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PREPARING FOR THE GRADUATION CEREMONY

 

In order to graduate, you must fulfill all requirements for your qualification in terms of the faculty and general institutional rules in order to obtain your qualification. Should you be uncertain, please liaise with your faculty.

You will receive SMS confirmation that your qualification has been awarded. Further graduation information will be communicated via SMS and the Graduations webpage. Please ensure that we have your latest contact details.

Please note that if you have a pending disciplinary case, you may not be eligible to graduate.

  • Candidates who qualify for the awarding of qualifications, but who are unable to attend their respective graduation ceremonies due to religious convictions, illness, or other reasons, may request to cross the stage at a later ceremony.
  • Your request to cross the stage must be accompanied by suitable evidence such as a medical/death certificate, work/travel documentation, etc.
  • Request to cross the stage QQ must be sent to graduationsqwaqwa@ufs.ac.za
  • The names of candidates who are unable to attend their graduation ceremonies will still be included in their respective faculty graduation programmes.

In light of the current global COVID-19 outbreak and the spread of the disease, the graduation ceremonies and related prize-giving ceremonies scheduled to take place on the Bloemfontein Campus from 20 to 24 April 2020 and on the Qwaqwa Campus from 8 to 9 May 2020, as well as the graduation ceremony from 10 to 12 June 2020 are postponed until further notice.

Please visit www.ufs.ac.za/coronavirus to keep abreast of developments.

Graduation eligibility must be confirmed by the relevant faculties and Student Records division within Student Academic Services. It is also possible that you have not received information for the following reasons:

  • If you have changed your contact details without updating them on the university’s system, you may not receive the relevant communication
  • If you have completed a supplementary examination, your results may not yet reflect on the university’s system.
  • If you have completed credits at another institution of higher learning, your results may not yet reflect on the university’s system or the required documentation for credit has not yet been submitted. Please contact your faculty.
  • Please ensure that your full name is correctly reflected on the system as per your birth certificate and identity document/passport. If your name is incorrectly reflected on your UFS record or you have legally changed your name, please submit a copy of your identity document/passport to graduationsqwaqwa@ufs.ac.za.
  • In the case of marriage or divorce, please submit a copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree.
  • Please complete and submit the Attendance and Name Form to graduationsqwaqwa@ufs.ac.za.
  • Please note that all submissions for name changes must be made at least 30 days prior to the date of the graduation ceremony.
  • Please complete and submit the Attendance and Name Form to graduationsqwaqwa@ufs.ac.za.
  • It is important to indicate whether there are any guests with disabilities in order for us to prepare accordingly.
  • Please note that you are allowed a maximum of five guests.
  • Attendance must be confirmed at least 30 days prior to the date of the graduation ceremony
Yes, graduates and guests are asked to dress in cultural/traditional wear or semi-formal attire. Please note that a graduation ceremony is a formal occasion, and that you are expected to show respect for the ceremony by dressing appropriately.

Students wearing high heels should note that the walk between the gathering and ceremony venues is quite some distance. You are advised to wear comfortable shoes and exercise caution to prevent falling.

CERTIFICATES

 

  • Certificates will only be issued to candidates during the ceremony, immediately after crossing the stage; however, should you be unable to attend your graduation, you may arrange for your certificate to be collected.
  • Collection of certificates begins one week after graduation ceremonies.
  • Certificates will NOT be issued before the ceremony or immediately after the ceremony.
  • Certificates must be collected in person, accompanied by the following:
    • the student’s original identity document or student card
    • financial statement
    • matric exemption certificate (for students who were admitted without matric exemption)
  • Should someone other than yourself collect your certificate, you must provide this person with a signed letter of consent. He or she will need to produce their original identity document together with your original documents as indicated above.
  • Arrangements to collect certificates must be made at +27 58 718 5187 or emailed to certificationsqwaqwa@ufs.ac.za
  • Certificates can be mailed at the following costs:
    • R325 for a South African physical address
    • R440 for postage outside South Africa 
  • Please email certificationsqwaqwa@ufs.ac.za to make the necessary arrangements.
  • Payments for the mailing of certificates must be made into the following bank account:
    BANK ABSA
    BRANCH Brandwag
    ACCOUNT NAME University of Free State
    ACCOUNT NUMBER 1570-8500-71
    BRANCH CODE 630-734
    REFERENCE NUMBER 1461080940189 Followed by your student number
PLEASE NOTE
Please email your proof of payment, delivery address, and contact details to certificationsqwaqwa@ufs.ac.za

 

ACADEMIC ATTIRE

 

