UFH welcomes 1st year international students
On 14 June, the UFH Office of International Affairs held a virtual orientation ceremony to welcome 38 first-year international students to the university.
Altogether, the university has 367 international students representing the following African countries: Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe. One student is from France (Europe).
Postgraduate students constitute 60% of the international student community with the majority enrolled under the faculties of Science and Agriculture, followed by Management and Commerce; and Law.
Dr Hlulani Mabasa, Director of the Office of International Affairs thanked the students for choosing UFH.
“We are delighted that out of the 26 South African public universities, you chose Fort Hare. That is a wonderful decision, one that you will not regret. Our institution has a long-standing history of producing great African and political leaders. We want that history to continue.”
UFH is the only Southern African university to have produced various international heads of states: Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Yusuf Lule of Uganda, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Ntsu Mokhehle of Lesotho and Sir Seretse Khama of Botswana.
Sir Charles Mugane Njonjo, Kenya’s first Attorney General is also one of UFH’s notable alumni.
Dr Mabasa encouraged international students to join cultural activities and student associations to help them integrate and interact with locals. “Don’t isolate yourself. It is very important to embrace the culture of the university and the province. It will make your stay more enjoyable.”
“Our wish is that you become ambassadors of this university in your home countries by sharing your wonderful experience at our university with prospective students back home.”
During the orientation session students were advised about various administrative and support services that the department provides. These include:
- Liaison with the relevant authorities on behalf of students to provide assistance with study permit applications and renewals, medical aid cover and immigration challenges
- Assistance with timeous residence allocation
- Clearance of goods letters as required at ports of entry
- Travel permission letters in line with Covid-19 regulations.
- Liaison with the Department of Home Affairs regarding refugee/asylum status seekers.
- Ensuring that international students have the required immigration documents prior to registration
The department also organises the following activities to enhance integration within the university student life, social cohesion and welcoming environment for international students, namely:
Orientation day, welcome function, Africa day celebration, Coffee hour and cultural day celebration.