The NWU & U
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Prof Dan Kgwadi
I write to you in the midst of a global pandemic that has forced us to suspend our contact teaching and learning activities and curtail many of our other activities.
We are working tirelessly to try and save the 2020 academic year and ensure that we leave no student behind.
Online teaching and learning
We have embarked on online teaching and learning with effect from 4 May 2020, after a period of orientation for staff and students in this environment, which is for many a new experience. We will continue with this online programme until we are able to reintegrate groups of priority students back onto our campuses.
Since many of our students have challenges in regard to suitable devices such as laptops, data and connectivity, we have taken steps to supply these where possible to those in need. We are also coordinating our efforts with national efforts to facilitate the online teaching and learning process.
For those who are unable to access our online offerings, we are preparing printed learning materials which we will dispatch via courier to our students. These multiple modalities are executed asynchronously and students will thus progress at a differential pace. We hope to conclude the academic year before year end but, if necessary and depending on the course of the pandemic, we may spill into next year.
We contribute in many different ways
I want to thank all of you for your support during this difficult period. I know that there will be few of you who have not been affected adversely by Covid-19. Many of you are parents of students, and I would like to thank you for your continued payment of fees during this difficult time.
We are contributing to the combating of Covid-19 in many different ways – from the production of personal protective equipment and sanitiser to developing assays to detect Covid-19 infection and pharmaceuticals to combat it.
As mentioned in this edition’s “News from Eagi” article, we have a dedicated web page where you can learn more about the significant footprint our researchers are leaving in the fight against Covid-19.
Use the opportunities
This type of disruption can be approached in more than one way.
Although the risks of this crisis and our mitigating actions preoccupy all of us at present, we must always look for the opportunities that underlie all risks.
We could attempt as best we can to weather this storm and return to business as usual after the pandemic has been brought under control, or we could see this as an opportunity to accelerate our digital business strategy and ensure that we develop a much more flexible and multi-modal approach to how we deliver our services in the interest of our students and our country.
We do, however, envisage our vibrant campuses as a major part of any future student value proposition.
Please stay safe at this difficult time.
Regards and best wishes,
Prof Dan Kgwadi
We need your support
We have launched a Covid-19 fund that is aimed at supporting students by providing laptops/devices, and offering support to staff, students and the communities around our campuses with the necessary equipment and with meeting other needs.
We have budgeted about R30 million (for data and devices) to support remote teaching and learning, but this will not be sufficient. You can contribute to the Response Fund by visiting this web page to donate. You are also welcome to donate laptops and tablets you no longer use.
NWU & U