Student Affairs
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Matie shop goes online from 1 July 2021 shop goes online from 1 July 2021Innovus <p>Stellenbosch University's (SU) popular Matie Shop opened its online shop on Thursday, 1 July 2021, offering its whole range of SU-branded apparel, gifts and accessories.<br></p><p>“We are very excited to offer our customers this convenient way of shopping," says Matie Shop's newly appointed manager, Lara Cronje. “To celebrate this milestone, we will have exciting specials throughout July – so please watch this space."</p><p>For Cronje, who joined Innovus three months ago, the opening of the online shop is the culmination of careful planning and testing of the online commerce environment.</p><p>“Our team has been testing online sales for a while now, and there is a huge demand for our products to be available online – especially amongst our alumni, students that are studying remotely and the broader university community."</p><p>“We receive a lot of queries from alumni living abroad, and hope to provide them with the opportunity to access all SU branded products from anywhere across the world in the near future as it will be a dream come true. In the meantime, local Maties can shop away!"</p><p>Apart from stocking SU products, residences and faculties will also have access to this online store to sell their branded SU merchandise through a central platform.</p><p>Keep an eye on social media and visit Maties Shop online at from 1 July 2021 for all your SU needs. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest specials.<br></p><p>​<br></p>
SU Equality Unit moves to Responsibility Centre: Learning and Teaching Equality Unit moves to Responsibility Centre: Learning and TeachingEquality Unit<div>​​The Unit will now report directly to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Learning and Teaching, Prof Deresh Ramjugernath.<br></div><div><br></div><div>The move comes after much thought had been given to the positioning of the Unit within the University, and how to best provide services and support to staff and students. </div><div><br></div><div>“I am very happy with the repositioning of the Equality Unit as a functionary that reports directly to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching. This institutional strategy will enhance the efforts to address gender-based violence (GBV), sexual harassment, unfair discrimination, as well as all the other initiatives managed by the Unit, and will enable an efficient implementation, monitoring, and evaluation thereof in an integrated action plan at SU,” said DVC: Learning and Teaching, Prof Deresh Ramjugernath.</div><div><br></div><div>The Equality Unit plays an important institutional role in highlighting and combatting unfair discrimination and harassment, and GBV, and provides staff and students with training, development, and support services for HIV, STIs, gender non-violence, and sexualities. </div><div><br></div><div>“Our shift to the Responsibility Centre: Learning and Teaching will have direct impact on our institutional efficiency and provide additional engagement and support to SU staff, the student body, leadership and various SU structures. Through this realignment, we affirm our commitment to the staff and students of SU to root out inequality and to keep trust and credibility,” said Jaco Greeff Brink, Head of the Equality Unit. </div><div><br></div><div>Brink added: “The foundation of our work is rooted in the South African Constitution, Bills of Rights, and the Unfair Discrimination and Harassment and HIV/Aids policies of SU, so that we make a distinctive contribution not only to the SU community, but to intentionally influence our broader society, as well as contribute in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world through empathy, leadership, critical engagement, review and humble assertiveness.” </div><div><br></div><div>With this shift, the intent is to engage more with the SU community through initiatives that are being developed to strengthen the functioning of the Unit and the services it provides. Currently the Unit is working to highlight cyberbullying through its anti-cyberbullying campaign which will launch on 26 July 2021. It has launched faculty and departmental information roadshows that gives insight on the support services offered to staff. </div><div><br></div><div>The Unfair Discrimination and Harassment and HIV/Aids policies are also currently under review. New additions will strengthen the guidelines which govern the work done by the Equality Unit, specifically on GBV. Implementing an online reporting, monitoring and evaluation tool is a priority and will be crucial to determine whether the work being done is effective and integrated across SU stakeholders. </div><div><br></div><div>“Equality is a crucial constitutional principle, and the Equality Unit at Stellenbosch University plays an institutional role. Therefore, DSAf realised how important it was to drive the process to give the Unit the stature and importance it deserves,” said Dr Choice Makhetha, Senior Director: Student Affairs. </div><div><br></div><div>“The Equality Unit needed to report directly to Rectorate level, to speed up decision making and also to hold the institution accountable on critical equality issues.</div><div><br></div><div>“Our colleagues at Equality Unit will remain very close to our hearts as they begin this new journey and will continue to be our partners in efforts to address equality issues. We wish them well and I know that they will continue to serve SU exceptionally well,” she added.</div><div><br></div><div>With this shift, it is hoped that the Unit can better support SU staff and students to bring about equality and a transformative experience for all at SU.  </div><div><br></div><div>The Equality Unit would like to extend a special thanks to Dr Makhetha, Dr Munita Dunn-Coetzee, Director at CSCD, and colleagues at CSCD and DSAf for their invaluable support over the years.  </div><div><br></div><div><strong>A reminder of the support services offered to staff and students</strong></div><div><br></div><div>The Equality Unit provides support services to staff and students. These are testing, counselling, and training on HIV and STIs; training and development, counselling and support to LGBTQIA+ individuals; gender non-violence support and training; and mediation services to resolve conflict resolution. Staff and students can report incidents of unfair discrimination and harassment, gender-based violence, and sexual harassment by contacting the Unit at A case officer will be assigned to deal with the complaint. For HIV-related services, contact For staff, there is a confidential ethics and reporting hotline which is independently administered by KPMG. Staff can contact 0800 20 45 49 or </div><div><br><br></div><p><br></p>
Applications are open for SU Techpreneurship Centre’s second Data Science and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2021 are open for SU Techpreneurship Centre’s second Data Science and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2021Petro Mostert<p>​​Stellenbosch University LaunchLab's newly-established SU Techpreneurship Centre (SU TPC) will be hosting its second <em>Data Science, Machine Learning and Entrepreneurship</em> <em>Bootcamp </em>in July this year after the first cohort successfully completed the programme in March 2021.</p><p>The SU TPC is a ​new data science and entrepreneurial development upskilling initiative developed by the SU LaunchLab, the University's technology and entrepreneurship incubator, in collaboration with the SU School for Data Science and Computational Thinking. The Centre offers courses that bridge the gap between technology and entrepreneurship by providing candidates with both in-depth programming skills in data science and machine learning and how to use these skills in the industry. </p><p>SU LaunchLab CEO Joshua Romisher says they are excited to launch the next programme after successfully ensuring that 90% of the first cohort's participants have landed interviews with partner companies after taking the first course in February. </p><p>The second programme will consist of a 4-week, full-time immersive Bootcamp during the July-August winter holiday. Experts from the SU LaunchLab and SU School for Data Science and Computational Thinking will cover a range of topics such as machine learning techniques, algorithms and models, data exploration and analysis in Python, and soft skills such as SCRUM, Agile and Kanban.</p><p>SU TPC Coordinator Daniel Maloba says the programme, which will run during the winter break (13 July to 6 August 2021), is open to anyone from all academic levels and backgrounds to apply, and that multidisciplinary applicants and backgrounds are very much encouraged. “The course is coding-intensive; therefore, we recommend that candidates understand programming principles, but it does not matter if you have no specific programming experience."</p><p>One of the participants of the first programme, Tanya Meyer, says the SU TPC was instrumental in fast-tracking progress for her MEng research project in Machine Learning and Data Science. “It skyrocketed my Python programming skillset whilst developing my previously non-existent, soft tech skills with lots of guest speaker talks, entrepreneurship sessions and colleague collaboration."</p><p>Maloba said participants seeking internships should look no further than enrolling for the programme. “We have great industry partners who are always looking for new talent," said Maloba. </p><p>Applications opened on 3 May 2021 and will close on 18 June 2021. Applicants are admitted on a rolling basis, so interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. </p><p>The total cost of the 4-week, full-time programme is as follows: SU participant (SU students, staff, recent grads, alumni, etc.): R10,000 excl.; R11,500 VAT incl.</p><p>For more information or to apply for the programme, click on this <a href="">link</a>. Anyone wishing to learn more about the initiative - applicants, partners looking for young talent, or just in general -  can contact  Daniel Maloba at <a href=""></a> .​</p><p>​<br></p>
Have your say your sayEquality Unit<h4>​​Stellenbosch University is currently undergoing its review of the HIV/Aids Policy for Students and Staff and the Unfair Discrimination and Harassment Policy. We are calling on the SU staff and student community to join us in providing input, feedback, and your views on these two important policies.<br><br></h4><h4>The policies are available to you in English and Afrikaans for ease reference. Click on the policy name and you will be redirected to it. <br></h4><h4><strong>English:</strong><br></h4><h4><a href="">HIV/Aids Policy for Students and Staff</a> </h4><h4><a href="">Unfair Discrimination and Harassment policy</a><br></h4><h4><strong>Afrikaans:</strong></h4><h4><a href="">HIV/Aids Policy for Students and Staff​</a> </h4><h4><a href="">Unfair Discrimination and Harassment policy​</a><br><br></h4><h4>Feedback on these policies can be sent to Ryan van der Poll at <a href=""></a> or Nadine Christians at <a href=""></a>. When providing your feedback, please include the page number, section and clause which you are referencing. The deadline for your feedback is Monday, 17 May 2021.<br><br></h4><h4>We look forward to your input, insight, and feedback, and encourage the SU community to review these policies which affect everyone. <br></h4>
