SO VERDIEN DIE NWU-PUK SY BRAGGING RIGHTS!

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In ’n stampvol amfiteater het NWU-Potchefstroom behoorlik gepronk met die jaarlikse eerstejaarsverwelkoming verlede Saterdag. Geïnspireerde toesprake deur ons vise-kanselier Prof Dan Kgwadi, kampusrektor Prof Fika Janse van Rensburg, en studenteraadsvoorsitter Paul Maritz het aan die eerstejaars en hul families bevestig dat hul keuse vir naskoolse onderrig inderdaad in die kol was. Met lewendige beeldsendings na ’n ewe volgepakte ouditorium en alumni-saal is gesorg dat niemand weggewys word nie. Boonop het Beeld vroegoggend reeds begin om die verrigtinge regstreeks op hul Facebook-blad uit te saai en later het eNuus ons met ’n baie goeie insetsel op KykNet bederf.

* Volg die volgende skakel om te deel in die atmosfeer van ons eerstejaarsverwelkoming: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

Komplimente en gelukwense met ’n hoogs suksesvolle dag het uit alle oorde ingestroom. Op die verskillende sosiale media-platvorms het dit behoorlik gegons. Op Facebook is daar gePOST, geLIKE en geSHARE vir ’n vale. Die NWU-PUK was immers verlede jaar die enigste kampus in Suid-Afrika om die landswye studente-oproer vry te spring en gevolglik is ons oorval met hordes aansoeke van studente van ander universiteite wat hul studies vanjaar hier wou kom voortsit. Met die gevolg bars ons vanjaar behoorlik uit ons nate!

Dit kom as geen verrassing nie dat ons die afgelope week ook die grootste getal eerstejaars ontvang het in die geskiedenis van die NWU-Potchefstroom. Nagenoeg 4000 skoolverlaters van regoor die land het verlede Vrydag in die stad begin aankom en neem tans deel aan ons Registrasie- en Oriënteringsprogram (R&O) om hul inskakeling by die NWU-PUK-familie te bespoedig en vergemaklik.

Die studenteraad (SR) en hul uitvoerende komitees (UK’s), akademiese studenteverenigings (ASV’s) en huiskomitees (HK’s) het maande lank voorbereidings getref om vanjaar se eerstejaars op so ’n wyse te begelei dat hulle op 6 Februarie hul akademiese jaar sonder enige probleme kan afskop.

Ter voorbereiding van JOOL, het die kampus- en dorpskoshuise hierdie week begin om in sleep-verband (’n sleep verwys na die vennootskap tussen ’n mans- en dameskoshuis) hul vlotte vir die JOOL-optog te beplan. Papierblommetjies word saans tot ou nag toe gevou omdat derduisende van hierdie blommetjies uiteindelik aan die vlot sy kleurvolle gestalte gee. ’n Onlosmaaklike deel van JOOL is die Eerstejaarskonsert waarvoor daar reeds flink oudisies afgelê word.

* Maandagaand het die eerstejaars vir die eerste keer die universiteitslied (saam met die NWU-PUK-koor) gesing: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

* Oudisies vir die immergewilde Eerstejaarskonsert is fluks aan die gang: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

Die NWU-PUK se R&O-program behels veel meer as net pret en jolyt (hoewel dit altyd ’n besliste kenmerk van ons studentebelewenis sal bly!). R&O het by uitstek sterk akademiese waarde omdat die program die nodige struktuur aan eerstejaarstudente verleen om gemaklik by die akademiese jaar in te skakel.

Die afgelope week moes die ernstige sportmanne en -vroue onder ons eerstejaars skuins na 05:00 elke oggend uit die vere wees ter voorbereiding van die naderende koshuissportliga. Die meeste het ’n huppel in die stap gehad terwyl ander wat tot ’n week gelede nog elke dag laatgeslaap het minder beïndruk was met die vroegoggend manewales.

Op ’n meer ernstige noot het studente wat nagelaat het om die verpligte psigometriese en keuringstoetse tydens die vakansie af te lê hierdie week vir dié belangrike toetsing aangemeld. Jaarliks maak honderde eerstejaars wat onseker is oor studierigtings of vakkeuses gebruik van die Studentevoorligtings- en Ontwikkelingseenheid (SVO) se personeel (5 voorligtingsielkundiges, 1 bedryfsielkundige en 1 psigometris) om hulle met die nodige vakkundigheid by te staan. Met die meeste eerstejaars se toetsuitslae reeds op rekord wanneer hulle in Potchefstroom opdaag, kan bystand dadelik deur SVO gelewer word (vóór kurrikulumkontrole en registrasie).

