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Latest updates - Monday, February 14, 2011


New students waiting to register at WSU’s Butterworth site

The start to another year, more dreams to be realised

AS is customary at every beginning of the year, the youth of the Eastern Cape and beyond came to Walter Sisulu University in their thousands in pursuit of their dreams. A month filled with excitement, confusion, uncertainty and big decisions was wrapped up as Walter Sisulu University welcomed new faces.

Members of the Executive Management (EM), on behalf of the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Malusi Balintulo commended the “The Class of 2010” for getting this far despite the many challenges they faced last year: an extra-long mid-year break during the World Cup and other strike disruptions.

“This is a tribute to you for getting to this point in your lives where you are entering the higher education sector. Facing challenges and overcoming them is one of the most important lessons to learn in adult life. You will continue to be faced with many challenges in the years to come and the true test of your character and ability to succeed will be revealed in the way you deal with difficult circumstances,” was the message from EM.

Every single student present was aware of the fact that thousands of qualified matriculants have been unable to obtain a place at university this year because the improved matric pass rate in South Africa has placed additional pressure on the higher education sector and the demand for education has never been greater.

“You are among those fortunate individuals who have secured an opportunity which will change your life forever. I would urge you to make the most of this time and ensure that you diligently pursue your field of study and graduate successfully from Walter Sisulu University. Your country needs you to continue building our developing economy and take our rightful place in the global community”.

Registration and Orientation were a jovial affair with new students and old students interacting with one another as well as with WSU management. There were various activities at all WSU campuses such as team and spirit competitions, designed to ease the nerves.

First year student Nandi Gotyana, is one of the newcomers who was particularly enthusiastic about this new experience. “I had no idea what I wanted to study but we had a lady from WSU come to our school last year and she advised on the many different courses we could choose from. When she mentioned the Department of Music, I was sold because music is my life,” she said.

Professor Nthoana Tau- Mzamane, WSU Registrar, together with members of EM and staff members welcomed the students during orientation week at all campuses. The Orientation programme which ran for three days was very intimate, with students getting a face-to-face introduction to all aspects, resources and programmes at WSU.

They were introduced to their class mates, the culture of the university, the academic support services which will assist in better performance, student services which are very vital for survival in this new world - the university, lecturers and also had Campus Tours.

Students were thanked for choosing to study at Walter Sisulu University and in so doing play a role in the writing of its young history. WSU turned five years old last year and is an emerging giant in higher education. As a comprehensive university we are proud of the fact that we can offer a wide and diverse range of study opportunities in our four faculties: in fact we offer 175 different qualifications from certificates and diplomas to degrees and postgraduate studies.

Students were also alerted to an important event coming up. From 4-8 April this year, WSU will reach another milestone as we undergo our Institutional Audit by the Higher Education Quality Committee. The HEQC’s approach to quality is strongly orientated towards assessing the fitness of universities to carry out and take forward their stated purpose. For any institution then, the starting point is how it defines its role, mandate and responsibility through its mission and strategic goals. An institution’s purpose and character are then informed by the stated mission that is always given meaning through its interpretation and application in an ever-changing context.

In pursuing their purpose, academic institutions are constantly called upon to understand, balance and manage these tensions and the challenges that arise from them. Nowhere is this truer than in South Africa, where higher education institutions are shaped by and must respond to the tensions between the imperatives of democratic transformation and unremitting pressure of global competitiveness.

So our new students have made an excellent choice to be part of WSU in these times where our young university is building her reputation.


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