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Today, as Nelson Mandela University confers the awarding of qualifications in absentia, we salute the 4 447 students who would have been celebrating at Autumn Graduation this week.

Halala, congratulations, knap gedaan!

While the University still intends to offer graduates the opportunity of walking across the stage to be capped, at a later date, we wish to recognise the achievements of those who completed their studies in 2019.

We salute the hard work and sacrifices you, your families and your lecturers made to ensure that you achieved your qualification.  We hope each of you is able to mark this milestone in spite of the present lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the 4 447 students who will be receiving their qualifications in absentia today, 297 obtained their masters and 55 their doctorates.

These student numbers are in addition to those who graduated in December, as part of the class of 2019. All told 6918 students graduated after completing their studies last year, including 415 masters and 97 doctoral students. 

The Faculty of Science again produced the highest number of doctorates with 19 new PhDs – in addition to the 18 who graduated in the faculty in December. Engineering, the Built Environment and Technology has 12 new doctorates, Business and Economic Sciences nine, Health Sciences eight and Humanities five.

Several staff members are among those to have obtained postgraduate qualifications, including three who obtained doctorates in psychology. Their and other achievements will be shared on the Staff Bulletin webpage.

The qualifications were awarded at a special Executive Committee of Senate meeting today (Friday, 24 April 2020) that was be presided over by the Chancellor, Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, as provided for in the Statute of the University.

Listen to her speech.

This decision to award the qualifications in absentia was reached to enable students to receive their graduation certificates without having to wait for the postponed ceremonies.

Graduating students will receive individualised communication providing information on how to receive their certificates, subject to the conditions of the lockdown.

The names of all the April 2020 graduates appear on their respective Faculty list on our graduation website.

We wish all our graduating students well.