As usual when visitors visit the University of Venda (Univen), there should be a ceremony to bid them a farewell. The Department of Social work under the School Human and Social Sciences bid farewell to Hawk students and staff members who recently visited the Univen as part of the 2019 HAWK-UNIVEN visit. The closing ceremony was held at 2Ten Hotel on Friday, 12 April 2019. 

Prof Mokgale Makgopa, Dean of the School of Human and Social Sciences said that he was very much happy to be associated and be involved in a partnership of this caliber. “As the School, we are pleased to announce that on Univen side, the MoU has been signed for the renewal and witnesses have also signed on behalf of Hawk, only the president is yet to sign this renewal for another 5 years. Prof Makgopa expressed that the renewal on this MoU is a need because the partnership between Hawk and Univen is coming to an end in July 2019. “This collaboration is very important because it addresses strategic issues of the two universities,” he said. 

Univen will visit Hawk from 05 –15 May next year, before June exam. According to Prof Makgopa, ten (10) Univen students accompanied by three staff members will visit Hawk “The issue of staff exchange is also included in the upcoming MoU for the next 5 years.” Prof Makgopa said Univen is ready to host Hawk students for Work Integrated Learning and explained that it will be difficult for Univen students to do their practicals in Germany because of the issue of Language. He thanked Prof Maike Schmieta for the support and always being available when needed. He further thanked Caroline Maas, for her full support and being helpful and making sure that this is a success including colleagues in the Department for full support of this partnership. “This is the project that must support the entire students, it is all about empowering students. Let us make sure that we work together in making sure that this project is successful and sustainable,” he said. 

Mrs Caroline Maas from Hawk explained this partnership as beneficial to both Hawk and Univen students as well as staff. She said that she has no doubt that it will continue into the next 5 years. “I am very happy that the partnership has developed just the way we have expected. She said on Hawk side, they were planning on the future exchange activities of the collaboration and she thanked students from both universities for behaving well during the period that they spent in Thohoyandou. 

Representing Social work staff was Ms Mmaphuti Mamaleka who also explained the collaboration as progressive and fruitful because throughout this partnership, the students have learned a lot and they are able to conduct research on their own which proves they have developed research skills. “They now have knowledge about what to expect in the field. Many skills have been developed and students can now do things on their own and responsibly.” Ms Mamaleka continued to say that this collaboration is taking every move to the forth and wished it could continue because it bears better results with a lot of benefits for all. 

A level 4 Univen Social Work student, Marcus Mojela gave a word of appreciation. He said Social workers are really needed in South Africa and the whole world in general. “We as social workers are valuable to these communities and we can make a change by solving their problems.” He advised social work students to challenge problems that they are faced with to make the world a better place to live in. He expressed that he was motivated by this exchange programme and wished it could continue for the upcoming generations to benefit and learn from it. 

Hawk Students posing with handcrafted bags as a gift of appreciation from Univen 

Group photo of students and staff of Univen and hawk 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 

Date: 29 April 2019