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Dr Sizwe Mabizela’s Welcome Message

Date Released: Thu, 28 January 2016 15:53 +0200

We are delighted that you have chosen Rhodes University to partner you as you enter the next phase of your journey of intellectual growth, self-discovery and personal development. You have chosen very well!

You are joining a 111-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 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. A university is a space for intellectual contestations. And so, 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 into expose our students to the nature of knowledge and induct them to the art and the mysteries of creating new knowledge.

Rhodes University is a learning community.  We learn from and through each other and for us learning extends beyond a lecture theatre, seminar room, library, or laboratory. It also occurs in sports and social clubs, student societies, extra- curricular activities and through your participation in community engagement activities. Your involvement in these and other activities outside of the classroom is essential for 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. It is also this diversity that 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 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.

Your education at Rhodes University will equip you with knowledge, skills, values and attitude that will make it possible for you, as an individual and as part of a collective of like-minded people, to advance the common good.

You are joining Rhodes University at a challenging and exciting time in the history of our young democracy, in general, and that of our higher education system, in particular. In 2015 we witnessed a significant rise in student activism across the length and breadth of our country around issues of social justice and transformation in higher education. as an institution “where leaders learn” and with the motto vis virtus veritas (Truth, virtue and strength), we encourage our students to develop the capacity to raise critical, complex and uncomfortable issues that face our society and humankind using the power of reasoned and rational argument and logic to persuade those who may hold different views and refrain from resorting to intimidation, coercion and violence as a legitimate form of engagement.

Orientation Week is designed 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 success.

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.”

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. 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.