On Monday, 30 January 2023, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) held its Official Opening of the 2023 Orientation programme to allow the first entering students time to assimilate all the required information. The orientation programme is a critical programme that makes first entering students feel that they are part of the University and increases student engagement and loyalty. The UNIVEN 2023 Official Opening of the Orientation took place at the University Auditorium.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning – Prof Jan Crafford

In his official opening message, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning, Prof Jan Crafford, started by congratulating the students for identifying UNIVEN as their University of choice. Amongst other things, he spoke about issues that ensure that students succeed at the tertiary level. He mentioned that the first entering students are the ones that measure the success of the University if they complete their degrees within the prescribed period.

In addition, Prof Crafford said the first year at tertiary institution is a student’s important year. He advised first year students to attend all their classes but that can only happen if they balance their life on campus. “Deal with your freedom responsibly; make use of the services that are available on campus; use your SRC Office and hold them accountable because that Office exists to serve your needs,” said Prof Crafford. He further told students not to see their lecturers as enemies but as people who are there to assist them and to always strive to achieve their goals. As he continues with his talk, he said to students, “Please do not run this University down – treat it as your home and give it the respect your home deserves.”

Prof Crafford further advised the first entering students to strive to empower themselves academically, economically, and personally, more so to believe in themselves. He appealed to students to have faith in themselves and become entrepreneurs before they even finished their degrees. He concluded his official opening message by saying “You are the hope of our better future and for our country at large.”

UNIVEN SRC President – Mr Gudani Tshamano

UNIVEN SRC President, Mr Gudani Tshamano took the opportunity and congratulated all first entering students who got spaces at the University of Venda. He indicated that we are indeed honoured by the fact that out of all 26 universities, you chose the University Venda, which simply means that there is something special about it. Mr Tshamano stated that the SRC makes sure that first entering students register for free because UNIVEN understands the struggle of people. As the SRC President, Mr Tshamano mentioned that students register for free because education is not a commodity to be sold, education is a birth right. “The moment you are born you have the right to education”, says Tshamano, UNIVEN SRC President. He finally advised his fellow students to study hard and make sure that they graduate in record time and that they should avoid becoming permanent residents of the University.

Prof Natasha Potgieter – Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture

When welcoming the new students, Prof Natasha Potgieter who is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture, mentioned that UNIVEN’s motto is CREATING FUTURE LEADERS and produces graduates who understand societal needs and respond accordingly. She further said to do this, UNIVEN strives to make sure there are high-tech laboratories, research facilities, IT facilities and a well-resourced library. “All of these tools will be at your disposal now”. She urged them to use the facilities and make a difference in their own lives as well as in the communities who need them to look for solutions for the problems they are facing daily.

Prof Potgieter encouraged new students to do something meaningful every day. “Your time will be taken up by many demands. So, it is up to you, to carve out the space to do something important to you. It can be something small, but it should be there, and you should attend to it”. She further encouraged every student to pursue and achieve academic excellence.

There were also addresses coming from different departments, directorates and centres. Different directors shared information about the programmes, services as well as procedures and processes on how things are done and handled at their respective departments. Some of the departments which gave their presentations include Revenue and Financial Aid, Community Engagement, International Relations and Partnerships, Centre for Higher Education Teaching and Learning (CHETL), Student Affairs and Legal Services.

Faculty Managers were also given an opportunity to talk about the programmes and services available in their respective faculties.

Adv Edward Lambani – University Registrar

In his closing remarks, Adv Edward Lambani, University Registrar encouraged the new students to make use of the opportunities that UNIVEN offers to become successful. “Students at the University of Venda are representing UNIVEN very well and we are proud of that, be like them”, so says Adv Lambani.

Below is a photo of attendees:

Issued by: Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 01 February 2023

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