the College.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, welcomed everyone to the event on the Howard College campus and announced that Dr Albert van Jaarsveld was the new Vice-Chancellor for the University.
Potgieter told the audience that for the second year running, UKZN was the top University for research output and expressed the hope parents would encourage their sons and daughters to pursue postgraduate study.
She reminded parents that their sons or daughters should be regarded as ‘scholars’ when they started university as ‘they are responsible for the decisions and outcomes relating to their lives’.
Potgieter mentioned UKZN’s Charter on Transformation, launched in 2012 that ‘aims to address and manage diversity and support collegial human relations at all levels of the University.
‘At UKZN we are committed to excellence in teaching and learning. Our motto: Every Student Matters, transcends the social, cultural and academic discourse across the disciplines. The University encourages and embraces diversity in all facets of the student experience and has a rich heritage of excellence.’
She advised parents and guardians to ‘encourage your son or daughter to excel and to embrace opportunities that are available at our University.
‘Remember that at university, your son or daughter will be 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.’
Acting Dean of Research Professor Donal McCracken emphasised the importance of research, pointing out that undergraduate students were also introduced to the research component.
Representatives from student housing, student support services and student funding informed parents about what they offered first year students.
Ms Makhosazane Mweli of Shakaville Township in Kwadukuza said she was proud of her son, Siyathokoza, who had enrolled at UKZN for a Bachelor of Arts degree.
‘He is my first born and the first one in my family to attend university,’ said Mweli. He couldn’t have picked a better place to study. I am so happy. I know that he will make the family proud.’
Mrs Shamila Samlal of Merebank said she would heed advice from the DVC for the College and provide support and encouragement for her son, Shivan. ‘I know that the next four years are going to be challenging for him and I am going to be there for him emotionally and financially. Whatever he needs to succeed at UKZN, I will do my best to provide it.’
Shivan, who is studying for a Psychology degree, said UKZN had always been his first choice.
Prof Potgieter also thanked CHM Vuwani Computer Solutions and Mr Mike Bisseru of Premier Book Bazaar for generously donating bottled water for the event on all three of the campuses which the College is located.
The DVC also addressed first year students at Orientation Day at the Student Union Building on the Howard College campus.
Students heard about degree planning; choosing elective and core modules; exam processes such as DP requirements, supplementary exams, and progression rules, and registration.
‘UKZN has received 45 060 applications so you have competed against other applicants and have been selected. It is a privilege to be at university and you must make it a success,’ said Potgieter.
‘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.’
College Dean for Teaching and Learning, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, expounded on the topic of bilingualism at UKZN where isiZulu language classes are a requirement for all students entering the University in order to promote ‘nation-building’ and bring ‘diverse language groups together’.
Bachelor of Arts student Mr Khayelihle Mbudu from Ntuzuma believes he made the right decision to study at UKZN. ‘It was always my first choice. The courses on offer within the politics department are great. It will help me understand politics better so I can succeed and become a politician.’