On Wednesday, 31 January 2024, the Deputy Vice- Chancellor Teaching and Learning, Prof Eucebious Lekalakala-Mokgele officially opened the 2024 Student Orientation programme. This was to acclimatise first entering students to the University environment. The orientation programme is a critical programme that assists first entering students to feel that they are part of the University and increases student engagement and loyalty. This UNIVEN 2024 Official Opening of the Orientation took place at the University Stadium.

UNIVEN received almost 100 000 applications for enrolment in the 2024 academic year, however, the University could only admit 3600 undergraduate applicants.In her official opening address, the DVC Teaching and Learning, Prof Lekalakala-Mokgele gave a warm and spirited welcome to the first entering students who were gathered at the stadium. She said, “Today marks the commencement of an
extraordinary adventure—a journey into the world of higher education that promises both challenges and triumphs.” Prof Lekalakala-Mokgele continued to say that “You stand at the threshold of a significant chapter in your lives, and I am honoured to be here with you as you take your first steps into the world of academia. This is not just a university; it is a realm of opportunities, a place where dreams find wings.”

She further indicated that “As you set foot on this campus, remember that you are not just students; you are seekers of knowledge, pioneers of your futures. This university is not just a collection of buildings; it is a community where ideas flourish, friendships blossom, and discoveries are made.”
Prof Lekalakala-Mokgele told the students that the University of Venda thrives on diversity – a diversity of thought, background, and experiences. In addition, she pointed that “we hope you will make this moment a memorable one because that is where you will be creating your future. Your time here is about aspirations, you will account new ideas and come across many challenges. Collaborate and forge relationship that will last. Remember, these resources are here to enhance your knowledge. Connect with your peers and do what you are here for.” She wished them a successful academic journey at UNIVEN.

In her Welcome Address, the DVC Research and Postgraduate Studies, Prof Nosisi Feza told fist years that their future is in their hands. “Your student life starts now. You are responsible for making it happen. Make us proud because you are our future.” Prof Feza advised them to read because that is a way of acquiring knowledge. “When you need help, do not die alone, seek help. Take care of yourself and do not put yourself in a vulnerable situation. Always be mindful and be careful.” Learn to understand when you study, do not memorise what you read about. She told them the fact that they have made it this far, is because they are able, and they must keep on believing that they will pass their degrees on record time. “Make 2024 a turning point of your life”, added Prof Feza.

Student Representative Council (SRC) President, Mr John Ndaka welcomed new students who made UNIVEN their University of choice. He congratulated them for making it thus far and that they are lucky because the space is limited. “We are here to assist you with all the issues that you come across and your challenges will be addressed. We are here to create future leaders.” He advised first years to study because that is the only way to pass. “Never forget where you come from. Do what you are here for and change the situation at home,” said the SRC President.

SRC President was followed by the Director Human Resources, Mrs Uanda Ndou who, as a mother, gave advise to students’ issues pertaining to Occupational Health and Safety as well as Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Various speakers including the Faculty Managers orientated first entering students about the programmes and services that are offered in their respective faculties.
There were also addresses coming from different departments, directorates, and centres. Different directors shared information about their services as well as procedures and processes on how their respective departments operate. 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, Legal Services as well as Centre for Entrepreneurship and Rapid Incubation.
The Official Opening of Student Orientation was followed by faculties and departments specific orientation.

University Registrar, Dr Joel Baloyi expressed a vote of thanks. He said “Aim and tell yourself that you will finish what you have started. Make sure that you have a memorable student life. You can make the best out of the opportunity that has been given to you. Leave your own mark.”

Issued by:Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 02 February 2024

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