Reflections on Rhodes University

advice to parents

Rhodes University: from the perspective of a parent

Janine Basel, a mother of university students, knows how difficult it can be to send your child off to university after school, especially if it’s far away from home. She did some research and spoke to some mothers whose children attend Rhodes to gather some information to guide you and set your mind at ease about sending your child to Rhodes, away from your protective home.

  • Rhodes University is truly the epitome of a small university- town, with an intimate character-filled environment where everyone knows everyone, and you are sure to bump into fellow students wherever you go.
  • The student/teacher ratio is better than at almost any other South African university. The university is academically acclaimed and for the most part, keeps an air of rarefied artsy dignity. You can’t go wrong choosing this university.
  • The two airports that service Grahamstown (Rhodes University), are Port Elizabeth and East London. From there, you can either get car hire or take a shuttle. Honestly, I would advise shuttles, as they are safe and convenient, and once in Grahamstown, everything is within walking distance.
  • Once your child is at Rhodes University, he will probably catch a shuttle to the airport, or use Translux to get home. Soon after, he will enter into lift clubs with students who have their own cars.
  • From reports, the parent orientation for 1st year student’ parents, is well worth attending. Here is where you will meet some of the faculty members and listen to a speech from the Dean.
  • You will feel at ease seeing where your child is going to university, where they will be staying and where they will eat. This is after all, a big step for YOU (never mind your child!).
  • If your child is in residence, the university recommends around R800 per month for spending money, but I think a realistic amount would be R1 600.
  • In the words of a parent of a Rhodes student: “The students love it and a lot of them stay on for Honours, masters and then to lecture. It is a real university town. They drink a lot, but it is a very united Varsity, where everyone is chilled, they all know each other. They are all very chilled. I’m happy because my child is happy and doing well. Rhodes also have a great reward system for students who perform well.”
  • Yes! In case you have not heard via the grapevine, the University truly rewards those who succeed academically and want to keep the best students on. They put their money where their mouth is!

My personal reflection on Rhodes, is that it would be a delight to attend university there and that you are not only getting a personalized education, but an enriching social life as well, on top of being part of a fantastic historical institution.

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With all of this positivity coming from parents and students from Rhodes, you can rest assured that you made the right decision for your child by allowing them to attend Rhodes University. It’s also a great location to have a weekend away at and visit your child – double score for weekends away with a purpose!

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