The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Vision 2030 and drive to unleash human potential for a fair and just society came alive on Wednesday morning, the start of a celebratory two-day summer graduation from 14 to 15 December. Four ceremonies over two days, involving all six academic faculties, will see 1 496 graduands hooded and capped.
These figures reflect 2022 qualifiers who completed the requirements for their programmes by the deadline of 31 October. Most of the qualifiers for this year will graduate in the main ceremonies in autumn 2023.
This year the summer graduation is being held outdoors on the steps of Sarah Baartman Hall and the Plaza. First up were graduands of the Faculty of Commerce, including the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB), which graduated 500 students, including 150 who qualified for a Master of Business Administration.
It was a festival of joy, gratitude and achievement; a proud moment for many parents, families and supporters, who had been welcomed by the warm sounds of a marimba band and rousing presentation by poet and alumnus praise singer Siphokazi Jonas.
Among the 1 496 students who qualified to graduate, 845 are master’s students and 115 PhD awardees. The latter will boost the country’s cohort of doctoral graduates in line with South Africa’s government’s ambitious plans for doctoral education, according to a recent article in The Conversation. The country aims to increase its output to 5 000 doctorates annually by 2030. In 2013, the figure was 2 051; by 2019 it was up to 3 445 (46% increase). By 2030, government wants 75% of all academics employed at universities to hold a PhD.
Other high honours will be awarded at the ceremonies this week, including:
The university will also confer a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) on alumnus Laetitia Rispel, Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand where she holds a SARChI Chair: Research on the Health Workforce for Equity and Quality. This will be awarded at the Faculty of Health Sciences afternoon ceremony on 15 December.
Gratitude, pride and thanks
Standing in for Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Elelwani Ramugondo welcomed the celebrants.
“Today, we commemorate close to 500 newly qualified graduates from the Faculty of Commerce. That is huge. We are especially excited to graduate 15 new doctoral candidates among them.”
“You are contributing to the global body of knowledge on behalf of the University of Cape Town.”
“You are contributing to the global body of knowledge on behalf of the University of Cape Town, and I congratulate all of you. This is not only your moment, graduates, it’s also a great moment for parents, guardians, and all the loved ones who supported you through the hard work towards your qualification.
Professor Ramugondo added, “We celebrate this moment with you because we all have walked this path with you during your time at UCT. From your lecturers, administrators, those who clean the spaces you walked, the spaces you lived, the gardeners who made sure that today you can pose and take beautiful pictures, surrounded by beauty at UCT.
“We know that through your work one day you will be part of unleashing others’ human potential.”
“We take this opportunity to remind you of UCT’s Vision 2030 to unleash human potential to achieve a fair and just society. You’ve had your potential discovered, unleash and nurtured into greatness at this university. And it could just be the beginning. But we know that through your work one day you will be part of unleashing others’ human potential. We trust you with that responsibility.
“We know that during your time at UCT, you’ve stretched your own boundaries. We know that when you go out there, you will stretch other people’s boundaries. That’s leadership and we entrust our future with you. We are proud to do so.”
“This is time to reflect on the year that has gone and to think about your future.”
In her welcome to the graduands, Dr Moloi-Motsepe urged them to take the light they had received from the university “and let it shine out there, wherever you may go”.
“I have been fortunate to have travelled very widely and, in my travels, I’m always amazed at the quality, the stature, the greatness and excellence of the alumni that I meet anywhere in the world that I go. And you are going to be one of those.”
The chancellor extended her thanks to the parents, friends and family and supporters who had shared the graduands’ journeys. To conclude, she wished them well over the holidays.
“This is time to reflect on the year that has gone and to think about your future. It is time to celebrate the holiday spirit. And what a brilliant way to start our celebration by celebrating you.”
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.