Our Student Life Division has implemented several initiatives to enhance our student value proposition under the current restrictions.
Beyond various leadership training initiatives, several events have been organised in an effort to maintain a semblance of our vibrant student life on the campuses, despite the limitations brought about by the pandemic.
These include the First Years Art Week and community engagement activities such as Canned Food and Barefoot Day that have already taken place on the Potchefstroom Campus. A Pride Wall was also unveiled on the Mahikeng Campus.
As we continue to grapple with the global pandemic, it becomes more and more evident that we need to think innovatively about how we as the NWU conduct our core business.
We remain first and foremost a contact university and therefore cannot be satisfied with only offering online classes. Hence, we have been working tirelessly at improving our student value proposition under Covid-19 conditions.
We have, for example, introduced limited contact teaching-learning – in the face-to-face mode – in the majority of our faculties. This has not been an easy task because our seating capacity is limited to only 28% by the Covid-19 restrictions, with the majority of our venues not being Covid-compliant. We plan to continue with such face-to-face contact sessions in the second semester if Covid regulations remain unchanged.
Several online events have also taken place to enhance the student experience. Our race awareness week, for instance, has just been concluded. Furthermore, we hosted a virtual career day for our current students, as well as a virtual open day for prospective students.
Although many face-to-face events have been cancelled due to the spike in recent Covid-19 cases in the country, a few have taken place already and will resume whenever the Covid-19 situation improves.
These efforts have been encouraging, highlighting the manner in which our student leaders and structures have taken responsibility for their part in collaborating with our staff to add value to the student experience.
Sadly, however, we have suffered more losses in our staff complement due to Covid-19, which again confirms the devastating effect that this pandemic can have.
Our Covid-19 Response Team has therefore not relaxed its efforts in finding ways to deal with the pandemic as we continuously strive to enhance our offering as an institution in this challenging environment. My sincere gratitude to the staff and students who work tirelessly at taking the NWU forward during these difficult times.
We will, regrettably, continue with virtual graduation ceremonies until the situation improves. The number of graduands per ceremony makes it impossible for us to host in-person ceremonies. For example, during the first ceremony in April 2021 close to 3 000 students graduated from the NWU.
My appreciation also goes out to you, our alumni, for your continued support. Our alumni are among the leading lights of the NWU. You are our ambassadors and we will again in 2021 acknowledge our exceptional alumni by presenting the NWU’s biennial alumni awards for excellence. Please visit our website to ensure that the cream of the crop is nominated for these prestigious awards.
Best wishes to all of you as we face the challenges of the pandemic.
Please keep safe.
Prof Dan Kgwadi
Principal and Vice-Chancellor
The NWU & U
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