UKZN said first year registered students would be allowed for first semester on campus. Picture:Zanele Zulu
UKZN said first year registered students would be allowed for first semester on campus. Picture:Zanele Zulu

UKZN’s welcomes first year students back on campus

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published Mar 11, 2021

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Durban -The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has confirmed that all registered first-year students would be allowed to come to campus for the first semester of the 2021 academic year.

This comes after student leadership from KZN universities raised concerns that students would not be able to adapt to the online teaching and learning environment.

The institution said that around one-third of the student population would be granted permits to enter the campus, including all registered first-year students.

However, the university said those who choose not to return would be issued with data for online learning.

UKZN’s acting executive director of corporate relations Normah Zondo said the institution would be 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 maintaining the necessary Covid-19 health and safety requirements,” she said.

Zondo said that on Saturday, March 13, the institution would be hosting a virtual Parents’ Day event on its website and YouTube Channel.

She said this was an opportunity for parents and guardians of first-year students to receive more information on the University plans.

“On this day, parents will receive messages and important information on teaching and learning plans during the Covid-19 pandemic, funding, health and safety measures on campus and return to campus protocol,” she said.

Registration for first-year students started on Monday this week and will be ongoing until April 1, 2021.

Zondo said once a prospective student has accepted an offer, they would be issued with data to enable access to the University’s online career counselling services and to register online.

Furthermore, orientation week for all first-year students is set to take place from Tuesday, March 23 to Friday. Zondo reiterated that the university would not be able to return to large scale face-to-face teaching at this stage. She said online teaching and learning would continue for the first semester of 2021.

The University of Zululand (UniZulu) management said the university lectures would resume for all ‘returning’ students on March 15, 2021.

The university said that a multi-modal approach would be adopted as part of the strategy to curb the spread of the pandemic.

“Fortunately, we can build on the experience gained last year in providing teaching and learning remotely and online. To ensure smooth delivery of tuition, students will be provided with data for the period 15th March 2021 to the 15th April 2021,” said the institution.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande announced that all universities have extended their registration period for 2021 for a further two weeks.

This was done to accommodate first-time university students who are yet to receive their funding approval from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for the 2021 academic year.

Nzimande said the 2021 funding guidelines for universities would be finalised as soon as the Cabinet had made its determination this week.

Nzimande was due to meet the Cabinet yesterday.

The Mercury

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