Dr Sizwe Mabizela's Welcome Message
I wish to welcome you all, our new and returning students, to the serene and student-friendly campus of Rhodes University for the new academic year, 2017. I wish to applaud the returning students on their success in the last examinations under trying conditions. I also congratulate the new students on their admission to the University as they embark on their academic journey at Rhodes University.
To the new students, you have passed through a period and are now poised to enter into a new level where you must take full responsibility for all your actions. Therefore, what you will learn here will be necessary tools, knowledge, values, competencies and attitudes that you will need to make a success of your life. I assure you that the quality of education delivery at Rhodes University matches some of the best in the world.
You have joined a 113-year old university with a long history and well-entrenched culture and tradition of academic excellence and of nurturing exceptional intellectual talent of young people like you. We enjoy the enviable reputation of having the best pass and graduation rates of any South African university. We have outstanding postgraduate success rates and enjoy one of the best research outputs per academic staff member of any South African university. Our academics are at the cutting edge of their fields of research and knowledge creation, application and dissemination. This means that our students are taught by academics who are actively engaged in pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge.
We are proud of, and strive to maintain, our reputation as an outstanding university that provides high quality formative education for its students. Not only do we expose our students to new knowledge and skills, we also develop and nurture their ability and capacity to reason, to analyse, to reflect and to argue using knowledge. Our approach to teaching and learning is one that seeks to expose our students to the nature and intricacies of knowledge and induct them to the art and the mysteries of creating new knowledge and applying old knowledge to new situations and contexts.
Rhodes University is a learning community. We learn from and through each other, and for us learning extends beyond the walls of a lecture theatre, seminar room, library, or laboratory. It also occurs in sports and social clubs, student societies, extra-curricular activities and through student participation in community engagement activities. Your involvement in these and other activities outside of the classroom is vital to your holistic development, growth and education. You must however learn to balance your academic and social lives in order to become a well-rounded graduate of Rhodes University.
One of the exciting aspects of university experience is the opportunity interact with, and learn from, other young people who come from different social, economic, geographic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This diversity creates a vibrant intellectual, social and cultural environment which is key to achieving academic excellence. Our University works hard to create a caring institutional culture and an affirming social environment which values and celebrates diversity and respects and appreciates individual differences. We encourage our students to keep an open mind and be willing to share their ideas, perspectives, views and experiences with other students in a manner that enhances understanding of what it means to be fully human and values other students’ opinions, views and experiences.
Orientation Week is designed with you, our students, in mind. It is intended not only to provide you with information on courses that are on offer at Rhodes University but also to expose you to the wide array of services and opportunities provided by the University to enhance your chances of academic success, personal growth and development. The overarching goal of our Directorate of Student Affairs is to “create a living and learning student support system and an environment which is inclusive and is conducive to a healthy life-style, personal growth, development and academic success for our students.” Help us make this goal a reality for you and other students at Rhodes.
Our academic and support staff are here to support you; they are here to help you realise your dreams, goals and aspirations; they are here to make your university experience a positive, rewarding and fulfilling one. As a small University with dedicated and committed staff, we are able to offer that personal touch that may make a difference in your life. Always remember that at Rhodes University you are a person with a face and a name; not just a number or statistic. We encourage you to use all the professional assistance and support that is available. We wish you much success in the years ahead at Rhodes University.
Your continued feedback at various stages of your studies will provide valuable insights that will help us to improve our services and we welcome that continued conversation over the next few months and years. I hope your time at Rhodes will be hugely rewarding and I look forward to applauding your achievements at a future graduation ceremony.
Last Modified :Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:47:58 SAST