The University of KwaZulu-Natal recently held its 2018 Parents Day events for the four Colleges.
The events, held on all UKZN campuses annually, serve as a platform for University staff to engage with parents of first-year students. Staff use these engagements to share useful information on what support is given to students during their stay at UKZN.
During these sessions parents are also informed about the various scholarship packages and funding options at their children’s disposal.
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Stephen Mutula addressed parents at the Pietermaritzburg campus saying that the ‘University is committed to equipping graduates with relevant education in an environment that is conducive to excellence.’
For Mrs Gloria Mkhize, the College of Humanities was the College of choice for her daughter, Zinhle, who has enrolled for a Bachelor of Social Science degree. ‘It’s one of the best universities in the country. I know that she will be able to learn a lot,’ said Mkhize.
Funding, housing and registration were the key areas of discussion at the College of Law and Management Studies’ Parents Day. The information sharing session was attended by hundreds of parents who were informed about how the College will be supporting their children throughout their academic career at UKZN.
Addressing parents and students at the School of Law, Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Albert van Jaarsveld urged students to work hard and to take advantage of the opportunities their parents never had. ‘While on campus, choose your friends wisely and ensure that you enjoy your time on campus. Never again in your working life will you have the opportunity and freedom to grow as an individual and as a citizen as you do now,’ he said.
At the Westville campus, parents were addressed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor Nana Poku and the Dean and Head of the School of Management, IT and Governance Professor Betty Mubangizi.
Poku assured parents that their children made the right choice by choosing a world-class institution such as UKZN. ‘Your child is coming to a university that is not only locally rooted but is on an international level. We do not only produce graduates but we grow the next generation of leaders, innovators and nation providers,’ he said.
Mubangizi informed parents about the College structure and the vital information contained in the parents’ guide while representatives from Student Support Services, Teaching and Learning and Student Funding spoke on student support.
Another happy parent, Mr Nkosinathi Ntanzi, said he hopes his daughter Nqobile will succeed in her studies and become a lawyer. He advised her to dedicate her time to her books and work hard.
Around 1 400 parents and students attended the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science’s (CAES) Parents Day session, where they were met with a warm welcome from staff from all five of its Schools, as well as CAES administrative staff, Student Support staff, Financial Aid staff, Risk Management Services and Housing staff. The briefing on university life allayed any fears and concerns through friendly and informative presentations.
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Albert Modi welcomed parents on the Pietermaritzburg campus; at the Westville campus, Master of ceremonies Professor Neil Koorbanally encouraged students who were feeling nervous about the start of their academic journey, while Professor Bala Pillay’s executive speech assured parents and students of UKZN being the institution of choice. Professor Ademola Olaniran spoke about the College structure and degree information, Dr Neeshi Singh-Pillay discussed student support services on offer, and Mr Sizwe Sithole spoke about funding options and processes available to students.
The CAES incorporatedi isiZulu into welcome speeches, and had translators, including UKZN postgraduate students, available for the presentations and question and answer sessions.
Parents commented that the event made them aware of what is expected of them and how to prepare their children, provided useful information, oriented them to the University system, and clearly indicated what assistance is available to them and their children.
‘At UKZN we are serious about teaching and learning and are fortunate to have dedicated lecturers who go above and beyond the norm to provide students with the best learning experience,’ said Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Busi Ncama during her welcome address to the parents of Health Sciences students.
She added: ‘Entrance to the University of KwaZulu-Natal is highly competitive and we have a proud legacy of attracting high performing and gifted learners from both urban and rural schools.’
Ncama assured parents that they had made the correct decision to enrol their children at a university which has held the number one position in South Africa in terms of research output for a number of years.
‘We produce true innovators. People who will question the world and look within themselves to change it for the better.’