Hundreds of first time entering students attended the 2019 orientation ceremony that was held at the Sport Centre, recently. The orientation event serves as a necessary rite of passage that the new students must undergo to be able to part ways with their erstwhile high school habits and begin to embrace the ethos that befit an SMU Student. An impressive array of speakers were lined up to share their wisdom and experiences with the captive audience of starry eyed students and their parents who had accompanied them.

Prof Chris de Beer, the Vice-Chancellor of SMU thanked the first time entering students for choosing SMU as the university that will nurture their dreams to become health and natural science professionals. He called upon them to optimally use the opportunity afforded to them as it may be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

In his words, the VC stated, “Thousands have applied to study at SMU, but they could not make the grade. Being admitted at SMU places a great responsibility on their shoulders to work hard to succeed in your studies. SMU is doing all in its power to foster an enabling institutional culture that would inspire them to succeed in their studies. Use the support systems that are in place to address your emotional, academic and social challenges. Free education gives talented yet lesser fortunate students access to higher education. But it also obliges them to give a satisfactory academic performance.

Boast about SMU and show pride in it because you have this privilege to be admitted to study at the only university in South Africa focusing on the health sciences, “said Prof de Beer.

In the same spirit, Prof. Lekan Ayo-Yusuf, the deputy Vice- Chancellor responsible for the research, postgraduate studies and innovation also gave his remarks to calm anxieties of these students. The DVC encouraged them, not only, to focus on their studies, but also urged them to identify extracurricular activities in which they will invest their positive energies. He called upon them to familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations of the university in the general calendar.

Mr. Innocent Chauke, the President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) also welcomed and advised them to work hard so that they will be able to complete their academic programmes within the prescribed period.