“Despite the challenges facing the South African higher education sector, the University of Venda (Univen) has continued to maintain and safeguard its teaching and learning spaces,” said the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni during his maiden Official opening speech of the 2019 Academic Year which took place on 30 January 2019 at the University Auditorium. 

Dr Nthambeleni prefaced his speech by welcoming and thanking all University structures for their meaningful contribution regarding the University’s academic and research performance. He mentioned that the University’s postgraduate success rates are increasing; research outputs per academic staff member has increased over the past years and the number of NRF Rated Researchers has increased exponentially in the past few years. 

He congratulated the Matric Class of 2018 for having made it in their end of year examinations and eventually been admitted to enrol for the programmes of their choice at the Univen. He told them that their commitment, hard work and self-discipline, has been richly rewarded. It is through their exceptional performance in matric that they were able to secure their admission at Univen. 

Dr Nthambeleni commended the first entering students for choosing Univen as their preferred institution of higher learning in furthering their educational aspirations. “You have made a good choice to come and study at this University.” 

He further told the first entering students that their academic journey has just begun, the progress of completing their studies and courses they have chosen would largely depend on how they conduct themselves. 

“I wish to draw to your attention our core values and guiding principles that we subscribe to.” Dr Bernard Nthambeleni told the audience that Univen believes in Quality and Excellence, Accountability, Transparency, Integrity, Respect, Diversity, Social Responsibility and Community Engagement and Ubuntu. 

Amongst other things, Dr Nthambeleni, in his address, recognised the 2018/19 SRC leadership who demonstrated a good level of maturity in handling difficult issues and their understanding of dealing with challenges facing the higher education system. 

Dr Bernard Nthambeleni during the interview with SABC TV and radio 

As he continued with his address, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal said “As outlined in Chapter 2 of the National Constitution, the ‘Bill of Rights’ no institution or individual may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including (Race, Gender, Marital Status, Ethnicity, Colour, Creed, Sexual Identity, Age, Disability, Religion, Culture and Language”. 

As the University marks the official opening of the 2019 academic calendar, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal congratulated the top academic student achievers for their performance and told the audience that the awards are well deserved in recognition of long hours spent studying. 

He concluded his remarks by expressing his appreciation to all university staff, and SRC members for playing a very big role in ensuring that the 2019 admission and registration period become successful. 

In his vote of thanks message, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Prof Jan Crafford thanked the SRC President and his cabinet and all Univen staff for ensuring the smooth and successful 2019 registration processes. He continued to thank academic staff and CHETL for producing the best students of which some were receiving the awards during the Vice-Chancellors Annual Student Academic Excellence Awards. He congratulated all award recipients for their hard work and high performance. 

Audience during the Official Opening of 2019 Academic Year 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 

Date: 31 January 2019 

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