NMMU hosts historic welcoming ceremony following #FeesMustFall protests

JANUARY 22, 2016

All roads lead to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for first-year students and their parents at 9am on Saturday for the annual Welcoming Ceremony.

With 5 000 to 6 000 new students expected to register at the university in the next few weeks, Saturday’s event is aimed at providing newcomers, their parents or guardians with insights, assurances and excitement about studying at NMMU.

The event takes place against the backdrop of the #FeesMustFall campaign which has focused on rising student fees, historical debt, the financial burdens of students and the present ineffectiveness of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to meet an ever-growing need.

NMMU is already addressing many of these issues and is in ongoing negotiations with student leaders to ensure that no academically-deserving but financially-challenged student is denied the opportunity to study further. It has, for example, implemented debt and down payment relief support. By 20 January, it had assisted 3 735 students to the value of R13.2m. 

NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz, who will officially welcome students from 9am in the Indoor Sports Centre, will highlight the many exciting prospects for NMMU moving forward and the challenges it, and the higher education sector generally, faces. 

His address will be live streamed into 13 different venues on North and South campuses, as well as the NMMU’s George Campus, after which the deans of the different faculties will address their students. This is followed by the meet-and-greet sessions giving first-year students and parents an opportunity to interact with the lecturers.  

The Welcoming Ceremony venues are divided according to faculties as listed below:

Faculty venues

  • Arts – Second Avenue Auditorium

  • Business and Economic Sciences – Indoor Sports Centre, South Campus

  • Education – Indoor Sports Centre, moving to Building 123 on South Campus for the dean’s address

  • Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology – Goldfields Auditorium, North Campus

  • Health Sciences – Building 35, Building 123, South Campus and North Campus Conference Centre among others (see link below for various details)

  • Law – Building 123, venue 0002, South Campus

  • Science – South Campus Auditorium, South Campus 

Apart from the University’s Protection Services support, dozens of How2Buddies will be on hand to ensure the event runs smoothly.

Online registration is already underway with face-to-face registration set to begin on 25 January.   The official Orientation programme begins on 28 January and lectures start on Monday 8 February.

For full details of venues, the forthcoming Orientation programme, registration and the like go to http://orientation.nmmu.ac.za/