Stellenbosch University's (SU) official Welcoming Period kicks off this week. This year, SU has cast its net wider and will be including newcomer students and new staff members in the official Welcoming Period, which will run from Tuesday 31 January until Saturday 11 February 2023.
This year, newcomer first-years, new staff who started from February 2022 onwards, first-time Matie postgraduate students and postdoctoral students are invited to the official welcoming ceremony. Students from our other campuses on Tygerberg and Military Science also join the annual event.
The welcoming ceremony will take place in the Danie Craven stadium where everyone will be officially welcomed in person by Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers as well as SRC chair Masilo Silokazi on Thursday 2 February. Family and friends are also invited to join in the celebrations.
At this ceremony, participants will be introduced to the University management, student leaders, house committee members and fellow students.
The welcoming event marks the official start of the University's Welcoming Period, comprising a comprehensive and fully integrated programme of welcoming activities during the first two weeks of February. During this time, newcomers are introduced to all aspects of campus and student life, including academic programmes and the wide range of student support services at their disposal. “The programme features meaningful and memorable events as well as information and orientation sessions to help the new Maties start their educational journey confidently. And this year, we're also including new staff, first-time SU postgraduate students and postdocs in the Welcoming Period," says Pieter Kloppers, Director: Centre for Student Communities.
Further exciting events lined up during the Welcoming Period are the Dream Walk in Victoria Street and Dreamville in and around the Neelsie Student Centre on the evening of Thursday 2 February (20:00–22:15), Connect (“Vensters") that will take place at the Welgevallen hockey field on Saturday 11 Feb (12:00–19:00), followed by the Maties Connect Festival (19:00–01:00), also taking place on the hockey field.
Iconic Dream Walk into its fifth year
Following the official welcoming event, students will participate in the Dream Walk in Victoria Street. Launched in 2019, this initiative sees students walk underneath a banner hanging across Victoria Street to symbolise the official start of their academic journey at SU.
“For thousands of Maties the Dream Walk symbolises the official start to their academic journey – for all practical reasons a dream coming true," says Kloppers. “The moment you pass underneath that banner, you know that you are now officially a Matie."
Newcomers will commence with classes on 13 February, which will also mark the official start of the University's 2023 academic year.
More information about the University's 2023 Welcoming Period:
- Students have access to an online onboarding programme to help prepare them for the practical aspects of their studies. The programme is offered on SUNLearn, the University's learning management system.
- The University's website, www.sun.ac.za, contains all the information newcomer students may need. The full welcoming programme and additional details, including the registration schedule, transport details, personal safety guidelines and information about SU Library, are available here.
- Social media updates about the Welcoming Period will be posted under the hashtag #helloMaties.
- Heavy traffic is expected on all main roads to Stellenbosch as well as in town on 1 and 2 February 2023.