The MUT Student Counselling division had its annual first-year orientation online last week because of COVID-19 restrictions. According to Dr Paulette Naidoo, Director of the Student Counselling Unit, which coordinates the event, the Covid-19 pandemic, posed a major challenge to traditional ways of hosting the First Year Orientation. Dr Naidoo said they were compelled to rethink and replace the large-scale, face-to-face gatherings of previous years, with the Student Counselling unit ultimately deciding to host its very first virtual First Year Orientation over a two-day period, on 21 and 22 May 2021. The event was livestreamed from the Council Chamber via the University’s YouTube Channel.
First Year Orientation programme aimed to inform and empower first year students with the necessary knowledge, skills and resources needed to successfully negotiate their transition into university. The orientation programme comprised both internal and external speakers, including the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Marcus Ramogale. Professor Ramogale delivered a powerful speech to students based on Napoleon Hill’s Law of Success, which includes 16 principles of success.
Various other departments were also represented at the First Year Orientation programme; including TLDC, Quality Management Directorate, Financial Aid Office, Student Development Office, Sports Office, IT & N, Campus Health, the Writing Centre, South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug, as well as representatives from the Thuthuzela Care Centre, who spoke on Gender-based Violence (GBV). The orientation programme concluded with a virtual tour of the University.
Dr Thembi Kweyama, Dean of Students has hailed the virtual orientation programme a huge success and is impressed with the numbers of students who logged on.