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Change the world


“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”

This quote, which is one of global icon and former President Nelson Mandela’s famous posits on education, was the reverberant message from Nelson Mandela University Chancellor, Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, to the masters and doctoral graduates at the first of two graduation ceremonies at the institution today (14 December 2021).

During the first ceremony, which was also livestreamed on the University’s YouTube channel, 72 masters and doctoral graduates were capped at the institution’s first in-person graduation in two years.

Dr Fraser-Moleketi called on the graduates to heed the charge of the University’s tagline, ‘change the world’, as alumni of this great institution.

“That is our rallying cry as Nelson Mandela University. It is what we call on staff to do each day at work; and what we call on students to do during the course of their studies and when they graduate successfully from the university,” said Dr Fraser-Moleketi.

“And indeed, that is what each of you receiving your masters and doctoral degrees today, can and will do, and in so many Instances already are doing.

“The years 2020 and 2021 brought this, our rallying call, into sharp relief as the world changed rapidly around us. A world that has been marked at all levels with alienation, growing inequality in all its facets,  growing unemployment, challenges presented by COVID with respect to lives and livelihoods, calls for an end to ‘vaccine apartheid, the reality and existential challenge of climate change, governance challenges and the lack of public trust.”

The graduates produced some very interesting research into a number of topics impacting our society today. These include guidelines for the detection of text-based fake news, the views of amakrwala on the meaning of umqombothi and commercial alcohol use during the initiation ceremonies, the extraction of gold nanoparticles for the treatment of colon cancer and a culturally responsive strategy for teaching sexual concepts in rural isiXhosa secondary schools.

“We look forward to your active participation as alumni, as we continue our collective work, as an engaged university in service of society, to change the world,” said the Chancellor.

“I wish all our graduates well, as you journey forth to where-ever the next phase of your life-path takes you. I trust that you will retain an identity that clearly defines you as a graduate of Nelson Mandela University.”

A total 99 masters and doctoral granduands will be capped at the second, and final, ceremony tomorrow (15 December 2021). These include struggle veteran and strategist, Joel Netshitenzhe, who will be conferred an honorary doctorate in Humanities.

The session will also be livestreamed to the University’s YouTube channel.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777