27 February 2019 | Story Zama Feni | Photo Zama Feni
Dr Khotso Mokhele and Prof Witness Mudzi
UFS Chancellor, Dr Khotso Mokhele, and Prof Witness Mudzi, Director of the Postgraduate School.

“There is no better wish I could have for anybody than giving your best to what you wake up for every morning,” says the University of the Free State (UFS) Chancellor, Dr Khotso Mokhele

UFS Chancellor welcomes postgraduate students

Delivering an address at the official opening of the Postgraduate School last week, Dr Mokhele made a re-awakening call for students to give their utmost best to their studies.

“It is you and only you who knows what you are here for. You could be here probably because you could not find a job with your junior degree or you could be here to find knowledge,” he said.

Dr Mokhele stated that schooling was important for two main reasons – to provide a better life to a human being through acquired skills and knowledge, and secondly, it helps to develop a sense of discipline in a person.

Postgraduate studies ‘require self-drive’

The Director of the UFS Postgraduate School, Prof Witness Mudzi, congratulated postgraduate students who have joined the academic trip at the university.

“Your experience at the UFS will not only result in you accumulating more knowledge, but it will also result in you developing tremendously as a human being socially, psychologically, physically, and intellectually.

“Just like the big jump from high-school education to undergraduate studies, the move from undergraduate studies to postgraduate studies has the potential to be both challenging and rewarding. This leap requires certain traits to be adopted to ensure successful completion of your academic studies,” said Prof Mudzi.

“Unlike undergraduate studies where you spend almost your entire academic life in the comfort of fellow students and academic staff members who provide guidance, postgraduate student life in most cases requires self-drive and could be void of any social support one might be accustomed to,” he said.

Determination is key

After the official opening of the Postgraduate School on the second day of his visit to the UFS Bloemfontein Campus, Dr Mokhele addressed staff members in the Directorate for Research Development during an informal session where he narrated the story of his life up to what he had become today.

During the time of the 1976 student uprisings which engulfed black township schools, the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape also did not escape the influence of the uprisings, and as a result, Dr Mokhele became one of the casualties when he was expelled from the institution during his final year in the Bachelor of Science degree.

Dr Mokhele encouraged the development of a spirit of determination if one seeks to achieve his or her goals.

“Those who expelled us from the University of Fort Hare believed that by so doing, they predetermined what we would become. What they did not realise, was that it was never up to anyone but us to determine what and who we would become,” he said.

After his expulsion, he got a temporary post as a teacher at Moroka High School in Thaba Nchu. “I taught those kids the determination to never allow anybody but themselves to determine their future.”

“We are all surrounded by limitations, but there is always a best part of you that can help you deal with your struggles,” he said.

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