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UWC FYE: First-Year Experience

Message from the Vice-Chancellor and Rector: Professor Tyrone Pretorius

Congratulations and a warm welcome first Year students. At UWC we are building a solid tradition of academic excellence and social stability and we are glad that you are part of our UWC community. Your decision to enroll at this university is a wise one. We are uniquely geared to support and nurture the emerging intellects and innovative thought that address the challenges of our continent.

In global terms, UWC is a fairly young university, and each and every one of you has the opportunity to make your mark on the world as we develop and grow together. I invite you to use your time with us wisely: these few short years will be challenging but rewarding, provided that you stay focused on your goals. Every aspect of UWC is aimed at helping you succeed, so make good use of the support systems we have put in place. Be active citizens and develop in mind, body and soul as part of our “UDUBS” community.

 

Message from the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Academic: Professor Vivienne Lawack

I am delighted to welcome you into our diverse and progressive academic community. We are very proud that UWC, coming from a history of segregation and disadvantage, is now a high-performing research-led institution with an excellent reputation. We strive for authentic transformation, creative problem-solving and uncompromising quality in all our endeavours. UWC’s academic output goes from strength to strength. You are the present and the future of UWC.

As First Years, I invite you to see your academic journey as not only one of personal growth, but also as adding to the merit and dignity of this university. Make good use of the services we have in place to support you academically and socially. Your studies will be all the more rewarding and enjoyable and your chances of success will be multiplied! I wish you great success in your time with us at UWC

 

Message from the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Student Development and Support: Professor Matete Madiba

The Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Student Development and Support (DVC: SDS) at the University of the Western Cape plays a pivotal role in providing an integrated service to students. This involves building co-curricular opportunities, responsive support services, and institutional cultures that foster growth and development from initial registration to graduation. The DVC: SDS aims to create an environment that not only supports the immediate needs of students but also lays the foundation for lifelong learning. This includes initiatives and programs designed to help first-year students adapt to university life, navigate academic challenges and develop essential skills for the 21st Century
 

Message from the Acting Director of Learning, Teaching & Student Success and Teaching & Learning Specialist in the Office of the DVC: Academic: Professor Sue Pather


Welcome First Year students. The First Year Experience (FYE) at UWC is a new initiative at the institution. FYE is anticipated to foster a successful university transition and student experience. Through partnerships with faculties, departments, units, staff, and student leaders, we envisage our FYE to create the space for you, to define how you will engage, learn, and thrive at the University of the Western Cape. Always be open to new opportunities and challenge yourself to move out of your comfort zone.



To learn more about how to survive your first year at university click on the guidebook below for tips.

 

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UWC FYE
 

ABOUT UWC FYE


DEFINING UWC FYE:

The UWC FYE is an intentional and student-centred programme that fosters an inclusive first-year student transition into higher learning in a systematic and co-ordinated way which celebrates diversity and UWC values. The UWC FYE programme integrates curricular and co-curricular activities in order to facilitate a shared sense of belonging, retention and success for all our first-year students.

AIM:

To provide student-centred initiatives to enhance FY student transition and a quality student experience, thereby enabling students to stay and succeed at UWC.

OBJECTIVES:

  • To build a sense of community & connectedness with the institution;
  • To promote academic integration between staff and students;
  • To promote social integration between students & peers;
  • To provide students with academic support;
  • To provide a safe, inclusive and quality FYE;
  • To promote student retention & success

VISION:

To significantly enhance first year student retention, engagement and success by addressing issues relating to first year transition and improved academic performance.
 

FYE FRAMEWORK

 

 


 























 

UWC STUDENT SUCCESS MODEL

 





















 

 


RETENTION STRATEGY

A central focus of UWC's retention and success strategy is students' engagement with university structures. It is envisaged that intentionally planned student engagement will enhance the students’ sense of belonging and academic success which could contribute to an improved student experience and increased retention, academic success and graduation rates. UWC’s strategy will include both institution?wide initiatives and faculty interventions targeting specific student populations, such as first?year students and students at-risk.
 

 

 

 






 

FACULTIES
 

UWC FACULTIES WELCOME YOU!

 


 TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR FACULTY, CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW
 

ARTS & HUMANITIES

COMMUNITY & HEALTH SCIENCES

DENTISTRY


ECONOMIC AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES

EDUCATION

LAW

NATURAL SCIENCES


SUPPORT SERVICES

 



TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR SUPPORT SERVICES, CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW

CENTRE FOR STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

OFFICE FOR STUDENT DEVELOPMENT(UWC CAREER SERVICES)

RESIDENTIAL SERVICES

UWC WRITING CENTRE

UWC LIBRARY
 

FIRST YEAR TRANSITION PROGRAMME (FYTP)

"Student Partnerships. For students, by students."