Data bundles to students bundles to studentsCorporate Communication<p>Dear students<br></p><p>I trust that you made a successful start to the academic year, which will no doubt again prove to be quite challenging!</p><p>As a result of COVID-19 regulations we have limited capacity in our venues for students to attend lectures. Many of the lecturers are streaming their lectures from these venues to allow students who cannot attend physically the opportunity to take part virtually. We know that some students who are not in a University residence and who are commuting to campus daily might find it difficult to find a suitable space with WiFi to take part in lectures.</p><p>To assist students in the interim, Stellenbosch University (SU) will provide undergraduate and postgraduate students with a once-off data bundle to enable you to access these streamed lectures while we arrange for suitable venues. We hope to have a list of these venues on campus finalised soon and will communicate with you in this regard within the next week. Please note that this is a once-off arrangement just to tide you over until the venues are available.</p><p>The provisioning of data bundles will be done automatically for all undergraduate and postgraduate SU students who have registered through the annual SU registration process, as well as unregistered students with outstanding fees. We will be providing these students with data bundles so that they can access SUNLearn and the live-streamed lectures as per agreement between the Rectorate and SRC. </p><p><strong>Extended registration period</strong></p><p>Please further note that SU has extended its registration period in line with the national call and due to the NSFAS funding delays. We will thus accommodate registration requests until 26 March 2021, and the online registration system has therefore been accordingly re-opened. The registration amendment period will run concurrently with the extended registration period to assist our students with any outstanding registration matters.  </p><p>Self-registration can be done from any computer with access to internet on <a href=""></a>. For more information, find the link to registration on <a href="/"></a> or please <a href="/english/students/Pages/Registration.aspx">click here</a>. Students who however experience any issue with the online registration system can contact the applicable faculty administrator/officer. Please <a href="/english/Documents/2021/Student%20Services%20Contact%20Details.pdf">click here</a> for contact details for faculty or programme specific information and services. </p><p>Please consult the dedicated <a href="/english/Pages/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Disease-2019.aspx">COVID-19 page</a> on the SU website for useful information, including frequently asked questions (FAQs), as well as a record of all communiques and updates since the start of the pandemic. </p><p>Please take care and stay safe.</p><p><strong>Prof Deresh Ramjugernath</strong><br><strong> Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching</strong></p><p> <br><br></p><p>​<br></p>
Student finances and registration finances and registrationDr Ronel Retief: Registrar<p>​​​Dear students<br></p><p>We have taken note of the national student financial crisis and we share your concerns. Student funding and the impact it has on access to higher education is high on the agenda of Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p><strong>Registration</strong></p><p>Last week, the University confirmed that all first-time entry students are able to register. Returning senior students with confirmation of funding in the form of a bursary or loan are also allowed to register if their confirmed funding exceeded their debt of the previous year. These students are exempt from having to pay the first compulsory instalment at registration. In addition, returning students with no outstanding debt are able to register and can enter a formal three-month payment arrangement for the first compulsory instalment at registration.</p><p>The University has also extended its registration period in line with the national call and due to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding delays. We will thus accommodate registration requests until 26 March 2021, and the online registration system has been reopened to align with this decision.</p><p>We are happy to confirm that to date we have managed to register 19 480 undergraduate students compared to 18 794 at the same time last year.</p><p><strong>Access to SUNLearn</strong></p><p>We acknowledge that students who have been unable to register are running the risk of falling behind academically, due to not having online access to study material. We have therefore arranged that students with outstanding fees will have access to SUNLearn while they are assisted, on a case by case basis, to find solutions that will deal with their debt and allow them to register. The Student Debt Task Team discussed below is involved in this process.</p><p>Access will be granted based on the programme for which the students were registered last year. If there are any issues with regard to access to SUNLearn for any elective modules, please contact Ms Belinda Durelle at <a href=""></a>. Note that this access will be terminated at the end of March for all students who at that stage have not registered for the 2021 academic year.</p><p><strong>NSFAS appeals and allowances</strong></p><p>Over the past few years, we have engaged with NSFAS, and the Department of Higher Education and Training to see how we as a sector can address the financial needs of our students. While these important conversations are ongoing, we as an institution, have committed to ensure that no academically deserving student be left behind due to their financial circumstances.