The year is off to a running start – Prof Linda du Plessis

Annette Willemse -- Wed, 02/15/2017 - 14:27

The year is off to a running start – Prof Linda du Plessis

“The year is certainly off to a running start. January is already something of the past, our registration process went well and our classes commenced successful and without any incidents or disruptions.”

This is the message from Prof Linda du Plessis, Campus Rector (acting), of the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University after the Official Opening of the 2017 academic year.  Professor Du Plessis shared the following priorities, which have been identified by the campus community, for 2017:

  • To be successful, the campus needs to ensure that all graduates adjust with confidence to the demands of the world of work – more so, the graduates must be able to make a positive impact not only in their respective professions but also in their communities. An example of such a graduate is Muhammed Alli who achieved the highest score in the November 2016 rendition of the SAIPA exams.
  • In the University’s endeavor to become an effective unitary institution, opportunities need to be created for students to take part in all activities across all three university campuses. The Vaal Triangle Campus is very proud of Nico van Tonder, a BEd-student who has been included in the NWU Varsity Cup rugby squad for 2017.
  • A pro-active approach is needed to facilitate the transition to the newly approved structure. It is important to note that while this process is ongoing the campus community has a collective responsibility to ensure that all outputs speak of immaculate value, that staff and students are treated with respect and that academic programmes are aligned.
  • The lessons learnt in the pass should be used as stepping stones to a better future for all members of the campus community.  In 2017 this means the creation of a stable and secure environment which is conducive for teaching-learning, research and community engagement.
  • During 2017 the focus will remain on the core business of the University. The University currently boasts with 9 550 new first year students of which 1 795 is enrolled at the Vaal Triangle Campus.
  • The drop-out rate of students must be addressed and the goal is to lower this rate to 10 percent. This will certainly take a group effort to firstly identify at-risk students in time – within the first four weeks, and secondly to apply genuine effort towards intervention.
  • In light of the above mentioned, the campus is set to better the throughput-rate and study time of postgraduate students. Although the North-West University is doing well in this area, there is always room for improvement.
  • Funding alternatives within the higher education sector remains a priority. Together with the sector, the minister and the commission, the University will have to find a permanent funding framework that is sustainable over the long run.
  • Continue the robust debate about decolonization. If a decolonized curriculum is a dream, then it is up to the University to make such a dream a reality. Concepts such as decolonizing don’t have to be a political threat, but should rather be seen as an opportunity.

“There is an Italian saying that reads: ‘A good beginning makes a good ending,’ and I believe that it rings true for the Vaal Triangle Campus. May we start off this year with our goals in mind and may it bring us, our campus and the North-West University as unitary institution, a successful yearend” said Prof Du Plessis.




Vaal Triangle Campus
Hendrik van Eck Boulevard Vanderbijlpark
South Africa