Gratifying to See UMP Values Demonstrated and Applied

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22 April 2021
It gives one a sense of satisfaction and pride, to observe all the University of Mpumalanga values in full display, in our daily interactions and activities. As you know, we hold application of the following values at our institution – excellence ,  integrity, diversity, collaboration, adaptability, relevance, and inspiration in very high regard.
The following key matters bear witness to this opening statement.

Academic activities
Since the start of the academic activities on15 March 2021, one has been struck by how the UMP community has been working together, staff and students alike, putting shoulder to the wheel to ensure that we achieve our objectives. Such a good start does not happen on its own – it requires all of us, staff and students to collaborate, and work as a team – in a spirit of collegiality and overall wellbeing of our institution. What is more, integrity has been manifest, as seen in how staff and students work independently, even when there is no one hovering over their shoulders. Working in an accountable way even when not watched.

Enrolment figures
Nothing is more pleasing than seeing UMP grow: student numbers, academic programmes, staff numbers, research profile, new infrastructure and state of the art ICT support. We started with an enrolment plan, that helped us to develop in a systematic manner. Thus far, we have stayed on course, and exceeded expectations in some areas vis a vis our developmental trajectory. In a competitive environment, where institutions of higher learning are vying  for numbers, we have done extremely well. We have enrolled a total of 5287 students in 2021 and have 37 programmes accredited by the Council on Higher Education. Again here, the efforts of all are appreciated. Our UMP brand has been protected by the whole community, by how we behave, and by how we serve. Communities out there always find it appropriate to support brands that are not tainted. Adaptability to the ever -changing context has seen us succeed.

Adherence to COVID-19 Protocols
Your continued adherence to COVID -19 protocols is encouraging. Deep cleaning, washing of hands, social distancing and wearing masks still constitute the best ways thus far, to mitigate infection. It is significant that you all have stayed the course, and were never tempted to experience ‘’COVID-19 Fatigue’’. It remains our collective responsibility to protect one another, and to keep one another safe. We have lived true to the value of relevance, as we adapt to the ever-changing and ever-shifting sands brought about by the dreadful pandemic.
Students receiving Merit Awards
We have 150 (one hundred and fifty) students who will be receiving Merit Awards for excellent academic performance in 2020. The success of these students is all the more remarkable considering the unchartered territories we all had to navigate in 2020. They deserve our heartiest congratulations. These students have pursued excellence under trying times, and are truly an inspiration to all other students.
These students are a reminder to all of us, about the resilience of the human spirit. Without staff providing online teaching and support, such sterling success would not have been possible.

Recess 26-30 April 2021
As you all nudge towards recess, one can only wish you a restful time, to refresh, recharge, reboot and regenerate. Stephen Covey always advised about the importance of sharpening the saw. Saw-dust makes the saw blunt, and needs constant removing.

We, in the leadership of the institution, do not take these attainments for granted. We remain awake and truly mindful, to the fact that all these exciting developments stem from team work, commitment, dedication and perseverance. Diversity is experienced in how we manage different opinions, and allowing sundry voices to be heard. May you remain steadfast in hope, discipline and determination. 
Prof Thoko Mayekiso
20 April 2021