</p><p>The University has made institutional funds available to assist students who are waiting for the outcome of their NSFAS appeals. NSFAS requires that students pass a minimum of 50% of their required academic modules per annum to qualify for the continuation of their NSFAS bursary. Students who did not meet this requirement have to appeal to NSFAS for funding.</p><p>All our NSFAS students who were funded in 2020 are currently receiving allowances for their learning material, meals, private accommodation and travel. The payment of allowances is an automated process, and our Centre for Undergraduate Bursaries and Loans has, up to this point, disbursed R44 390 000 to 2 637 of our senior returning NSFAS students. This number represents almost 80% of our estimated total number of senior NSFAS recipients for 2021.</p><p>We are currently waiting for NSFAS to release the list of first-year students that will be funded. Once we receive the list, the disbursement of allowances will commence. </p><p>We are also working hard to ensure that NSFAS funded students, who reside in private accommodation will be able to pay their rent instalments at the end of March 2021. The Centre for Undergraduate Bursaries and Loans has appointed additional temporary staff to scrutinise lease agreements of private accredited accommodation towards this purpose.</p><p><strong>Student Debt Task Team</strong></p><p>We have established a Student Debt Task Team who annually works towards removing financial blockages that would prevent students to register. The task team is a collaborative initiative between the Centre for Undergraduate Bursaries and Loans, the Postgraduate Office, the Division for Student Fees, Stellenbosch University International and the Students' Representative Council (SRC).</p><p>In 2020, the team secured R3 million in funding, which was used to settle outstanding study fees for students in need. Currently, the task team is focused on assisting the last 543 non-registered senior undergraduate students, as well as some postgraduate students, to secure funding for outstanding student fees. An online form has been developed to assist students with the application process. Requests for the form can be addressed to <a href=""></a>.</p><p><strong>#Action4Inclusion campaign</strong></p><p>The University has also pledged support for the <a href="">#Action4Inclusion</a> campaign. This funding initiative is aimed at ensuring academic inclusion by settling outstanding study fees for students in need. The initiative was established by the SRC and Prof Thuli Madonsela, who holds the Law Trust Chair in Social Justice in our Faculty of Law, with the support of our Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR).</p><p>The University, through DAR, is also committed to creating various other sustainable partnerships with organisations and donors to secure bursary funding for students. Besides #Action4Inclusion, several fundraising campaigns have recently been run online, including #MatiesMakeADifference, #Train4Fees and #MaskedMasterpieces.</p><p><strong>Postgraduate funding</strong></p><p>We have also ensured that postgraduate students have access to funding. During the next three years, the University will invest R120 million in postgraduate bursaries. This injection of funds will make up for the decline in bursary funding from the National Research Foundation. These bursaries are available on a competitive basis to any student in South Africa who is interested in studying at the University.</p><p><strong>Collaboration with student structures</strong></p><p>At SU we value transparency with our students, and in this regard members of the Finance Division met and consulted with the SRC Executive regarding tuition and accommodation fee increases as well as funding. In addition, the Division of Student Affairs held registration workshops with the SRC and various student structures and student volunteers in November 2020 and February 2021. These workshops equipped students with the necessary information to support their peers during the registration period. We are committed to continue working with the SRC and other student structures in finding feasible solutions to these and other pressing matters.</p><p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p><p>We are well aware that the student financial crisis is one that cannot be solved immediately, and that work will have to continue within the sector to ensure that all students have access to higher education, regardless of their financial backgrounds.</p><p>At SU, we are convinced that an integrated approach to managing student debt and facilitating registration will ensure that the University is accessible to qualifying students from all backgrounds, including those who face financial barriers to participation in university education. We are committed to working collaboratively with the sector and with you, our students, to find viable solutions to the crisis, whether at our own institution or within the wider higher education sector.</p><p>We thank our colleagues in the Registrar's responsibility centre, Student Finances, Undergraduate Bursaries and Loans, the Postgraduate Office, SU International and the Task Team for Student Debt, as well as our SRC for their commitment to resolve these matters.</p><p>Wishing you all the best with your studies this year!</p><p><strong>Dr Ronel Retief</strong><br><strong> Registrar</strong></p>