  • The university has a fixed policy on the academic attire that must be worn for each degree conferred and diploma awarded during graduation ceremonies. This policy concerning the composition of the colours and the material, as well as each degree or diploma hood is approved beforehand by the University Council. Imitations are not acceptable, and students may be refused admission to the ceremony on this basis. Specific directives also exist for gowns and mortarboards.
  • Academic attire can be rented from House of Roleen. Please refer to the Hiring Procedures on the House of Roleen Forms.
  • Should you opt to purchase academic attire, the University of the Free State has appointed House of Roleen, 9 Merriman Ave, Vereeniging, Gauteng, 1939, as the official supplier.
  • The university has a fixed policy on the academic attire that must be worn for each degree conferred and diploma awarded during graduation ceremonies. This policy concerning the composition of the colours and the material, as well as each degree or diploma hood is approved beforehand by the University Council. Imitations are not acceptable, and students may be refused admission to the ceremony on this basis. Specific directives also exist for gowns and mortarboards.
  • Please refer to the Buying Procedures on the House of Roleen Forms.
  • For further enquiries regarding the purchasing of academic attire, contact House of Roleen on +27 16 422 3052.

    House of Roleen will not be available on campus on Graduation Day. Please make arrangements in advance.

     

  • Academic attire must be returned to the L6, immediately after your graduation ceremony.
  • You will remain fully liable for academic attire until all items have been returned and captured on our system.

GRADUATION PHOTOGRAPHS

 

  • Gordon Harris Photographic is contracted as the official photographer for graduation ceremonies at the University of the Free State.
  • Persons employed by the official photographer can be identified by a ‘Gordon Harris Photographic’ nameplate and/or a T-shirt displaying the logo ‘Gordon Harris Photographic’.
  • The conditions of the contract stipulate that no other photographer may take any photographs of diplomands/graduands for remuneration in the hall and on campus.
  • Freelance photographers are available at designated areas on campus. However, they are not accredited by the university. You are therefore cautioned against unauthorised photographers, as the university cannot accept any responsibility for the quality of their work or any possible financial loss that you may suffer.  
  • Please complete the Family Photograph Form and/or the Stage Photograph Forms and hand in to Gordon Harris Photographic staff on your graduation day.
  • Payments for photographs should not be paid into the university account and must be made directly to Gordon Harris Photographic.
  • Further enquiries can be directed to Gordon Harris Photographic on +27 12 430 3725.

THE DAY OF THE CEREMONY

 

  • Graduates must gather at the L2 or L5. Guests must report to the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall. 
  • Candidates must report at the gathering venue no later than 07:30 for 10:00 ceremonies.
  • On arrival, candidates must already be in possession of their academic attire for the ceremony.
  • At the venue, you will be given a card with your name and seat number. Take your seat immediately after receiving this card so that the procession can be constituted in time. Please keep your name card with you at all times.
  • The procession will move to the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall in the order indicated in the programme.
  • Students wearing high heels should note that the walk between the gathering and ceremony venues is quite some distance. You are advised to wear comfortable shoes and exercise caution to prevent falling.

Latecomers will not be allowed access to the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall after commencement of the ceremony.

 

  • You will be issued with a reference number to collect your guest tickets before or on the ceremony day.
  • Collection of guest tickets will commence on 13 May 2019 at the Instika Building (Office 0020, Ground Floor).
  • Should someone other than you collect your guest tickets, you must provide this person with written consent which he/she must produce together with the reference number and their identity document.
  • Should collection occur on the day of the ceremony, guests must collect their tickets from the ticketing station. Guests will need to produce proof of identity, your student number and your reference number.
  • Guests must be seated in the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall by 09:15. Doors will close at 09:30  in preparation for the entrance of the Student, Academic, and Main processions.
  • Guests arriving late will be accommodated for a limited time following the Rector and Vice-Chancellor’s opening address.
  • Guests arriving after this will be directed to an alternative venue where they can watch the ceremony through livestreaming.
  • Livestreaming refers to the ability to transmit and receive live video and audio coverage of an event.
  • Guests arriving late will be directed to an alternative venue where they will be able to watch proceedings as they happen.
  • Our livestream link can be accessed via http://livestream.ufs.ac.za, which becomes active at 08:45 and 14:15 on the day of the ceremony.
  • Children under the age of six should be accompanied by an adult and must be strictly monitored to prevent disturbances to the programme.
  • Special seats are allocated towards the back of the venue for parents with children. Please utilise these seats.
  • Park and Ride facilities allow guests to park their cars in designated areas and be transported to the ceremony venue.
  • Park and Ride facilities are made available as follows for each graduation ceremony:
    • Pick-up points: TBC 
    • Pick-up times: Park and ride is available from 07:00.
  • Guests do not need to pre-book to make use of these facilities.
  • These facilities are made available free of charge.

