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To : All Staff and Students 
From : Adv. Mojankunyane Gumbi, University Chancellor 
Date : 12 April 2021 

May I take this opportunity to welcome you to the 2021 academic year at our University, UNIVEN. I am honoured to join the community of UNIVEN at this stage, when the global community has to adjust to what has been termed the “new normal”. Please allow me to extend my deepest condolences to all who have lost loved ones to the Covid pandemic and to wish a speedy recovery to the once afflicted still. 

The Vice-Chancellor has updated me on the progress made with regard to the conclusion of the 2020 academic year, which was concluded in March 2021 due to a number of challenges. I am pleased to learn that the University is now ready to commence with the 2021 academic year. I am optimistic that despite the Covid pandemic, 2021 will be yet another productive academic year. 

I am aware that registration for 2021 started on March 1, 2021 and was initially scheduled for two weeks but had to be extended due the request made by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology. The University also took a decision to re-open the online application system for first-time entering students until 31 March 2021, to fill the remaining limited spaces in the Schools of Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Health Sciences, Human and Social Sciences, Management Sciences, and Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Other than these challenges, everything regarding online applications and registration processes for first time entering students went well. 

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the UNIVEN SRC for showing exemplary leadership in ensuring that the University continued with its operations; and by allowing students to finish writing their 2020 academic year final examinations without any disruptions, despite the recent National Shutdown of tertiary institutions. I know that this could not have been an easy decision to arrive at, because the challenges faced by students are real. 

Let me express my profound gratitude to the Academic and Support staff for their dedication and for continuing to assist students to succeed in their studies. I want to commend the University Vice-Chancellor and his Management Team for ensuring a smooth registration process despite the challenges across the higher education Creating future leaders www.univen.ac.za 2 

sector and crippling national student debt. Currently, the University is owed about R92 million. Government grants remain the key source of revenue for UNIVEN. Over 11 879, which is 78% of our students, are funded by NSFAS and other government departments. About 3 459 students are in the ‘missing middle category’. These are students whose family household income exceeds the maximum amount required to qualify for NSFAS but are still unable to fund university studies. 

I am willing to work with all stakeholders to raise funds for the ‘missing middle’ students to fund their studies. I would also like to invite other more priviledged contributors to do likewise because, as the African saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. This country needs leaders. This Continent needs leaders. 

As I conclude, you will recall that, at the beginning of the year 2021, the University started with the implementation of the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. This Strategic Plan was developed through an inclusive process and shared with the University community and strategic stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the change that is about to take place. I urge all stakeholders to support this Plan. Change is good if it is embraced to its fullest; and it assist us to grow individually and as a University. 

Once again, I wish you a very successful 2021. 

Kind regards, 

Adv. Mojankunyane Gumbi 

Chancellor: University of Venda 

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