2022 July PhD graduation ceremonies

04 July 2022

Dear colleagues and students

Graduation is always a time of jubilation, where we not only rejoice over and recognise the hard work and tenacity of our graduates, but we also congratulate our exceptional academics, support staff and supportive families – who all play a pivotal role behind the scenes in the success of the graduating cohort.

Postgraduate education and research are among the cornerstones of and critical to the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) long-term vision of being the leading research-intensive university in South Africa and on the continent, which will place us among the best globally.

In the past two years, our graduation ceremonies have had to be paused in the traditional physical pre-COVID-19 manner that we had become accustomed to. But we are now in a position to host physical graduation ceremonies, starting with the upcoming PhD graduation ceremonies. These will be held at Sarah Baartman Hall on Upper Campus on Friday, 22 July 2022.

With the COVID-19 regulations having been repealed recently, we will in due course make an announcement around the belated physical celebration moment for the 2020 and 2021 graduates, for whom we have already had official virtual graduation ceremonies due to the restrictions imposed by the lockdown that was in place then.

We are extremely proud of the 106 PhD graduates who will be capped at the July graduation. They have no doubt made outstanding scholarly contributions to prove the value of African-based research and to contribute to the national and global knowledge bank. Our doctoral students are proof of UCT’s mission to be the best on the continent through research that makes a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

All the graduation celebrations will take place on 22 July, with the times for each faculty being as follows:

  • Commerce 10:00
  • Engineering & the Built Environment 10:00
  • Law 10:00
  • Science 10:00
  • Health Sciences 14:00
  • Humanities 14:00

During the ceremonies, the university will bestow high academic honours in the form of degrees awarded honoris causa on the following distinguished individuals: Dr Rob Adam, Doctor of Science; Mr Geoffrey Budlender SC, Doctor of Laws; Sir Franklin Berman QC, Doctor of Laws; Mr Trevor Jones, Doctor of Music; Mr Kaizer Motaung, Doctor of Social Science; Professor Khaya Mfenyana, Doctor of Science in Medicine; and Mr Mzolisi ka Toni, Doctor of Social Science.

In addition, Emeritus Professor Marian Jacobs will receive the 2022 Vice‑Chancellor’s Medal at the Health Sciences ceremony. The award is given to alumnus who have made a distinguished contribution to society. During the same ceremony, Professor Leslie London will be honoured with the 2021 Social Responsiveness Award for his unwavering commitment and contribution to promoting social justice in healthcare.

The 2021 UCT Book Award will be handed to Distinguished Professor Philippe-Joseph Salazar during the Law ceremony. This award recognises outstanding and/or influential books written by UCT staff members.

The ceremonies will also be live-streamed so guests who are unable to attend can watch on the UCT News website (accessible from the UCT graduation web page) or the university’s social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter.  

Congratulations to all those who will be graduating for keeping the African light shining bright through their research and academic excellence. I wish them great success!


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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