We are gearing ourselves for the turbulent political situation in which our country currently finds itself. Political unrest that had nothing to do with the NWU led to the temporary closure of our campus in Mahikeng at the end of April, as safe access to the campus could not be guaranteed. However, since 2 May, operations have been functioning normally on all three of our campuses.
We have plans in place to further safeguard the areas adjacent to our three campuses, and at the same time to ensure we are not dependent on contact classes to complete the academic work for the semester and the year successfully. For this, we are utilising the internet and technology to minimise the impact of further possible disruption.
The NWU is experiencing unparalleled success in many areas – on national (as well as international) sports fields, arts and cultural stages, academic podiums, in research achievements and sustainable community engagement initiatives… Amidst turbulent waters in our country everything is well at “our place”, your alma mater.
The revision of our language policy and plan is still continuing and the consultation process, which started in 2015, has been completed. There will be a discussion with the executive committee of the Convocation shortly and then the draft language policy and plan will be finalised. Ultimately the NWU Council will have to ratify the plan, in collaboration with the Senate, and that should take place in June or September.
The bona fides of this process can be trusted and it is a privilege for me to be part of the language task team. The best interest of the NWU is paramount. We are a multilingual university and have written this into our Statute. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that we have real and in-depth multilingualism at the NWU, and not a hidden monolingualism where one language dominates.
In this issue we welcome Bert Sorgdraer as the new president of the Convocation after years of service in the Alumni Association. As the Convocation mainly consists of alumni, Bert’s new position is actually merely a continuation of the work he has been doing with the NWU for many years. We believe that Bert will make an important contribution towards retaining and strengthening bonds between key interest groups of the NWU.
I am glad to be able to say that our vice-chancellor, Prof Dan Kgwadi, is rapidly recovering from his heart attack. Until his return, I have the support of a team of competent and dedicated colleagues, making it easy for me to run with the relay baton of acting vice-chancellor.
Please know that the NWU is on course! As we sing in our university anthem:
Three strong streams united flow,
Africa stands proud and tall!
We manage “our place” in such a manner that every alumnus and alumna can be a proud owner of the mighty river that we as a new single stream are causing.
Thank you for your contribution that you made as a student when you were part of the “strong stream” that has converged with the others to make this mighty “united flow”.
Your NWU salutes you!
Fika Janse van Rensburg
The NWU & U
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