Change the world


Nelson Mandela University’s summer graduation kicked off today (10 December), and will see higher certificates, diplomas and under- and postgraduate degrees conferred to more than 2400 students over eight sessions this week.

These include 41 doctoral degrees and an honorary Law doctorate to be awarded to Professor Charles Lawrence III, in absentia. Prof Lawrence is best known worldwide for his exceptional and prolific scholarly work in critical race theory, anti-discrimination law, equal protection and racist hate speech.

Prof Lawrence’s views have been prominently cited in several United States Supreme Court and Federal Court opinions. His work has prompted reformulations of anti-discrimination laws in numerous jurisdictions and undoubtedly played a significant role when the test for unfair discrimination in South Africa was framed.

This year’s summer graduation – the fifth since its inception in 2014 – will see a total 2453 students reaping the results of their hard work over the years. This includes 1621 undergraduate qualifications and 832 postgraduate.

Mandela University chancellor, Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, said graduation was a special and memorable time in the life of the university.

“[Graduation] represents the culmination of much hard work, commitment and sacrifice. For many it represents a triumph over significant obstacles and challenges. For all, it is a time for celebration, for gratitude, and for reflection,” said Dr Fraser-Moleketi.

“As the university community, we salute your dedication, your perseverance, and we celebrate with you [this week].”

The Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences will see the most graduates, with 845 student, followed by Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology (EBEIT) with 637 and Education with 437.

“This is significant beyond numbers. Whether it is a first qualification, or a doctorate as the pinnacle of intellectual endeavour – for the university, each graduate capped [this week] represents a new cohort of knowledgeable and skilled people equipped to bring their education and talents to bear on the challenges facing our society.”

Doctoral topics include studies into the “impact of public spending on economic growth, employment and poverty reduction in South Africa” and “challenges of subsistence farming in South Africa using the eastern Cape’s Emjikweni Village”.

This graduation season will also see the first cohort of BSc Honours in Physiology students crossing the stage, who have had quite an eventful year that included their attendance to the Physiological Society of Southern Africa conference as a way of introducing them to the country’s physiology community.

A chemistry student, Lize Greyling, is obtaining her PhD just three years after completing her honours degree. Her Master’s degree has been converted into a PhD, because of its superior quality. Her project is aimed at developing alternative methods that may solve current chemical processing problems in South Africa. These methods are more cost-effective, efficient and environmentally friendly.

In light of the ongoing load shedding, graduands and their guests are assured that a backup generator is at hand to ensure minimal disruption to the graduation programme.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777