On Photo: The Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Bernard Nthambeleni poses for a photo with Mrs Esther Mashavhanduna who served the University for 40 years.

Speaking at the 2023 End of Year function, Prof Bernard Nthambeleni in his capacity as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, thanked all staff for their efforts, contributions throughout the 2023 academic year. Prof Nthambeleni said, “The success and standing of our university is built on your hard work and dedication, you are the greatest assets of this university.” This memorable event took place at the University Auditorium on Friday, 08 December 2023.

The University bid farewell to 19 staff members who are going on retirement. He appreciated them for their dedication, loyalty and service to the university. Prof Nthambeleni promised that the University will stay in contact with them and would be interested in the progress they are going to make during their retirement.
In his end of year speech, he also recognised staff members who received awards for long service with the university. The categories for the long service awards ranged from 10, 20, 30 and 40 years.
Amongst the retirees, was Mrs Esther Mashavhanduna who has been with the University for 40 years, Mr Alpheus Makhipha who has been with UNIVEN for 39 years, Mr Tshililo Matsego, 37 years and Mr Charlse Mulabo, 34 years.
On behalf of the university, he expressed sincere gratitude for all their hard work and resilience throughout the years, particularly the 2023 academic year. “Your strength and commitment to UNIVEN gives us hope for a brighter future. It is a pleasure to bid you farewell on this day of happiness and celebration of our 2023 achievements”.
There has never been a year like this one and this certainly provided an opportunity for reflection, celebration, and for looking forward.
On the same note, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal appreciated Mr Esrom Phungo who is leaving the university for another assignment out of the province. He thanked Mr Phungo for his immense contribution to the work of the university and also wished him the best in his future endeavours.
Prof Nthambeleni also shared the notable achievements that registered significant developments for UNIVEN to become a university of choice. These include that the University of Venda had beenranked among the Top 11 from a group of 88 universities in Sub-Saharan Africa universities by the 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.
As far as the infrastructure is concerned, he showed an expansion of new infrastructure development on campus. He appreciated the support from the Department of Higher Education and Training that is making a meaningful contribution to the University academic projects.
In terms of empowerment, he said “The development and empowerment of women remains central to our agenda. In various faculties, Senior Management Committee, and Executive Management Committee our female colleagues are increasingly bracing themselves for previously male-dominated roles.”
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal also reported about that the University appointed an external expert panel review to conduct assessment of the current 2021-2025 Strategic Plan implementation. He stated that the recommendations from the panel are on the implementation phase taking into consideration the institutional audit report improvement plan. Prof Nthambeleni informed staff that in 2024, UNIVEN will embark on the development of the new Strategic Plan with the active engagements of internal and external stakeholders. “This new plan will be effective from 2026 to 2030 and will take account the deliverables of the UNIVEN Integrated Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Biodiversity Plan (UIEIBP)”, he added.
As he concluded his message, he wished all the employees the very best festive season and looking forward to welcoming all staff back, refreshed for what will be an exciting new academic year, 2024.
“You helped to develop UNIVEN into what it is today,” says the Director Human Resources, Mrs Uanda Ndou when acknowledging the retirees.
In response, retirees were represented by Ms Grace Badamarema (Service Staff), Mrs Esther Mashavhanduna (Administrative staff) and Prof Jan Crafford (Academic staff).
The Director Community Engagement, Prof Vhonani Netshandama welcomed the University staff as they were celebrating their success stories and achievements. She also acknowledged and appreciated the retirees and those who received long service awards.
The outgoing University Registrar, Adv Edward Lambani when proposing a vote of thanks, appreciated all the University staff for coming together to celebrate the developments and achievements of the University. He thanked the retirees for the outstanding work they have done for the University and also the long service awardees for their loyalty and commitment to the University.

On photo: Some of the retirees pose for a photo with the University Senior Managers

On photo: 30 and 40 years – employees who served the university for 30 and 40 years pose for a photo with members of the senior management

On photo: 20 years – employees who served the university for 20 years pose for a photo with members of the senior management


On photo: 10 years – employees who served the university for 10 years pose for a photo with members of the senior management.

Issued by: Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication, University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525 /8710
Date: 08 December 2023

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