[8 June 2021] DVC: Academic and Student Affairs letter to students

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Dear Students

It is always a pleasure to take time to engage you on important matters that affect you as a student. In my communique to you on 9 April, I mentioned a number of important things. Among these was the fact that mid-year exams were fast-approaching. I also urged you to use your time wisely by participating actively in all your online lectures and practicals in preparation for the mid-year assessments. I requested you to take responsibility for your studies, to exercise your agency at all times and use all academic support programmes available to you, such as the tutoring system and reaching out to your lecturers whenever you needed assistance with your studies. I believe that you took heed and followed through with the advice.

We have now come to the end of the first semester. These two terms were short, but very eventful. It is my hope that you stayed focused on your studies amidst all the challenges. June examinations will commence soon. They will be preceded by a swot period intended for you to revise your work and prepare for your examinations. If you have missed some of your work due to various unforeseen reasons, there is no need to despair. Please approach your lecturers, Head of Department or Dean of your Faculty for academic advice. In addition, support programmes are still available to you; the Counselling Centre is running various mental, academic, and social health programmes for students (SMASH). These include study skills support, exams preparation, managing exam-related stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, procrastination, self-care, and motivation. Please check your student news messages frequently for dates scheduled for the different sessions/webinars, or contact the Counselling Centre at 046 603 7070 or email counsellingcentre@ru.ac.za

Online teaching and learning, as well as assessment, will continue for a while, as we monitor the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and await vaccination. Please use this time to prepare for your exams.

In my last communique, I appealed to students to refrain from acts of dishonesty, which compromise the integrity of our qualifications and the image of our Institution. Unfortunately, we continue to receive reports on plagiarism, cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty in tests and assignments. I would like to reiterate that plagiarism, cheating, fraud, sharing screenshots of your assessments (assignments, tests or exams), asking others to write for you and other forms of duplicity in assessments are serious offences with serious consequences that include, among other sanctions, removal of duly-performed certificate (DP), suspension and exclusion from the University. There will be no mercy for any student found guilty of any of these offences. Once again, I encourage you to acquaint yourself with the Plagiarism Policy and seek support from your departments regarding good ethical conduct in assessments.

In closing, please remember that COVID-19 is still here with us; positive cases are increasing rapidly in the country as we enter a third wave. So please protect yourself and others by continuously adhering to the following life-saving non-pharmaceutical measures:

  • wear an appropriate face mask over your nose and mouth all the time when you are in public,
  • keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres away from other people,
  • sanitise or wash your hands with soap and water regularly,
  • avoid touching surfaces, your face and eyes, and
  • avoid crowded places.


All the best with your examinations.



‘Mabokang Monnapula-Mapesela