The FYTP is a new initiative at UWC to provide first year undergraduate students with mentorship to promote student success through engagement. The goal is to support all first year students to help them reach their full potential in their university experience. We hope to display Collaboration, Integration, Respect and Trust with all students, First Year Transition Officers (FYTOs) and mentors during their time at UWC.

Our aim is to assist students with a smooth transition into university so that they could achieve their full academic potential and graduate within the minimum period. The retention and throughput of students is facilitated using different strategies and interventions.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS A FYTO?

A FYTO…

  • is a postgraduate student who is located in a faculty
  • assists first year students with social and academic transition into their new university environment

WHAT IS A FIRST YEAR MENTOR?

A First Year Mentor …
  • is a current UWC full time senior student
  • guides and advises first year students at UWC
 

WHAT IS A MENTEE?

A mentee…
  • is a first-year undergraduate student
  • receives guidance and support from a mentor
  • receives help to make the most of their experience at UWC


WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING A MENTEE?

Students (mentees) with mentors:
  • positively adjust to university
  • are more likely to graduate
  • have a greater overall satisfaction with their university experience
  • are motivated to perform well
  • fare better on other key measures of university success than students who lack mentoring connections.
  • succeed academically and socially at university


IF YOU WOULD LIKE A FIRST YEAR MENTOR, CONTACT YOUR FACULTY FYTO BELOW.

FACULTY OF ARTS & HUMANITIES
fytp-arts@uwc.ac.za 

FACULTY OF COMMUNITY & HEALTH SCIENCES
fytp-chs@uwc.ac.za

FACULTY OF DENTISTRY
fytp-dentistry@uwc.ac.za

FACULTY OF ECONOMIC & MANAGEMENT SCIENCES
fytp-ems@uwc.ac.za

FACULTY OF EDUCATION
fytp-education@uwc.ac.za

FACULTY OF LAW
fytp-law@uwc.ac.za

FACULTY OF NATURAL SCIENCES
fytp-sciences@uwc.ac.za


 

FIRST YEAR TRANSITION OFFICER SUPPORT

 
"To be a FYTO, means to help first year students navigate their way through university by providing them with the necessary support in terms of their academic, social and personal challenges. The university environment is very different from the high school environment, so it becomes important to provide the necessary guidance to ensure that the transition from high school to university is as smooth as possible. This will allow the students to not only survive their first year, but also to thrive. To the first years, your academics are important, so be goal-oriented, but also ensure that you look after your mental and physical wellbeing. Remember there will be days when you won't feel motivated, so learn to be disciplined."

Leona
Education First Year Transition Officer



 

FROM MENTOR TO OVERSEAS: SUCCESS STORY
 
"During my first year at university, I struggled with adjusting to being far from home, being in different environments, and forming relationships with my classmates in varsity. That made it hard for me to adjust to varsity life and I felt I had no one to turn to. I applied for a mentor and received assistance and that motivated me to apply for the mentor position. I wanted to assist students who are struggling as well. During my first year of being a mentor, everything became virtual due to COVID-19. It was a huge adjustment for everyone, but that did not stop me from being a dedicated mentor. I always tried to have weekly sessions with my mentees. Firstly, to check up on them and discuss the challenges they had been facing. I would share my experiences with them and how I was tackling every situation.

This made the environment feel safe as they did not feel judged. In areas where I felt I could not assist, I would reach out to my FYTO and she was always willing to assist. This has helped me grow in my career as an emerging physiotherapist as it improved my communication skills, ability to empathise with patients and work in multidisciplinary teams. To this day I am still in communication with my previous mentees and FYTO because of the relationship I built with them."


Palesa
Former Community and Health Sciences First Year Mentor who graduated and received an opportunity to work in Australia

 
 

FIRST YEAR MENTOR EXPERIENCE

"The First Year Transition Programme has provided me with numerous benefits, memories and most importantly support for my 3 years on university. I started my tertiary journey in 2021 as a mentor. The knowledge and insights I gained as a mentee has driven me to become a mentor. As a mentor I developed personally and professionally. The FYTP offered me guidance, knowledge, and expertise from experienced individuals who have already navigated similar paths.This includes sharing specific insights, problem-solving strategies, and practical advice. The programme helped me navigate challenges and overcome obstacles more effectively. Lastly, the programme has provided me with a space to elevate my self-esteem and confidence which has shaped the way I grew at university."

