Schools Menu

Univen Newsletter

More than R 230 000 distributed to students for exceptional academic performance

For the first time in the history of the University of Venda, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Peter Mbati handed over more than R 230 000 to 26 students with outstanding performance as part of the “Vice-Chancellor's Student Academic Excellence Awards “. The handover took place at the University Auditorium during the official opening of 2013 academic year on Thursday, 31 January 2013.

The top three performing students were Jubilant Sibanda and Walter Mutwari who are both from the School of Management Sciences and Lillian Muchakubvura of the School of Human and Social Sciences. In congratulating the top performers, the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Peter Mbati said that the awards are intended to promote a culture of teaching and learning in the Schools through competition for the awards. “As a higher education Institution committed to quality teaching and learning, this inaugural student excellence award ceremony signals our intent to do whatever is in our power to provide a conducive environment that promotes the academic project,” said Prof Mbati.

The Director of the Centre for Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Dr Clever Ndebele provided a background of „Vice-Chancellor?s Student Academic Excellence Awards?. Dr Ndebele explained to staff and students that the first ever Vice Chancellor?s Student Academic Excellence awards will be for the best performing students during 2012 academic year in the Foundation Programme, at first year level, second year level and third year level for four year degree programmes. He indicated that the awards shall be in both cash and kind.

Twenty percent of the award shall be in cash with the remainder in kind (tuition fees, book vouchers, accommodation) depending on the student?s choice. The Foundation year and first year students received R8 000 each and a certificate, second year students received R9 000 each and a certificate while third year students received R10 000 each and a certificate.

The 2011 UNIVEN Student Senate and Senate Teaching and Learning Committee proposed to Senate that annual academic excellence awards should be instituted for undergraduate students at all levels.

Other students who received the awards were Muvhuso Mutshinyani, Mashudu Rambau and Nomsa Chimuti of the School of Agriculture; Tosifa Ashrafi, Tabassum Ashrafi and Mxolisi Zitha of the School of Education; Brilliant Ttivaone, Simbarashe Mutapanduwa and Abercon Mbedzi of the School of Environmental Sciences; Maphoko Phatlane, Frances Taylor and Pfungwa Mambanga of the School of Health Sciences; Mcdonald Matemera and Kamogelo Serage of the School of Human and Social Sciences; Vivian Mutyasira, Jorum Duri and Martha Mazango of the School of Law; Tshilidzi Makhado of the School of Management Sciences; and Kausarbanu Delawala, Lucpah Nekati and Sedzani Mathoho of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences.

During the official opening, the Vice Chancellor and Principal reminded staff and students that 2012 was a good year as we were celebrating 30 years of existence. Prof Mbati highlighted that for the past 5-7 years, the University committed approximately R800 million in various infrastructure projects to address a number of demands by both staff and students. He also reported that the Minister of Higher Education and Training has approved a further R340 million for a number of projects for the 2012 to 2014 financial years. The funds will be distributed to the following projects: Extension of the disability unit; New Health Sciences building; Establishment of an animal biotechnology laboratory; Construction of two new student residences; Construction of the second phase of the School of Education; Facilities upgrade for media laboratory, language laboratory and music studio; Construction of a student centre, roads & parking, storm water upgrades, sewage upgrade and lighting on campus. The Vice Chancellor further indicated that the Department of Higher Education and Training made funds available for the construction of a clinical training laboratory. He also highlighted the projects that will take place in 2013 which include: a new campus clinic; student lappa; four soccer pitches; swimming pool and upgrade of the student entertainment centre.

“In an effort to boost infrastructure development, Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) has awarded UNIVEN R 22 million while on the other hand BANK-SETA awarded R400, 000 for the purchase of equipment and other essential learning materials for our students with disabilities and all these projects will kick-start in 2013”, asserted Prof Mbati . He informed staff and students about the new programmes to be introduced such as Engineering; Mining Engineering; Water Engineering; Agricultural Engineering; Health Sciences (Optometry, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Biomedical Technology) and Construction Technology.

In welcoming staff and students, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Operations, Dr Jannie Zaaiman said “What makes Univen the most special University in the world is that it is becoming a unique community of commitment: commitment to the highest excellence in our work, commitment to the greatest humanity in our dealings with others, and commitment to the deepest devotion to careers not of selfishness, but of service.” The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Prof Xikombiso Mbhenyane proposed a vote of thanks in which she challenged male students to work very hard to ensure that in the 2014?s Vice Chancellor Student Academic Excellence Awards, there is a gender balance of the recipients of the awards.