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UKZN welcomes 2021 cohort of first-year students

Virtual parents day, registration, orientation, online learning and access to campus.

University management is looking forward to welcoming it’s 2021 cohort of first-year students.

Virtual parents day

The first year of university is an exciting one – where students typically experience the most change, learning and development. Though starting university during the COVID-19 pandemic may feel incredibly daunting, we want to reassure students and parents that we have made the necessary changes to the manner in which we deliver our courses and services, and the use of our campuses to keep everyone safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us to work in new ways to keep everyone safe while maintaining the continuity and quality of our degree courses.

On Saturday, 13 March 2021, we will host a virtual parents day event, which is an opportunity for all parents and guardians of first-year students to receive more information about how the university plans to partner with them (and their children) on the important journey of their children’s education. Parents day will be broadcast on our Web site www.ukzn.ac.za and via our YouTube channel.

On this day, parents will receive messages and important information from the Vice-Chancellor, Executive Management Committee, Student Representative Council and other key stakeholders on:

  • Teaching and learning plans during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Funding;
  • Health and safety measures on campus;
  • Return to campus protocols;
  • Safety and security;
  • Available resources; and
  • Student services and support.

The programme will also include a virtual tour of the university’s campuses and facilities.

Registration

To safeguard against COVID-19, all UKZN admissions processes are being completed online and from remote locations from 8 March to 1 April 2021.

Once a prospective student has accepted an offer, he or she will be issued with data to enable access to the university’s online career counselling services and to register online. Students are encouraged to make use of the available counselling services to obtain guidance on module selection and the online registration process.

The university has implemented various support measures which include:

  • Provision of data to students following their acceptance of offers to study at UKZN;
  • A toll-free call centre to assist students to be registered by university staff. Phone: 0800 1000 10; and
  • A dedicated registration period to ensure that staff focus solely on first-year students.

Visit https://registration.ukzn.ac.za/ for further information on this.

Students are also encouraged to interact with the UKZN chatbot named ‘Msizibot’. A student/applicant can now have a live chat with a chatbot agent to address his/her query. Msizibot is available on the UKZN homepage – www.ukzn.ac.za

Orientation and online learning

Orientation Week for all new first-year students will take place from Tuesday, 23 March to Friday, 26 March and the first semester’s academic activities will officially commence on Tuesday, 23 March 2021.

With a view to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission and ensure staff and students’ safety, the university will not be able to return to large-scale face-to-face teaching at this stage. As a result, we will continue with online teaching and learning for the first semester of 2021. This decision will be reviewed as the situation regarding the pandemic unfolds and in line with government pronouncements and regulations.

Access to campus

Around one-third of the student population will be granted permits to enter campus. The university is prioritising students with the greatest need to be on campus. This includes all registered first-year students as well as registered students who require laboratory and clinical training. This process will be guided by the already established principles for a phased-in return and in keeping with the necessary COVID-19 health and safety requirements.

For further information, visit www.ukzn.ac.za

Normah Zondo
Executive Director: Corporate Relations (Acting)
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Editorial contacts
Nkosinathi Bhekani Dlamini [email protected]