Shadian
Education First Year Mentor

 

FROM MENTEE TO MENTOR

"Two years of mentoring first year students has been an immensely fulfilling experience. After overcoming my own obstacles in my first year, it seemed like the right decision to enroll in the programme. It was a comfort to be able to ask for help and support, and changing from being a mentee to a mentor gave me a fresh viewpoint. I was able to meaningfully help first-year students since I had firsthand experience with their problems. I strongly advise anyone who is having difficulties or is just looking for a student guide, to enroll in the programme. This guidance goes beyond short-term setbacks, cultivates relationships, and has a long-lasting effect on mentors and mentees."

Haylen
Community and Health Sciences First Year Mentor

 

ADVICE FOR FIRST YEAR STUDENTS
 

"I encourage first years to join the programme. To first years, I recommend to take your time.  Life isn't a sprint. It's a marathon, this applies to varsity too. Come in with an open mind, ready to learn not for your course but about life, yourself, and others. You might learn new things and unlearn things, all of that is normal. Be ready to engage with your environment and the people, be willing to take up opportunities as they come to you, and continuously work on yourself and your mental health."

Lufezo
Arts and Humanities First Year Mentor

 

ACADEMIC

"The FYTP really helped me with adjusting to my first year. I learn't a lot about my degree and the career paths available to me. I learn't how to study efficiently, and thanks to my mentor, I have learn't about the various places on campus where I can study between my classes."

First Year Mentee

 

SOCIAL

"I would like to thank FTYP for giving me an opportunity to be a mentee. I really enjoyed it and I had an awesome mentor. It was helpful to me mentally. I'm not antisocial like how I used to be before I joined the programme. It changed my life and I wish one day I can be part of the programme maybe be a mentor and help first year students."

First Year Mentee

FYE 101

First Years! Do you want to know more about UWC and what is has to offer you as a current student? Well look no further. We have three informative videos which will provide you with useful information that will guide you on your journey as a UWC first year student! The videos provide tips and motivation to succeed at university, and connects you to your faculties and support services across campus. Go on and have a look by clicking on the videos below!

 


 


 



CAMPUS NAVIGATION

 

 






UWC VIRTUAL TOUR

 

Explore the UWC campus from anywhere and experience the dynamic campus life through an engaging virtual tour! Please Scan the QR Code to load the interactive map on your mobile device.


FY COURSE

COMING SOON...


EVENTS

  

ACADEMIC SUCCESS WEEK 2018

 











 






















 








ORIENTATION WEEK 2019

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

OPEN DAY 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



































































































































































































































 

RESEARCH

ARTICLES

UNIVERSITIES NEED TO TAKE NOTE OF THE GAP BETWEEN EXPECTATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

The student population at South African universities have changed dramatically in the last two decades. It’s now much more diverse in terms of age, race, culture, backgrounds, educational experience and academic potential.

This transformation has brought with it a wide variety of student expectations – largely influenced by their school experience, family background and home communities – about...
CLICK HERE to view the full article!

 

FIXING THE FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE: STUDYING STUDENT SUCCESS AT UWC

One of the greatest challenges in higher education is simply ensuring that students make it through their university careers and graduate on time - and that challenge begins in first-year where there’s often a clash between what students expect, and what they actually experience at university

“One of the biggest challenges for universities dealing with first-years is simply knowing what it is they expect of us,” says Dr Subethra Pather, who heads the First-Year Experience programme at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). “The mismatch between expectation and reality can...
CLICK HERE to view the full article!
 

PEER PARTNERSHIPS IN A FIRST YEAR TRANSITION PROGRAMME DURING COVID-19: UNMASKING STUDENT VOICES

Student voices have the potential to increase student engagement; encourage collaboration and partnerships among students, academics and student support units. This paper focuses on students as mentors, mentees and transition officers who engage with each other as partners within an institution-wide First Year Transition Programme (FYTP)....CLICK HERE to view the full article!

 

CONTACT US

Prof Sue Pather – supather@uwc.ac.za – Learning and Teaching Specialist, Office of the DVC: Academic

First Year Experience Team: fye@uwc.ac.za

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Embark on an exciting journey with us! Stay connected and up-to-date on all things First Year Experience by visiting our vibrant social media handles. Join our community as we share valuable insights, updates, and engaging content to make your first year unforgettable. Follow us for a front-row seat to the adventure that awaits!


 

 

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