Memorable NWU moments from the 2021 academic year

While 2021 was still mostly virtual – hello Zoom old friend, with the lockdown barometer going up and down – there were some great moments. Moments that inspired us, made us proud, and made history. Here are a few NWU moments that we would like to reflect on and celebrate.

  1. Nurses Day

In the last two years we saw nurses not just as healthcare workers but as heroes. On 12 May, International Nurses Day, the lecturers at the School of Nursing at the Potchefstroom Campus held a silent vigil to the nurses of South Africa.

“We usually host an event for staff and students to celebrate our profession,” said Dr. Elsabe Bornman, deputy director of the School of Nursing at the NWU. Due to Covid-19-related regulations, this was not possible this year.

“This year we decided to pay tribute to nurses in South Africa who have lost their lives or are facing hardships due to Covid-19,” Bornman said. Staff at the school of nursing convened in Lover’s Lane with posters dedicated to International Nurses Day.

2. Tokyo Olympics

When the South African team showed up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, there were a few NWU Eagles in the mix. Different NWU athletes and staff participated in the games, and we couldn’t be any prouder.

3. Rankings

In both the national and international rankings, we keep movin’ on up. This has been a great year for the NWU, we ranked as the safest South African university in the latest StuDocu World University Rankings.

We were rated the most favourite South African university when it comes to student experience! 🏆 With a 9⁄10 for remote learning, quality education is one of the NWU’s top priorities no matter the circumstances. 💜

#MyNWU also boasts among the 6 best local universities in Times Higher Education Rankings (THE). 🏆The THE World University Rankings are the largest and most diverse university rankings to date.

4. Greater Than campaign launched

Every year the NWU sets an intention with our brand campaigns, and our intention for the next few months is to be greater than we are – we want you to join us.

With the Greater Than campaign, we focused on the idea that greatness is meant for all of us – not just reserved for a chosen few. Every moment of every day, you have the potential to be greater than you are. We believe that greatness is a gradual journey, that everything you do daily helps you to become a better version of yourself.

With this campaign, we want to inspire and motivate students, NWU colleagues, and our broader community to try and outdo your previous efforts. Are you in?

5. Prof Louis Kotzé being awarded the Klaus Töpfer Sustainability Award

The Faculty of Law, and the whole #MyNWU community, was extremely proud that our very own Prof Louis Kotzé has been awarded the Klaus Töpfer Sustainability Award by the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany. The Institute is famous globally for its cutting-edge research on sustainability issues.

This award is one of the most prestigious in Europe for social scientists working in sustainability research and is awarded every year to one person from around the world. This is the highest accolade Prof Kotzé has ever received for his work in his 20-year career and it has been awarded based on his globally pioneering work (with Prof. Rakhyun Kim-Utrecht University) on earth system law; a new legal paradigm that offers an alternative epistemic framework for environmental law.

Congrats Prof Louis!

6. First NWU-UODL student experience webinar

The NWU wanted to show that greatness doesn’t mind the distance. On 26 August 2021, the North-West University’s Unit for Open Distance Learning had its inaugural student experience webinar. Students from all over South Africa, who are studying different programmes came to tell you how to have the best experience.

7. History in the making!

Celebrating our NWU family was very popular this year. Dr. Nicolene Steyn received her PhD at 25, making history by being the youngest PhD student at the NWU Faculty of Law.

8. NWU campuses as Covid-19 vaccination sites

The NWU put ethic of care into action by hosting several Covid-19 vaccination drives. These drives ensured that members of the public, including North-West University staff members, their spouses, and life-partners, got vaccinated.

9. LGBTIQA+ Pride Wall at the Mahikeng Campus

The North-West University has unveiled an LGBTIQA+ Pride Wall which affirms, recognises, and celebrates the existence and lived experiences of queer people on its Mafikeng Campus. 🏳️‍🌈 This wall is a symbol of affirmation, care and shows the institution’s support towards members of the LGBTIQA+ community.

10. The NWU is on TikTok

The NWU is finally on TikTok. We officially launched the North-West University’s TikTok (@theNWU) account on 29 September 2021. Right away, we started with a bang because we also launched a branded hashtag challenge, #ShowYourGreatness.

If you aren’t following us on TikTok yet, why?

What was your favourite memorable moment? Do you agree with our list or is there something we’ve missed?

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