‘Better’ Huis ten Bosch reopens and welcomes new Maties‘Better’ Huis ten Bosch reopens and welcomes new MatiesCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel & Petro Mostert] <p></p><p><br></p><p>Stellenbosch University's Huis ten Bosch (HtB), which was damaged by a fire in 2019, has officially reopened.</p><p>The student residence was transformed into a modern, fit-for-purpose residence, which will welcome 146 Matie students this year, 52 of them being seniors and 94 newcomers.     </p><p>HtB Residence Head Karen Swart says that although many improvements have been made, the essence of the original building is still present.</p><p>Charin Skeen, project manager at Facilities Management for the repair and refurbishment of HtB, says the dining and entertainment room's timber floor was at the end of its lifetime and it has now been replaced with a new timber floor. “During the project it was revealed that the two original HtB staircases still retained their timber treads which had been hidden under a layer of vinyl sheeting. These timber treads have now been refurbished and are proudly displayed as part of the original fabric of the building," says Skeen.</p><p>“The improvements are all student-centered and aimed at enhancing each resident's living experience during their time at Huis ten Bosch. I hope the students can make the new and improved space their own and enjoy the various upgrades," says Swart.</p><p>The devastating fire that ripped through the women's residence on 12 August 2019, left the residence extensively damaged and destroyed the roof above eight rooms on the third floor. </p><p>At the time SU management, staff, students, community members and alumni showed tremendous support towards all 164 Huis ten Bosch residents. The students were also provided with alternative accommodation, laptops and other resources. </p><p>The repair and construction work began at the beginning of September 2019 and the upgrades and repair work amounted to around R62,5 million.  </p><p>The refurbished HtB now complies with the most recent municipal fire regulations, are equipped with modern kitchenettes for students on every floor and the electrical and electronic installations have been completely refurbished. The whole roof has been replaced and all student bedrooms, stairwells and passages have been fitted with fire doors as required per regulation. The residence has also been fitted with a brand new fire detection and public address system.</p><p>According to Skeen, the residence has been upgraded with a view to serve students well for another 30 years and now includes facilities for persons with disabilities making it universally accessible.  </p><p>According to Stellenbosch University Chief Operating Officer Prof Stan du Plessis, HtB is one of many ongoing projects under the current campus renewal programme, which is in place to ensure that students and staff live, work and study in a place which is safe, equipped with modern technology and accessible to all. “In the immediate aftermath of the fire, I said I had full confidence that we will deliver a better Huis ten Bosch and I am proud to say that we did it," said Du Plessis. <br></p><p>​<br></p>
NSFAS funding 2021 funding 2021Stellenbosch University / Universiteit Stellenbosch<p></p><p>Stellenbosch University takes note of the urgent concerns of students regarding their NSFAS funding for 2021. All first-time entry students (FTEN) who have received confirmation of their NSFAS funding will be able to register. Returning students with confirmation of funding in the form of a bursary or loan will also be allowed to register if their confirmed funding exceeds their debt of the previous year. The media statement by the Minister has just been released indicating “that Cabinet agreed that funding should be reprioritised from the budget of the Department of Higher Education and Training in order to ensure that all deserving NSFAS-qualifying students are able to receive funding support for the 2021 academic year and NSFAS will now be able to release funds for new students qualifying for NSFAS bursary support".<br></p><p>​<br></p>
New Maties' academic journey officially starts New Maties' academic journey officially startsCorporate Communication/ Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>Thousands of first-year students have officially commenced their academic journey at Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p>On Thursday evening, the University hosted its annual Welcoming event, which included the signature Dream Walk. The event formed part of the University's Welcoming Programme, which has been adapted to a comprehensive two-week programme and focuses on providing a transformative student experience within the provisions of COVID-19 protocols.</p><p>During the Dream Walk, students, who walked in groups of 50, passed underneath a banner hanging over Victoria Street, which symbolically marked the moment that they start their academic journey at SU. Students also attached cards with their hand-written dreams on one of the trees lining Victoria Street.</p><p>In his virtual welcoming address on Thursday evening, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers commended the class of 2021 for preserving.</p><p>“Well done! We're proud of you! We would also like to thank all who have helped you to get to where are today – your parents, your schools and the rest of the community. Now the pleasure of accompanying you further on this path is ours," he said.</p><p>“Students, you've shown grit and determination, agility and resilience … qualities that will stand you in good stead as you take on the challenges and opportunities of this next stage of your life's journey.