Start main page content

In it For Good

- Wits University

Energy, joy and commitment at an all-time-high as first-year students join the Wits family.

Wits University officially welcomed its Class of 2023 comprising of 6 263 students and their families on Sunday, 5 February 2023.

Nature set the scene for the day for the gathering of the newcomers and their support squad for a jovial welcome and celebration led by Wits leaders and staff members.

Wits Welcome ceremonies are characterised by singing and dancing, which can be heard miles away as residence students make their way to the venue clad in their house colours. It’s a true display of the vibrant culture that has been passed on for decades.

A University of choice by top academic performers, Wits received over 100 000 applications from prospective students eager to make Wits their academic home. Applicants who had excelled in the national matric examinations earned their seats to be part of the intellectual cream of the country.

Picking up on the theme of excellence, the Dean of Student Affairs, Jerome September, joked that “Wits students are known to be arrogant, arrogant with distinction,” adding that becoming a Witsie means standing for good, and being part of a community that wants to make a real difference in the world.

In his welcome address, the Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, congratulated the newbies for choosing a home steeped in intellectual rigour.

“Wits is a University like no other - we impact on the city, our country, our continent, and our society, for good."

“We believe strongly in critical thinking, in intellectual rigour, in pushing the boundaries, in setting the bar as high as possible, in using our expertise and knowledge to change our world for good.”

Sharing a few of Wits’ achievements, Vilakazi listed the PecoGrid, an affordable modular system that’s on the market powering households with solar energy at a time when the country is facing an energy crisis. Another pride – Wits physicists have found a way to transmit data securely through light beams – without the need for fibre, satellites or cellphone towers.

He called on the first-years to wear the Wits badge with pride and responsibility.

Speakers Dr Judy Dlamini (Wits Chancellor), Mr Isaac Hlongwe (Chairperson: Wits Council) and Mr Aphiwe Mnyamana (SRC President) called on the post-centenary class to play their role by focusing on their studies and dispensed valuable advice that leads to success.

“I have peace of mind now that he is going to be fine,” said Joyce Mc Cabe, mother to Jaidyn a first-year BSc Construction Studies student.

Coming from Cape Town, the Mc Cabe’s left the ceremony assured that their offspring would receive the required support, opportunities for growth and a safe home – a message that was reiterated by the speakers.

It's a family journey. Aunt Rebecca Ngutshana with  mom and son -  Joyce and Jaidyn Mc Cabe at the start of his academic life at Wits.

Preparing for success

From 6 to 20 February, all first-year students will participate in Gateway to Success, a two week compulsory programme that integrates academic content and skills, student life, health and wellness and orientation to Wits. It will be run in a blended format, with some activities taking place on campus and some being run in an online mode. Classes across campus, including for returning students, will kick-off on 21 February.