Postgraduate Orientation and Integration Programme launched by Health Sciences
The College of Health Sciences (CHS) launched a first ever Postgraduate Orientation and Integration Programme which was held on the Westville campus.
‘Historically, Universities have spent a lot of time and effort in welcoming their new and first-entry students to University by developing programmmes and events which help them find their way around campus and become familiar with important facilities and the relevant people that they need to connect with,’ said College Manager for Student Support Services (SSS), Dr Saloschini Pillay.
Pillay said UKZN and the South African higher education context recognised that timeous and targeted support to postgraduate students was opportune given the critical shortage of new postgraduates, high dropout rates and the protracted time frame for completion of postgraduate studies. She emphasised the critical role of SSS in enhancing the wellness, holistic growth and development of all students.
The new CHS Postgraduate Academic Orientation and Integration Programme was introduced as an important first step for the transition of senior students into postgraduate studies. ‘It will provide a valuable introduction into the expectations of postgraduate studies, the support services at your disposal, and useful strategies and academic skills required to maximise student experiences. It will also provide the opportunity to meet fellow students and enable you to engage with the academic, personal and professional development aspects of your studies,’ Pillay explained.
The Director for College Professional Services, Professor Fanie Botha, said the launch was a very special occasion as ‘the College realises that the investment in postgraduate studies is an important contribution towards building a better South Africa’.
Botha encouraged the students to keep in constant communication with College leadership and to live up to the values of respect, excellence, accountability, client-orientation, and honesty as promoted by the University-wide campaign of REACH.
The students heard from CHS Grants Coordinator, Mr Clement Matasane, who assured them that the office of the College Dean of Research had their best interests at heart and would support them in achieving research success.
College Manager for Student Academic Services, Mrs Ranitha Ramdeyal, outlined the institutional policies and procedures pertinent to their academic journey while Ms Anne Gabathuse from the UKZN InQubate raised awareness about intellectual property and its commercialisation.
The students left with detailed information brochures and feeling confident to contact the relevant ‘go-to’ people in support of their postgraduate studies within the CHS disciplines.