29 April 2024 | Story Precious Shamase | Photo Charl Devenish
Qwaqwa Grads 2024
The Qwaqwa Campus erupted in cheers as 1 187 graduates crossed the stage! This year's class was a powerful testament to dedication, with a focus on research excellence (13 PhDs awarded!).

A vibrant energy pulsed through the University of the Free State (UFS) Qwaqwa Campus on 12 and 13 April 2024 as 1 187 graduates proudly donned their academic regalia and walked across the stage to receive their degrees. This momentous occasion marked the culmination of years of dedication and perseverance for the new alumni, their families, and the university community.

Celebrating Diverse Success

The ceremonies unfolded in celebration, with families beaming with pride. With her eloquent speech, the guest speaker – Dr Phumzile Mmope – underscored the importance of lifelong learning and the transformative power of education. One of the many timeless lessons she shared with the UFS class of 2023 was to “embrace a teachable spirit, stay open to learning, and embrace new challenges to grow professionally, personally, and spiritually”.

This year's graduation ceremony was not just about academic excellence; it was a vibrant tapestry woven from diverse backgrounds and exceptional achievements. Archbishop Thabo Makgoba was honoured with a prestigious PhD in Theology on the grounds of his exceptional achievements in terms of public service.

Discipline Fuels Achievement

This year's graduation was not just about academics. It recognised diverse backgrounds and achievements. Notably, 13 PhDs were awarded, highlighting the university's research focus. Dr Matanki Mabaleng's completion of her PhD in Education Management and Leadership in the Faculty of Education within two years showcased exceptional dedication.

Dr Mabaleng attributed her graduation in record time to a rigorous approach to time management and self-discipline. "Balancing a full-time job with studies, especially as an international student from Lesotho, demanded a strong work ethic," she explained.

Strength, Unity, World Impact

Campus Principal, Prof Prince Ngubeni, expressed his delight, calling the ceremonies ‘uplifting’ and a reflection of the university's Vision 130 commitment to graduate excellence. “I envision future ceremonies even more inspiring, reflecting our commitment to graduate excellence,” Prof Ngobeni concluded.

The graduating class embodied South Africa's diversity, demonstrating the power of education to bridge societal divides. A live stream ensured global participation, allowing families and friends to virtually share in the graduates' joy.

The 2024 UFS Qwaqwa Campus graduation was more than a degree ceremony. It celebrated resilience, ambition, and the boundless potential of each graduate. The UFS Qwaqwa Campus community congratulates them and awaits their positive impact in the world.

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