The University of the Western Cape (UWC) was still the best place to be in spite of student disruptions over the past two years, UWC vice-chancellor Tyrone Pretorius assured 4 200 first-year students and their parents on Monday.
At the start of orientation week, Pretorius welcomed students enrolled to study arts, education, natural sciences, economics, management sciences, community and health sciences, law and dentistry.
“We have come far in building this university,” he said.
“Burning our universities can only set the current generation and our future generations back.”
“We appreciate the important role education plays, especially for the communities we serve, where education is to most families the only escape from poverty.”
He said last year’s highlights included being ranked number one in Africa and South Africa in physical science research and publications, and the first African university to have a science research experiment at the European Centre for Nuclear Research.
— #iamUWC (@UWConline) February 20, 2017
Challenges faced by tertiary institutions over the past two years obscured “some of the gains made painting a picture of a university in distress”.
“I am pleased with our successes in 2016, we made significant progress in building a reputable university that is truly a place of quality, a place to grow from hope to action through knowledge.”
Aidan van Wyk, 17, of Kuils River said: “I come from a tough community and I have seen the social ills around me, which is why I enrolled for an undergraduate degree in social work.”
His father, Andre van Wyk, said: “He is a hard worker and I’m sure he will make a success of his studies.”
– Daily Voice