Change the world


As graduates of an institution that strives to be in the service of society, Nelson Mandela University alumni are expected to display social consciousness and responsible citizenship wherever they go, and in whatever they do.

This was the message from Vice-Chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa to the congregation on 13 April 2023, particularly graduates of the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, during the first of 19 ceremonies at the Madibaz Indoor Centre, in Gqeberha.

“As graduates of Nelson Mandela University, you are called upon to be champions of equality, equity, diversity and social justice,” said Prof Muthwa.

“Our community-based ethos across all our disciplines aims to cultivate civic minded graduates who can compete globally, but who also have a deep passion to change the lives of the vulnerable, underserved communities that they come from across the country.

“This, we believe to be central in our approach to inculcating our scholarly academic missions of learning and teaching, research and engagement. In our quest of living up to our motto of changing the world, we continue to seek ways in which higher education institutions, such as our own, can be a force for good.

“To this end, you have not only received a world class education, but we have prepared you for life and the future world of work, which we trust has also helped to transform you into conscious, compassionate, responsible, ethical, professionals and leaders who will play their part in changing the world. Leaders who will bring about positive change in our communities, workplaces, home environments, our country, continent, and the rest of the world.”

More than 7 000 students, including about 50 doctorates, are set to cross the graduation stage over the next two weeks. This follows the capping of more than 460 students, including two doctorates, at the George Campus’ first on-site graduation last week.

Prof Muthwa also applauded graduates for having succeeded in their academic journey despite any challenges.

“This is a memorable day for all of us. You have triumphed and proven your ability to succeed despite a myriad of challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, the disruption of learning as we had known it then, the socioeconomic challenges we are facing as a country and globally and, of course, your own personal obstacles and challenges that come with being a student,” said Prof Muthwa.

The Vice-Chancellor reminded graduates of the important milestone that graduation is, wishing them well on their future achievements.

“Graduation is but one of many milestones on your life’s journey. You now need to set your sights on the next milestone you want to achieve. Universities serve as engines for building the kind of socially just, democratic societies that we all wish to live in. That is why, at Nelson Mandela University, we pursue the philosophy of a humanising pedagogy,” she said.

“We therefore seek to recognise and explore what it means to be human, honouring and respecting everyone’s humanity and unique background, and developing consciousness and agency in relation to social justice.

“You have successfully completed this chapter of your life. As you proceed on your journey, we wish you everything of the best. As alumni, we urge you to go out there to be active and fine ambassadors of this university and all that it stands for.”

Prof Muthwa congratulated all graduates on behalf of Chancellor Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, University Council under the chairpersonship of Ambassador Nozipho January-Bardill, Senate and the entire University community.

“We are deeply proud of you. Your success is our success … it is a team effort. Your graduation is an indication that both the academics who nurtured and supported you, as well as yourselves as students have fulfilled your respective roles and obligations with diligence and distinction,” she said.

The Mandela University autumn graduation ceremonies are being streamed live on the institution’s YouTube channel.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777