Close on 4 000 parents of first year students attended Parents’ Day on the Edgewood, Howard College, Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses on 30 January. Parents were addressed by UKZN executive and academic leadership and representatives from Student Services and Financial Aid.
The University received about 55 150 applications, 10 768 of which were selected after a stringent admissions process.
More than 400 parents listened attentively to an address on the Edgewood campus by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Joseph Ayee. This was followed by an informative speech on the challenges facing the education sector in South Africa delivered by the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Professor Michael Samuels. Professor Samuels emphasised that UKZN is committed to producing “teachers who think and dream of the future”. He appealed to students to become not only teachers, but researchers who find answers to the problems confronting society.
On the Howard College campus, UKZN Registrar, Professor Jane Meyerowitz urged parents to encourage their children to take responsibility for their education and use the support services at their disposal.
Parents were also welcomed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Professor Renuka Vithal; the Deputy Dean of Stu-dents, Dr Bhekithemba Ngcobo; and Ms Constance Dube, a Senior Loans Advisor from the Student Funding Services.
Professor Meyerowitz informed parents that students would benefit from teaching underpinned by research, service learning which was also an integral part of education at UKZN and student ex-change programmes through the University’s formal links with institutions abroad.
For many of the more than 1 000 parents attending the Pietermaritzburg campus Parents’ Day, it was a dream come true.
“I am so happy for my son who will be doing his first year this year. I never thought that this day will come but finally it has arrived, we are all excited. We are hoping that he will enjoy himself,” said Mr Scelo Khathi.
Welcoming parents Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, Professor Rob Slotow said: “As the University of KwaZulu-Natal we are proud to be associated with you through your sons and daughters. We are going to make sure that we support them during their academic years. We would also want to urge parents not to be afraid of visiting us to check the progress of the students.”
The Westville campus Parents’ Day was held at separate venues for three Faculties – Management Studies, Science and Agriculture and Health Sciences.
Faculty of Science students and their parents were addressed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Professor Nelson Ijumba and the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture, Professor Deo Jaganyi. The Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Sabiha Essack presented an address on behalf of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Professors John Mubangizi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, and Lesley Stainbank, addressed Faculty of Management Studies students and their parents.