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Students prepare for success

- Wits University

New comers reflect on their journey as they navigate through the Gateway to Success programme.

GTS Photo

The programme, which aims to facilitate the transition from high school to university, kicked off on Monday, 29 January, a day after the official Welcome Day. This programme goes beyond the traditional orientation and integrates academic content and skills, student life, health and wellness, faculty-specific support and orientation.

Aspiring engineer Cameron Peachy says she is thrilled with her new environment and the goals of the programme. “Gateway to Success is enjoyable; we form connections, socialise, essentially reassuring us that we are not alone in navigating the uncertainties of this new experience. The orientation programme is notably superior as I feel more exposed to diverse opportunities and learning experiences."

Bonolo Finger who is registered for a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences says although she is filled with mixed emotions about University she is committed to exploring her degree with passion.

The revised orientation programme designed to promote academic success and well-being was launched in 2022 in response to the changing needs of students and to address the disruptions to learning brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A key component of the programme is the novel course Climate Change and Me, encouraging students to understand and mitigate climate change impacts while honing crucial academic writing skills through support from Writing Fellows.

Modern and innovative universities are tech-driven, the Digital Abilities course enhances computer literacy so they are able to navigate Wits’ online Learning Management System, ulwazi, it prepares and empowers students for the AI world.

New comer William Mapogole believes that the  course is assisting to brush up on his skills and will place him on par with his peers.

“It goes beyond merely enhancing computer literacy; it equips me with the essential skills needed to thrive in the dynamic landscape of the digital age,” says Mapogole.

Wits realises that new students require support throughout the year beyond induction. As such, first-year students benefit from year-long mentorship called the First Year Experience, commonly known as FYE, a mentorship programme. Each first-years student is paired with a senior mentor for a year-long journey, providing invaluable institutional knowledge and guidance, with on-campus activities that focus on personal growth, well-being, diversity appreciation, and social responsibility.

The second week of the programme exposes students to an array of social activations on campus such as a fun day, comedy night, and entrepreneurship market. The Wits Theatre is also hosting a festival from 6 -10 February and invites all to discover the performing arts and talent of Wits students.

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