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Durban University of Technology First-year students gathered for the 2020 first-year Orientation programme taking place at the Indumiso Campus, Sports Centre from Tuesday, 28 January 2020 until today (Friday), 31 January 2020.

On Tuesday during the first day of the Midlands campus First-orientation, the Student Representative Council (SRC) Deputy President Sibusiso Mzozoyane welcomed and congratulated the first-year students for achieving excellent results that secured them placement at DUT and further thanked parents for supporting their children in their new venture of their academic life.

Mzozoyane stressed the importance of excelling academically, adding that in order to excel in academics, students need to work hard and stay positive at all times as some of the students are the hope for their families and communities. “We are coming from different backgrounds and families, so it is very important to remember what we came to do at the university and aim to excel in those different fields of study,” he said.

Mzozoyane also spoke on the challenges that first-year students may face such as depression, hardships and anxiety. He informed the students on all the various avenues they can use to deal with challenges they may face whilst studying at DUT.

He added that having emotional support from parents was very crucial for all students who were starting their university life. “We do have student counselling facilities for those facing any hardships and I can’t stress enough the importance of having a support system from home because there are many negative things that can be avoided when we are able to speak to our parents,” said Mzozoyane.

In his closing remarks, he highlighted the reality of unemployment, he said South Africa is facing high rates of unemployment and it is a fact that not everyone enrolling at university this year will secure employment when they complete their studies.

“As first-year students you must start facing the reality that there are numerous graduates who are at home without jobs. At DUT we are fortunate enough that there are different programmes that enable us to acquire different skills like the DUT Entrepreneurship Centre and in this century, entrepreneurship is the future,” he said.

Welcoming the students at the event was the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Thandwa Mthembu, who congratulated the class of 2019 and said as DUT students, it is important to reform the sense of excellence by coming up with new ways of confronting the scourge of challenges.

“With all the challenges we face as a society, I would like to put a challenge to you as young people that can you be that generation that will begin to provide leadership and solutions that will take our country out of this failing economy, violence and the epidemic of crime. I am asking for a different society and a different DUT that will show that the young people of this country are prepared to take it to greater heights,” he said.

Prof Mthembu urged students to focus further on entrepreneurship, he said that since 2017, DUT has been focusing on ensuring that students are not only educated but also equipped to use their knowledge and innovations to better use in society.

“In knowing that in life we have to be sustainable financially, ultimately the goal of the institution and university is that we should contribute in improving the lives and livelihoods of all students because it is not just about being enrolled at university and graduating but also uplifting lives and the economy,” said Prof Mthembu.

First-year student Nqobile Shozi, who is studying towards his Bachelor’s in Education (B-Ed), specialising in technology, said he is excited about his new journey and he is looking forward to starting his studies at DUT.

“Attending orientation has helped me as I gained some advice and met some professors, I am looking forward to starting my studies,” said Shozi.

The first-year orientation commenced on Monday in Durban, various presentations on academic excellence in a university environment, guidance on different avenues in the university and guiding students on university services which will support their educational and personal goals were shown and discussed with the students. Today (Friday, 31 January 2020) Durban is having its Sports Day while, the Midlands will have its sport day tomorrow (Saturday, 1 February 2020).

Pictured: First year students during DUT’s 2020 first-year Orientation programme

Nomfundo Ngcobo

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