UNESWA host orientation for 2023/24 Institute of Distance Education Accepted Students

KWALUSENI – On Tuesday 07 November 2023, the University hosted the Orientation Session for 365 students of the Institute of Distance Education that had been accepted to study at the University in the 2023/2024 Academic Year.

In welcoming the students, the Dean of Student Affairs, Mr Musa Kunene encouraged them to make their voice heard through the Committees of the University.  He informed them that they had representation in all of them.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Justice Thwala welcomed the Institute of Distance Education on behalf of the Council, Senate, Management and Staff of the University to UNESWA.  “We join you, your high school teachers, parents, guardians and relatives in celebrating your high school achievement and the new opportunity to enter higher education at our institution.”  He also welcomed students from outside the borders of Eswatini to the University of Choice in Africa.   He encouraged the students to take charge of their lives and acquire new knowledge, develop new skills and enhance personal attributes in profound ways   to equip them for life after university.

Professor Thwala also congratulated the students for taking time to attend the orientation process to be informed about requisite academic requirements such as course offerings, registration procedures and support systems at the University.  “The Orientation event is designed to prepare you for your intended studies in the different academic fields of choice.”  The Vice Chancellor acknowledged the 2023/2024 Orientation Theme “Push your limits every day and live the rest of your life as a Champion.” Professor Thwala informed the students that the Champion does not become one when they win the event but it is through the hours, weeks, months and years of consistent extra-ordinary preparation.  “Academic excellence never comes by accident.  Like champions, winning students always plan and set priorities.”

Professor Thwala also said it was equally important to acknowledge and appreciate that as an institution we are living in challenging times.  “With the current economic landscape and dwindling scholarship funding, we need to position ourselves for academic success in the midst of all challenges.  Class boycotts are not an option and suicides are not an option.”

The Registrar also welcomes the students and talks about University administration

In his welcome address, the Registrar, Dr Salebona Simelane started off by saying “it always gives me pleasure to follow in the footsteps of the Vice Chancellor of the University and others who have taken the platform before me to welcome new students to the University of Eswatini as I do in your case.”  He noted that the effects of COVID-19 still lingered on as the orientation was being held in November instead of August.

Dr Simelane congratulated the students on attaining the status of being students of the University of Eswatini, “an institution of higher learning which is the oldest in the country in terms of offering degree programmes.  The qualifications are still very good and the power is in your hands to allow your lecturers to make the output of the University even better than before.  Please ask them how that can happen.”

The Registrar mentioned that “administration is a term best used in our context to collectively refer to processes that take place centrally at the University.  It is also used to refer to the officers responsible for executing those processes and the actual buildings they occupy.”  He mentioned the Officers of the University as the Vice Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic), Bursar, Librarian and Registrar.  He outlined the responsibility of the Vice Chancellor as singularly responsible to the Council as the Chief Academic and Administrative Officer of the University.  The remaining Officers are responsible for their operations to the Vice Chancellor although they are employed by the University Council.

On the governance of the University, the Registrar mentioned that the University Council is the highest governing and policy-making body while the Senate is the highest academic body.  He mentioned that students were represented on each of the two structures.  “May I point out at the outset that as students, you should not keep quiet when things go wrong. For example, it is your privilege to be taught and get your scripts graded and returned to you on time. If that does not happen, your class representatives can approach your lecturers and Faculty Tutors to enquire about the delays with the view to getting them corrected.” He also encouraged students with personal problems to approach the Dean of Student Affairs Office for assistance.  The Registrar then outlined the roles of Deans, Tutors and Faculty Administrators. He also informed the students about the role and functions of the Registrar, Director –IDE, Coordinators, Assistant Coordinators, subject Professors and lecturers.  He concluded by quoting Bible verses for the students in Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” and I Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived, bad company ruins good morals.”  He requested the students to treat support staff and University visitors with utmost courtesy.


The University Library

Also speaking in the same occasion was the Acting Librarian,  Mr Abahle Thwala who informed the students that the purpose of the existence of the Library was to make their university stay and study as comfortable  as possible so that they do not complete their studies with regret but with excellence.  He mentioned that the purpose of the Library is to support teaching, learning and research and each of the three campuses had a Library.  He mentioned that the Library had print and electronic resources.  The Library was working towards making the electronic resources to be available remotely.