The Student Support Division offers extensive emotional and academic support through highly capable counsellors, psychologists and social workers, all of which are available by appointment. In case of emergencies, however, students can be attended to on the same day. Counselling is confidential and free of charge at the Student Affairs Building, located underneath the TuksFM studio.

Student Health Services, commonly known as the clinic, offers free, confidential and basic medical services to registered students on weekdays. Doctors are on call to provide consultations, treatments and administration of medical prescriptions. When necessary, they give referrals to relevant hospitals, clinics, laboratories and specialists. Should students consult any of these external medical institutions, it is at their own cost. Nurses are also on hand to deal with minor injuries. Moreover, they provide objective advice on female reproductive health and administer family planning services. When necessary, they refer students to the pregnancy counselling services within the Roosmaryn building. The clinic also provides dietary advice under a dietician by appointment. Furthermore, eye testing from an optician is offered, also by appointment.

All campuses have a clinic. On Hatfield campus, health services are offered at the Student Health Services Building, on Groenkloof campus, at the Letlotlo Building on the second floor, on Mamelodi campus, health personnel are found in the Education building, on Onderstepoort campus, at the Arnold Theiler building, and lastly, on the Prinshof campus, the clinic is at Prinshof Academic Complex.

In 1999, the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender (CSA&G), was established on the Hatfield Campus in light of the flaring HIV/ Aids pandemic. It has the vision of “understanding power, exploring diversity, examining difference and imagining inclusivity”. The CSA&G values engagement with students and, together, hopes to push for social change. Under its auspices is the Future Leaders at Work volunteer programme. Any UP student can enrol, starting with a nine-week training programme that focuses on empowering students with HIV/ Aids knowledge and debunking the myths surrounding the virus and sexuality as a whole. After successful completion of the course, students can branch out into various aspects of the programme, such becoming trainers themselves or, after intense screening and training, become HIV/ Aids counsellors on campus.

In collaboration with the clinic, the CSA & G provides professional HIV/ Aids testing and pre- and post-test counselling. Should students test positive, they shall receive emotional and medical support from the clinic, CSA&G and the Student Support Division and, if necessary, can get access to antiretroviral medication from Tshwane District Hospital. The CSA&G offices are in the Huis & Haard building, above Oom Gert’s on Hatfield campus.

Image: Ciske van den Heever