WHAT HAPPENS ON STAGE?

 

  • Awarding of diplomas and certificates occurs in the order indicated in the programme.
  • Once the procession has arrived in the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall, take your seat according to your allocated seat number.
  • When it is your turn to move to the stage, the official who controls the rows will give the signal for movement towards the stage. Proceed according to the alphabetical order indicated in the programme and/or the order in which you took your seat.
  • Place your hood over your left forearm and proceed to the ramp located on the left-hand side of the stage. Your name card and hood will be checked by officials located on the ramp.
  • Once you reach the top of the ramp, stand on the marker, hand your name card to the Dean/Assistant Dean, who will read out your name. Remain standing on the marker for your first photo while your name is being read.
  • After your name has been read, move towards the Chancellor, who will shake your hand to congratulate you on your achievement. Your second photo will be taken at this point.
  • After the Chancellor’s handshake, take your place on the box in front of the Registrar, facing the assembly. The Registrar will then place your hood over your head, and your third photo will be taken here.
  • After this, you are required to exit the stage from the right-hand side and approach the first table where your certificate will be handed to you. Return to your allocated seat after receiving your certificate.
  • We strive to conduct the ceremonies in a dignified manner. Kindly refrain from leaving the hall before the conclusion of the proceedings.
  • Conferral of degrees will take place in the order indicated in the programme.
  • Once the procession has arrived in the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall, take your seat according to your allocated seat number.
  • When it is your turn to move to the stage, the official who controls the rows will give the signal for movement towards the stage. Proceed according to the alphabetical order indicated in the programme and/or the order in which you took your seat.
  • Place your hood over your left forearm and proceed to the ramp located on the left-hand side of the stage. Your name card and hood will be checked by officials located on the ramp.
  • Once you reach the top of the ramp, stand on the marker, hand your name card to the Dean/Assistant Dean, who will read out your name. Remain standing on the marker for your first photo while your name is being read.
  • After your name has been read, move towards the Chancellor and kneel on the stool in front of him. The Chancellor will then cap you and shake your hand to congratulate you on your achievement. Your second photo will be taken at this point.
  • After being capped by the Chancellor, take your place on the box in front of the Registrar, facing the assembly. The Registrar will then place your hood over your head and your third photo will be taken here.
  • After this, you are required to exit the stage from the right-hand side and approach the first table where your certificate will be handed to you. Return to your allocated seat after receiving your certificate.
  • We strive to conduct the ceremonies in a dignified manner. Kindly refrain from leaving the hall before the conclusion of the proceedings.
  • The procedure for the conferral of PhD qualifications is similar to the conferral of degrees; however, the reading of appraisals has been added.
  • For PhD qualifications, a Student Academic Services official will be seated next to the candidate and his/her promoter. The official will indicate when candidates should proceed to the stage for the reading of the appraisal.
  • Once you reach the top of the ramp, stand on the marker, hand your name card to the Dean/Assistant Dean, who will read out your name. Remain standing on the marker for your first photo while your name is being read.
  • The Dean/Assistant Dean will read the names of the qualifications and hand it over to the respective promoters to both introduce their candidates and read the shortened appraisal. Please note that the full appraisal will be available in the programme.
  • Following this, you move towards the Chancellor and kneel on the stool in front of him. The Chancellor will then cap you and shake your hand to congratulate you on your achievement. Your second photo will be taken at this point.
  • After being capped by the Chancellor, take your place on the box in front of the Registrar, facing the assembly. The Registrar will then place your hood over your head and your third photo will be taken here. The Registrar will hand over your degree certificate on stage. The fourth photograph will be taken during this moment.
  • After this, you are required to exit the stage from the right-hand side and return to your allocated seat after receiving your certificate.

THE ALUMNI OFFICE

 

  • Now that you have graduated, you officially become a member of the alumni community.
  • Alumni of the University of the Free State belong to a distinguished network of graduates whose competencies, successes, and contributions enable them to make their mark wherever they may be. Our alumni community provides a true reflection of our institution’s quality, image, and reputation.
  • Your involvement is important for the growth and development of the University of the Free State. The Alumni Office is committed to keeping you informed and engaged and welcomes your suggestions for events, engagement opportunities, and better communication.
  • Get in touch with the Alumni Office by emailing alumni@ufs.ac.za
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