March graduation celebration and other updates

05 April 2023

Dear colleagues and students

The University of Cape Town (UCT) hosted 15 graduation ceremonies across its six faculties last week. Read about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. March graduation ceremonies

Over 5 200 degrees, including 57 PhDs, were conferred during UCT’s 15 graduation ceremonies that took place from 27 to 31 March at the Sarah Baartman Hall on upper campus. The highlight of the ceremonies included the awarding of honorary doctorates to Her Excellency ǂXuu Katrina Esau and Dr Debra Roberts.

UCT Chancellor Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe told graduates that graduation signalled a new beginning in all their lives, whether they chose to continue their education, enter the world of work or opted to take that “courageous leap” of starting a business. She said she hoped the new graduates would embrace change, learn from it and use it to grow and develop themselves on a personal and professional level.

2. Update on the independent investigation panel

The independent panel established by UCT Council to investigate and report on certain aspects regarding governance at the institution has started its work. The Panel is assisted by an evidence leader team tasked with gathering information. The evidence leader team has met and interviewed more than 30 people, many of whom have provided statements to the Panel.

Any person who has not been interviewed by the evidence leader team and who is of the view that they have relevant information which can be of assistance to the Panel is encouraged to contact the appointed secretariat at

The Panel has since commenced with in-person sessions from Monday, 3 April to Thursday 6 April 2023 at an off-campus venue in Cape Town.

3. Introducing the reconfigured UCT Inaugural Lecture series 

The university will resume with its inaugural lecture series over the next few weeks under a reconfigured format: UCT Inaugural Lecture series.

Given the impact of the past three years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of professors due for inaugural lectures has grown and the reconfigured lectures will take place almost weekly. These lectures will continue to be announced through the central university communication platforms.

Inaugural lectures are a central part of the university’s academic project and provide a platform for professors who were appointed in the preceding five years to present the body of research that they have been focusing on during their careers. They also serve to provide UCT with an opportunity to showcase its academics and share its research with members of the wider university community and the general public in an accessible way.

4. Upcoming events to be hosted by Centre for Extra Mural Studies

The Centre for Extra Mural Studies will host an In Conversation session with Distinguished Professor Jonathan Jansen and Emeritus Professor Anwar Mall on Wednesday, 3 May 2023. It will be held at Lecture Theatre 1, Kramer Law Building, middle campus. The session is titled: “Why universities are not exempt from corruption”. The entrance fee is R110 (general), R100 (Friends of Summer School) and R55 (UCT staff and students).

This session will examine the ways in which some South African universities remain in a state of chronic dysfunction. The twin problems of institutional capacity and institutional integrity will be shown to underpin ongoing problems in universities. The discussion will identify workable strategies to resolve the crises that flow from institutional dysfunction. The discussion is based on Professor Jansen’s most recent book, Corrupted: A Study Of Chronic Dysfunction In South African Universities.

The centre will also host a virtual short story course from 29 April to 27 May 2023. Facilitated by Sally Cranswick, the course is titled: “Write a short story: from concept to completion”. It will be presented via Zoom on Saturdays from 10:00 to 12:00 and will take a maximum of 20 participants.

The aim of this course is to equip participants to write a short story, from flash fiction to a full-length short story. Participants will explore how to generate ideas, how to structure a short story, and writing techniques that are unique to short story writing. There will be weekly writing assignments and a final assignment, the short story.

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