From 20-22 June 2022, the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture held an Induction and Orientation workshop for new 2022 Masters and Doctoral students. The workshop took place at the Research Conference Centre. The main objective of this induction and orientation workshop was to give students the best possible start and integration in the University. The workshop was further intended to create awareness among masters and doctoral students about the faculty procedures on postgraduate studies, introduce the students to support services and who they can contact for assistance when they need help with specific issues and which services are available to postgraduate students, In addition the students were introduced to available opportunities within the University for them to make their studies easy and make them feel at home.
The DVC Research and Postgraduate Studies Prof Nosisi Feza told attendees to conduct research which impact society. She mentioned that they have the potential of becoming future researchers because they are still young, and they know what kind of challenges need to be tackled within communities where they come from. The points she highlighted on research that impacts society included the following: “One of the challenges we have is that we live in a country that has shortage of food whereas this region produces a lot of food. Think about ways to preserve and increase productivity of food in this area because your studies should have societal impact. Connectivity and water scarcity are some of the challenges that our area and the whole country are facing. Access to the land where we can plough these crops is another challenge that should be addressed. In addition, she advised postgraduate students to do their part and the research supervisors will make sure that they finish their studies on time and they will also make sure that they get exposure and funding for their research projects.
The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture, Prof Ntebogeng Mokgalaka-Fleischmann said this orientation programme is aimed at providing information about the postgraduate procedures in the faculty. She encouraged all postgraduate students to do their level best in making sure that they complete their research projects on time. She concluded by telling researchers to participate in research seminars.
Several support structures informed the postgraduate students on various assistance and services available for them. Senior Professor Ekosse and colleagues from his Directorate shared all the services they can assist with; Dr Ratshitanga spoke about services and support provided by the ICT Department, Ms Nare Ramaboea talked about operation of Library Services, Dr Segun Obadire presented about services and support offered by the University’s International Relations and Partnership Directorate, Messrs Mfaniseni Mnguni and Andisani Mathelemusa spoke about services and the support offered by Student Affairs Department, Mr Mpfariseni Ligudu presented about the Role of Academic Administration Department, and Campus Health Clinic was represented by Mrs Maggie Hlungwane. Below are some of the presenters who presented about the support they give to postgraduate students.
Over the 3-day workshop, the postgraduate students were also inducted on the importance of ethics in research and the need for ethical clearance before starting with a research project. The participants were informed about the important role that an MoU between the supervisor and student plays in the mutual relationship and making sure that students complete their studies on time. The students also had the opportunity to listen to a postdoctoral fellow who started as an undergraduate student. The postgraduate fellow shared her experience and journey as a UNIVEN postgraduate student and how she approached her studies.
During the workshop the timeframes and deadlines of masters and doctoral studies were also discussed, and the students left the workshop with a better understanding of what is expected from them and how they can make their postgraduate student journey a success.
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