UKZN’s annual Open Days drew a total of more than 5 000 learners and their parents to the Pietermaritzburg campus on May 8, and the Westville and Howard College campuses on May 15. The Open Days are organised by Corporate Relations’ Schools Liaison Unit.

Visiting the Pietermaritzburg campus this year was a group of learners from Ka-Zakhali Private School in Manzini, Swaziland. They expressed a great interest in enrolling at UKZN next year and explained that they were the last group in their school that will be doing the UK Matric equivalent. In future, learners will be taking the South African Matric equivalent examination.

Popular exhibits on the Pietermaritzburg campus were the School of Chemistry’s show making ice cream on the library lawns and the hip hop and contemporary dance performances by the Drama and Performance Studies students.

Informative presentations, innovative experiments and a steady stream of learners eager to explore their career options sums up the Open Day experience on the Howard College campus.

Prospective students, their parents and guardians and school teachers were informed of the numerous career opportunities available within the Faculties of Law; Engineering; Humanities, Development and Social Sciences; the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine and the School of Nursing. The annual Open Days aim to help learners to make informed career decisions by providing: clarity on admissions criteria, insights into specific fields of study and funding opportunities.

The Student Funding Centre set up an assessment area offering students advice on career choices and the possibility of securing funding based on their latest results. Presenting students with the possibilities open to them should they opt for a career in Law was Professor Stephen Petè. Professor Edward Boje, the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Engineering’s presentation took scholars through the admissions criteria; various academic programmes offered within the Faculty; and the skills and competencies of an Engineer.

Video presentations and demonstrations by the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine included a demonstration on what is known as ‘keyhole’ or minimal access surgery. This technique introduced, in the early 1990s, enables surgeons to perform surgical procedures by making small incisions and using laparoscopic equipment (a telescopic camera) to guide them rather than through traditional cuts.

Miss Mbali Mthabela and Miss Prudence Mdunge were among 103 grade 12 scholars of the Lushaba Secondary School in Nkandla who travelled to UKZN with their school principal, Mr Thamsahqa Ntuli.

Miss Mthabela, who is interested in a career in Social Work, said: “The Open Day has been helpful in that it guides us in making career choices.”

Her classmate, Ms Mdunge who plans on pursuing a career in Law or Social Work said the Career Advice Desk and the presentation on A Career in Law had been beneficial to her.

Their principal Mr Ntuli said: “Our school is in a remote area approximately 300km away from Durban. I bring a group of students to the Open Day annually. It creates awareness of different career choices and student funding. It assists them to understand where they would like to study.”



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