Oor die afgelope paar dekades het naskoolse instellings regoor Suid-Afrika opgemerk dat skoolverlaters se skryf- en leesvaardighede toenemend verswak. By die NWU-PUK word die sogenaamde TAG-toetse deur alle eerstejaars afgelê om te bepaal vir watter akademiese geletterdheidsmodule(s) elkeen moet inskryf. Die AGLA-module(s) behels ’n tipe oorbruggingsprogram wat studente leer om met ’n meer formele en akademiese stemtoon te skryf. Die boodskap wat ons aan eerstejaars wil oordra is dat dit eintlik super cool is om jouself goed op papier en interpersoonlike vlak uit te druk.

’n Ander aspek wat hand-aan-hand loop met akademiese geletterdheid is leesvaardigheid. Dis een ding om bloot te lees, maar om met begrip so vinnig moontlik te lees is ’n ander storie. Die verpligte leesvaardigheidstoetse vir eerstejaars by die Leeslaboratorium bepaal of hulle voldoen aan die vereiste leestempo van 220 woorde per minuut met 80 persent begrip – wat hulle in staat stel om groot volumes leeswerk baas te raak. Sou ’n student nie dadelik die paal haal nie moet hy/sy die leesoefeninge bly herhaal (gedurende die eerste semester) totdat daar aan die minimum vereistes voldoen is.

Studente het ook begin om hul studentekaarte by Beskermingsdienste af te haal. Die NWU-PUK plaas ’n hoë premie op studenteveiligheid en daarom kan nét ons ingeskrewe studente deur middel van hul studentekaarte gekontroleerde toegang tot ons goedbeveiligde kampus en biblioteek verkry.

* Vir meer oor die voordele wat ’n studentekaart inhou, klik op die volgende skakel: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

Die gewilde Wiskunde-opknappingskursus het weer baie studente getrek. Hier by die NWU-Potchefstroom sê ons dat wiskunde nie die (vierkants)wortel van alle kwaad hoef te wees nie. Dis ’n welbekende feit dat die nasionale standaard van wiskunde-onderrig op hoërskoolvlak kommer wek. Aangesien sommige eerstejaars dit moeilik vind om die oorgang tussen hoërskool- en universiteitswiskunde te maak, is hierdie oorbruggingskursus ontwikkel om enige tekortkominge aan te spreek.

Die omgee-kultuur van ons kampus is ’n aspek van ons studentelewe waarop die NWU-Potchefstroom baie trots is. Hierdie kultuur van sosiale bewustheid word grootliks aangevuur deur die Studente JOOL Gemeenskapsdiens (SJGD) – die grootste studente-gedrewe welsynsorganisasie in Suid-Afrika. Die SJGD is aktief betrokke by 87 gemeenskapsprojekte in Potchefstroom en omgewing. Nagenoeg 2500 studente meld jaarliks aan as vrywilligers en bereik sowat 4000 begunstigdes op ’n weeklikse basis. Die afgelope Woensdag het eerstejaars in koshuisverband op SJGD-bustoere gegaan om te sien waar hulle vanjaar betrokke wil raak.

* Klik op die volgende skakel en sien hoe ons eerstejaars hierdie week uitgereik het na die plaaslike gemeenskap: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

* Geniet ook die Veritas Manskoshuis se SJGD-uitdaging wat hulle aan ander koshuise gerig het: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

Tydens die eerste week van R&O het ons eerstejaars baie van die kampus geleer en om hul nuutgevonde kennis oor die NWU-PUK te toets, is die BROS-eksamen deur almal geskryf – ’n belangrike voorvereiste vir studente wat hulle later verkiesbaar wil stel vir leierskapstrukture soos die akademiese studente verenigings (ASV’s), huiskomitees (HK’s), uitvoerende Komitees (UK’s) en die studenteraad (SR).

EARNING BRAGGING RIGHTS THE NWU PUK WAY!

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In a filled to capacity amphitheatre, NWU Potchefstroom strutted its stuff like a proud peacock at the First-years Reception last Saturday. Inspired speeches by our vice-chancellor Prof Dan Kgwadi, campus rector Prof Fika Janse van Rensburg, and student council chairperson Paul Maritz confirmed to the first-years and their families in attendance that their choice for tertiary education was indeed spot-on. Live streaming to an equally packed auditorium and alumni hall ensured that no one was turned away. Beeld newspaper also broadcasted procedures live on their Facebook page while eNuus treated us to an excellent news clip on KykNet.

