I trust that you will enjoy reading this edition of the NWU & U.
In it, you will learn about the extraordinary success of NWU students in the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) examinations. The success of our students in these examinations is a proud milestone for us – they make excellent ambassadors for the academic excellence that you will find at the NWU.
Our athletics team claimed their second Varsity Athletics title on 15 March. They amassed a total of 31 277 points after winning both legs of the competition and reclaimed the crown from the University of Pretoria who have been champions for the past three years.
Long jumper Joné Kruger improved on her own Varsity Athletics record and was also named Victrix Ludorum, while 110 m hurdler Tiaan Kleynhans broke the Varsity Athletics record.
Implementing the language policy
In the previous edition of the NWU & U, I mentioned that Council adopted a new language policy for the NWU last year. I wanted to let you know how our implementation is proceeding.
This policy is unique and promotes a broad multilingualism at the NWU. While the policy is both innovative and responsive to the needs of staff and students, the real test will be in its implementation.
If it leads to situations where groups of students feel excluded or experience language chauvinism in or out of the classroom and university residence, then we will have failed dismally.
The policy is designed to promote the objectives outlined in our Statute and which indicate that “the language policy… must be flexible and functional, and must redress language imbalances of the past and promote multilingualism, access, integration and a sense of belonging”.
This is the litmus test which our language policy must pass. With goodwill and perseverance, I know that we can pass this test.
We are currently auditing all teaching and learning programmes to determine how we are positioned as far as the medium of instruction is concerned on all campuses. Faculties are also making plans to develop Setswana and Sesotho in flagship programmes to promote the academic use of indigenous African languages.
Facing difficult conversations about race
We recently completed a Facing Race Week at the NWU.
This programme, organised by the Faculty of Humanities, was run on all of our campuses and had the objective of promoting difficult conversations about the perceptions we all have about each other.
This is essential to our teaching and learning mission – we must ensure that our graduates have thought about these complex societal issues before they leave the NWU. In that way, they will be better prepared for a future in the world of work and more generally.
I wish you well and please continue to engage with us as alumni.
Prof Dan Kgwadi
The NWU & U
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