</p><p>“You are entering a wonderful phase – a time that, in years to come, you will most probably remember as the best years of your life. You will be exposed to new knowledge and led on a journey of discovery by excellent mentors, teachers and researchers at this world-class higher education institution with its top facilities."De Villiers also informed students that they have access to an extensive network at SU, from the student leaders and mentors in residences or PSOs, to lecturers and other staff in faculty and the administrative units of the University, including the dedicated Division of Student Affairs. </p><p>“Don't hesitate to ask for help. It's not a sign of weakness, but of strength. We're all in this together, and we will go forward with you.</p><p>“That is also how we will overcome the pandemic – by working together. If each one of us takes responsibility for our own actions, we will be able to keep our campuses open. And thus, not only the University but also the surrounding communities and businesses, will be able to flourish," he said. </p><p>Xola Njengele, Chairperson of the Stellenbosch Student Representative Council encouraged the class of 2021 to use this new chapter to take charge of their individual stories.  </p><p>“This is a time whereby you also learn way more about those around you and your surroundings as well. The learnings will not always be some marvellous epiphany, no, it is most times quite small and clear, like listening or just pronouncing someone's name correctly."</p><p>He also emphasised the available student support at SU and said the SRC wanted each Matie to have a favourable experience throughout their time at SU. </p><p>“In fact, our vision, which states 'We strive to be a productive and integrated structure that encourages holistic student success and produces tangible results,' really speaks to how much of an impact we hope to have on all students."​<br></p><p>​<br></p>
SU welcoming newcomers in special and memorable way welcoming newcomers in special and memorable wayCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Sandra Mulder]<p>​Committed to succeed with the academic project and to remain sustainable as a leading higher education institution, Stellenbosch University (SU) will be welcoming first-year students to its campuses this week in a slightly different way than before in order to adhere to all COVID-19 protocols to keep infections low and protect the health services.<br></p><p>This year, the University has adapted its annual weeklong Welcoming Programme to a comprehensive two-week programme for first-year students, which is focused on providing a transformative student experience within the provisions of COVID-19 protocols.</p><p>Another new edition this year to enhance the welcoming of newcomers was the introduction of the online <a href="/english/welcome/Pages/Online-Onboarding.aspx"><strong>Onboarding Programme</strong></a> that was rolled out early in February already. This exciting programme aims to orientate students that will be with us for the first time and prepare them for the practical aspects of their studies. The Onboarding Programme is available on SUNLearn (the University's learning management system), where students will spend a lot of time during their study career. </p><p>Some components of the <a href="/english/welcome/Pages/default.aspx"><strong>SU Welcoming Programme</strong></a> over the next two weeks will be conducted online to avoid large gatherings, but certain elements, which can be carried out within the confines of the COVID-19 regulations, will continue in person. </p><p>One of the main events that had to be reimagined this year was the official welcoming, which usually sees thousands of students and their families gather at the Danie Craven Stadium for the official Welcome Event. This year, students will have the opportunity to visit the stadium when they participate in a flag planting. To avoid crowding, students will have the opportunity to visit the stadium and plant a welcome flag.</p><p>Another key welcoming moment will take place on Thursday evening, when students will participate in the dream walk in Victoria Street. This initiative began three years ago, and sees students pass underneath a banner hanging over Victoria Street, which symbolically marks the very moment that they start their academic journey at SU. Students will also get the opportunity to attach a card with their hand-written dreams on one of the trees lining Victoria Street. </p><p>Students will walk in groups of roughly 50 down Victoria Street. Later that evening, the welcoming speech of Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, will be released on social media.</p><p>Mr Pieter Kloppers, Director: Centre for Student Communities and coordinator of the Welcoming Programme, says many of the welcoming activities will take place online together with key experiences such as the dream walk and planting of flags to lay the foundation for the start of their academic journey. This will remind them of their collective effort in being academically successful and thus plays an important role in achieving academic success.</p><p>“There are two things that we need to help new students with. It is essential that they clear up the uncertainty of where they fit in socially in this new phase of their life; secondly, they need to find an inner confidence that they are up to the academic task and that support exists to help them succeed," says Kloppers.</p><p>For example, with the planting of the flags, the newcomers will symbolically claim their place at SU. It means they have a space to transform, grow and influence, says Kloppers.</p><p>The Welcoming Programme is on the University's website, <a href="/"></a>. The full week's welcoming programme and information on among others the registration schedule, personal safety, the library, free writing advice and faculties' welcoming programmes are available <a href="/english/welcome/Pages/default.aspx"><strong>here</strong></a>.   </p><p>​ </p><p>​<br></p>