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
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
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.