31 March 2021

To think, last year this time the world came to a complete standstill. Let us be grateful for where we are, and that, perhaps, life can slowly start returning to an alternative normal. The year is already well on its way and it won't be long now until we can finally welcome students back to campus on 15 March. Campus has already been abuzz these last few weeks with examinations and re-exams being written, and especially this last week with new students lining up to register at our prestigious university. 

Our Orientation Week was a resounding success and it filled me immense pride to see so many new and hopeful, eager young faces join us on their tertiary journey. Welcome to each and every one of you. 

The 2021 Campus Representative Council and Student Representative Council were officially elected on 27 November 2020, while their official inauguration took place earlier this month. Ms Vuyiswa Carol Magagula became the first female President of the CRC/SRC at UMP. We trust that you will excel in your role as UMP student and community leaders and that we will work well together to make this year a great success. 

Serving in the SRC is an honour and a privilege. Many prominent leaders we know today cut their leadership teeth whilst serving in the SRC. Take this opportunity to learn as much as possible, and also to grow. 

The academic year is starting in earnest amidst a lot of uncertainty and it is my pleasure to welcome you as the UMP community. Make sure you manage your time appropriately and make the most if it! May I urge all of us to start right away doing all we can to stay ahead, and not be caught napping. We always lose out when we delay and we put ourselves under undue pressure, when we leave matters to the last minute. 

Starting early helps with motivation, mental health and overall wellbeing. A prepared and alert UMP community will be a resilient one. When we all start well from the blocks, our collective nerves will be settled, and we will create a kind of campus ecology that will be the envy of many. 

May you learn to adjust your sails as we embark on the 2021 academic year. 

Professor Thoko Mayekiso