UWC officially starts the 2017 academic year
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has welcomed more than 4200 first year students at its Orientation programme this week.
Orientation Week started on Monday 20 February 2017, as proud parents and guardians of excited first years gathered for welcoming ceremonies at UWC’s Bellville campus, followed by a much-anticipated, fun-filled orientation programme.
UWC Vice-Chancellor and Rector Prof Tyrone Pretorius addressed students from all Faculties, namely Arts, Education and Natural Sciences, Economics and Management Sciences, Community and Health Sciences, Law and Dentistry, in the University’s Main Hall.
He assured parents that they had made the right decision enrolling their children at UWC, in spite of the unsettling events unfolding at higher education institutions.
“We have come far in building this university,” he said. “Burning our universities can only set the current generation - and our future generations - back. We appreciate the important role education plays, especially for the communities we serve - where education is, to most families, the only escape from poverty.”
The Rector also shared a few of the University’s recent highlights with the newest members of the UWC community.
“In early 2016 UWC launched the first hydrogen fuel forklift and hydrogen refuelling station in South Africa, developed by our team of researchers and innovators. And last year we also became the first African university to have an experiment to run at the European Centre for Nuclear Research, the Holy Grail for science research.
“In August last year, your university was ranked number one in Africa and South Africa in physical science research and publications,” he said. “Times Higher Education ranked UWC 102 among the Universities in BRICS & Emerging Economies in November 2016, and among the top 300 institutions in 50 countries that made the overall global ranking.
“The special success story of the University of the Western Cape needs to be highlighted, given that the challenges the sector has experienced over the past two years, especially the student protest, has sought to obscure some of the gains we made, painting a picture of a university in distress,” he said.
“I am pleased with our successes in 2016; we made significant progress in building a reputable University that is truly a place of quality, a place to grow from hope to action through knowledge.”
Aidan van Wyk (17) from Kalkfontein in Kuils River was excited to be part of the orientation programme, an experience he’ll be sharing with thousands of wide-eyed hopeful first-years this week.
“I come from a tough community and I have seen the social ills around me,” he said, “which is why I enrolled for a undergraduate degree in Social Work. I love people and it is my wish to be able to help my community.”
He is hoping to receive assistance from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. Both Aidan and his father, André, are excited about his studies and future at UWC.
“He is a hard worker and I’m sure he will make a success of his studies,” the elder van Wyk said proudly.
Orientation Continues At UWC
New part-time students will receive an official welcome from the Rector and Vice-Chancellor on Saturday, 25 February at 09:00 in the Main Hall, followed by orientation and registration.
Prof Pamela Dube (middle), DVC Student Development and Support is pictured with first years after the orientation open day welcoming sessions. They were welcomed at a function hosted by Residential Services and was treated to a rugby 88-8 battering in a fixture against Rhodes University later that evening.