Book to guide first-year students

Dr Venicia McGhie and Madge du Preez at the book launch.

Two women have written a book to help first-year university students adjust to life on campus.

A senior UWC lecturer, Dr Venicia McGhie, and a retired faculty officer at the university, Madge du Preez, launched the book, Accessing Post-School Studies: A student’s GPS to successful learning, at UWC last week.

The book advises students how to prepare for university or college and includes information on courses, application procedures, contact details for institutions and more.

There are plans to summarise the book’s 10 chapters into two pages written in South Africa’s 11 official languages.

The two authors share a deep concern and love for struggling students, especially those from rural communities.

Dr McGhie worked her way from being a domestic worker to a university lecturer with a PhD and head of the Department of Academic Development in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

She said she wanted to
help students make informed decisions about study options after matric.

“We’re excited about the book and hope to receive buy-in from the national department of education, so that it could be used as part of the life-orientation curriculum in high schools.”

Ms Du Preez was motivated to do something when she encountered students with very little self-confidence in her tenure as faculty officer and coordinator of the Student Support and Research Unit.

“Students need to hear that they will eventually master the processes that will enable them to make a success at university level,” she said.

Professor Christopher Tapscott, recently-retired founding director of UWC’s School of Governance, said the book encouraged further study and extolled the benefits of getting a good education.

Professor Tyrone Pretorius, UWC’s rector and vice-chancellor, said the book was the result of many years of accumulated experience.

“It reminds you that one’s beginning should not determine where you end up in life. Your past never has to determine your future.”

Hard copes cost R330 and the ebook is R260.

Email or visit for a copy.