* Follow the following link to share in the festive atmosphere of our First-years Reception: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

Compliments and words of congratulations on a highly successful day streamed in from all quarters. On the different social media platforms there was a total buzz. On Facebook people posted, shared and liked like crazy. After all, the NWU PUK was the only campus in South Africa to escape student upheaval and consequently we have been swamped with applications from students of others universities who want to continue their studies here. As a result we are bursting at our seams this year!

It comes as no surprise that we have also welcomed the largest group of first-years in the history of the NWU Potchefstroom. Approximately 4000 high school graduates from all over the country started to converge on the city last Friday and are currently participating in our Registration and Orientation programme (R&O) to accelerate and ease their integration into the NWU PUK family.

The student council (SC) and its executive committees (EC’s), academic student associations (ASA’s) and house committees (HC’s) prepared for months to ensure that the first-years are chaperoned and guided in such a manner that they can start their academic year on 6 February without any hiccups.

In preparation for RAG, the campus and town residences started to “sleep” (an Afrikaans word that refers to the partnership between a men’s and ladies hostel) and plan their floats for the annual RAG procession. Paper flowers are folded deep into the night because thousands of these florets are needed to give shape to the colourful float that is envisioned. The First-years Concert is an inseparable part of the first-year experience and auditions for this fun event are underway.

* On Monday night the first-years sang the NWU anthem for the first time (with the NWU PUK choir): https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

* Listen to what these first-years have to say after their auditions for the First-years Concert: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

The NWU PUK’s R&O programme entails a lot more than fun and games (although it will always remain a trademark of our student experience!). More than anything else, R&O has academic worth because it provides much-needed structure to first-years to ease into the academic year.

This past week the serious sportsmen and women among our first-years got up just after 05:00 every morning in preparation of the upcoming residence sporting league. While most were bright and breezy, others who were used to sleeping in less than a week ago were not exactly impressed with the early morning shenanigans.

On a more serious note: Students who did not do the compulsory electronic psychometric and selection tests during the summer holidays reported to do these tests. Each year hundreds of first-years who are unsure about the right field of study or subject choices turn to the Student Counselling and Development Unit where there highly qualified staff assist them with the necessary expertise. With most first-years’ test results already on record when they arrive in Potchefstroom, the unit can assist students without delay (before curriculum control and registration).

Over recent decades tertiary institutions in South Africa became aware of high school graduates’ ever-weakening writing and reading skills. At the NWU PUK, the so-called TALL tests are complete by all first-years to determine which academic literacy module(s) they should register for. The AGLE modules constitute a bridging programme of sorts that teach students to write in a more formal and academic tone. The message that we want to convey to first-years is that it is actually super cool to express yourself eloquently on both paper as well as interpersonally.

Another aspect that goes hand in hand with academic literacy is reading proficiency. It is one thing to merely read; quite another to read quickly with comprehension. This compulsory reading proficiency test for first-years at the Reading Laboratory determines whether they comply with the required reading tempo of 220 words per minute with 80% comprehension – which should enable the students to cope with large volumes of reading material. Those students who do not comply with the required reading speed right away are given the opportunity to repeat the reading exercised (throughout the first semester) until such time that they reach the minimum requirements.

The first-years also started to collect their student cards at Protection Services. The NWU PUK deems student safety as one of their top priorities and therefore only our registered students can gain controlled access to our secure campus and library.

* For more about the benefits of a student card, click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

The popular Mathematics Refresher Course again attracted many students. Here at the NWU Potchefstroom we say that maths needn’t be the (square) root of all evil. It is a known fact that the national standard of mathematics is problematic. Since many first-years find it difficult to bridge this gap between high school and university maths, the refresher course was developed to remedy any shortfalls.

The caring culture of our campus is an aspect of the NWU Potchefstroom that we are very proud of. This culture of social consciousness is continuously fanned into flame by our Student RAG Community Service (SRCS) – the biggest student-driven charity organisation in South Africa. The SRCS is actively involved with 87 community projects in Potchefstroom and surrounding areas. Approximately 2500 students report annual as volunteers and reach about 4000 beneficiaries on a weekly basis. This past Wednesday our first-years went on the SRCS bus tours to see where they would like to get involved during the course of the year.

* Click on the following link and see how our first-years reached out to the local community this year: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

* Enjoy the Veritas Men’s Residence’s SRCS challenge that they posed at other hostels: https://www.facebook.com/NWU-Pukke-2017-982070295215842/

During the first week of R&O our first-years learned a lot about the campus and to test their newly acquired knowledge of the NWU PUK, the BROS exam was completed by all – an important prerequisite for students who are interested to serve in leadership structures such as academic student associations (ASA’s), house committees (HC’s), executive committees (EC’s) and the student council (SC).

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