UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) did not let the national COVID-19 lockdown cancel its 2020 Open Day… it held the event online!
The University usually hosts its annual Open Day event for scholars interested in studying at the Institution over two Saturdays in May on the Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses. With a carnival atmosphere prevailing, academics and support staff put on an impressive show, “selling” their respective courses of study to the public.
Everything from livestock to drones to colourful chemical reactions go on show, however with the trending hashtag being “stay at home” and social distancing the new norm, the College had to be creative in the way it reached out to the thousands of high school pupils eager to enter its doors.
‘We were concerned that current matriculants are not getting information about study opportunities at UKZN and that they might be panicking about the application process for 2021,’ said Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of CAES, Professor Albert Modi. ‘We therefore decided to bring our Open Day to them, through a “virtual” platform.’
The College hosted the Online Open Day on Saturday 13 June using the zoom webinar function. Members of the public were able to register and tune in to various presentations.
Information provided covered an overview of the College, its mainstream and access programmes, how to apply to study at UKZN, financial aid assistance and different career prospects within the sciences. It also provided the opportunity for prospective students to interact with the Deans and Heads of its five Schools, as well as academic and professional staff in interactive Q&A sessions.
Schools within the College include Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences; Chemistry and Physics; Engineering; Life Sciences, and Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. Between them they offer a comprehensive package of degrees and a gateway to a satisfying career in the agricultural, engineering and scientific fields.
The Open Day webinar was linked to an informative webpage where further information and resources were available on the CAES including information brochures, educational videos, career assessment information, application procedures and fees information.
The Online Open Day was also streamed live on UKZN’s Facebook page – attracting some 10 000 views. A recording was posted on the College’s website after the event for future reference.
Words: Sally Frost