(Published - 15 February 2019)
“It sounds like a cliché - but there are actually two types of people in the world: those who make things happen, and those who hope that someone will make it happen for them. At the University of the Western Cape, we believe in supporting the former - and in celebrating their efforts to better themselves and their world.”
These were the words of UWC Registrar Nita Lawton-Misra, speaking at the University’s annual Academic Administration Training Certificate Ceremony on 12 February 2019 - an annual event that seeks to give recognition to staff for completing the 2017/2018 Academic Administration Training Programme.
At this year's ceremony, 139 certificates were awarded to over 80 staff members who attended courses exploring how to perform the various Student Administration System Integration (SASI), Committee Management System (CMS) and Student Tracking System (STS) functions related to their roles and responsibilities - and who went above and beyond those roles, upskilling themselves on thesis management, report writing, administration and governance, and more.
“When I talk about the kind of person who actually makes things happen for themselves, I’m talking about people like you,” she told the certificate recipients. “People who identified a gap in their development, who were determined to develop themselves, and who seized the opportunity to do so.”
The Academic Administration Training Programme, offered by the UWC Academic Administration Training and Development Unit (AATDU) within the Office of the Deputy Registrar: Academic Administration, equips administrative and support staff with the necessary systems skills to perform operational requirements - and to prepare themselves for a variety of roles, at UWC and beyond.
“We are the products of our decisions, not just our circumstances,” said Nina Barnes, Manager: Staff & Organisational Development at UWC’s Human Resources Department. “Choose to learn; choose to grow; choose to be successful. By optimising opportunities to improve your skills, knowledge and behaviours, you are choosing well - because success is the result of hard work, persistence and learning.”
Barnes congratulated certificants for their hard work and determination, and for their commitment to embracing learning and growth, and equipping themselves with the competencies and capabilities to support the strategic goals of the University.
The Registrar underlined that big picture view.
“Your efforts are not only about yourselves - not only about self-promotion, or self-development, or even self-improvement. They’re about how we do our jobs better, how we contribute to the University’s vision, and how much of a difference we can make when we continue developing ourselves,” Lawton-Misra noted.
“We are proud to recognise you for having taken those additional steps in your own development to ensure that you continue pursuing a better version of who you are - and to making the world a better place.”
Catching Dreams: Celebrating Registration at UWC
As if to demonstrate the value of dedication and improvement, the certification ceremony was followed by a big ‘thank you’ function for all the staff who worked so hard to make UWC Registration 2019 a huge success.
“Each year, we look at how we can improve what we do - and things just worked so much more efficiently this year,” the Registrar noted.
The University of the Western Cape’s academic year began on Monday, 4 February 2019, and students have been attending classes. 100% of new first-year students and more than 80% of returning students, inclusive of post graduate students, have been registered.
Prof Vivienne Lawack, UWC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, thanked staff for the weeks of hard work, their responsibility and their teamwork, and the huge responsibilities they shouldered to ensure that students were registered and ready for 2019.
“What you do is more important than you might think,” added Prof Lawack. “It’s not just taking someone’s form and processing it, or dealing with complaints and issues. It’s about being facilitators of other people’s dreams - helping them make the move into tertiary education, and furthering their futures.”
“All of us are like dreamcatchers at UWC,” Lawton-Misra said. “You are helping young people realise their dreams,” she said.