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10 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Charl Devenish

Graduation Livestream

Photo Gallery

Announcement: April Graduation Guest Ticketing

Law graduates encouraged to practice good ethics and social justice

Prof Thuli Madonsela, Social Justice Chair at Stellenbosch University, and the former Public Protector of South Africa, spoke to Law graduates during the morning session of the University of the Free State Faculty of Law graduation ceremony on 12 April 2019.  Prof Madonsela encouraged Law graduates to be upstanding in their future practices and to follow in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, Pixley ka Seme, and other lawyers who lived in trying times, but who stood for ethical legal practice despite their circumstances.  She said graduates will face societal pressures and challenges. “The one-size-fits-all approach to law does not work for everyone, you will have to bring in the social justice aspect to your work,” she said. 

Prof Madonsela encouraged graduates to be lawyers who respect the provisions of the Constitution, especially in a society that is “filled with hope, but is also marred by the fear of joblessness, homelessness, landlessness.”    

What is your unique offering?

Former Chancellor’s Medal recipient (2017) and Head of the Department of Agriculture in the Western CapeJoyene Isaacs, left the group of graduates in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences with a wealth of wisdom from the pointers she provided at both the morning and afternoon ceremonies.

She urged graduates to be curious. “Nosy makes for Nobel Prize winners,” she said. Isaacs continued: “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they often lead to innovation. Understand the environment you studied in – political, environmental, economic, social, etc.”

“What is your unique offering? What package deal do you offer to an employer,” she asked.

Graduates were also challenged by her words of wisdom. “Are you prepared to work more than eight hours a day? Don’t stick to a job description. Add value,” Isaacs said.

“You don’t need to be better than someone else as much as you need to be better than you were yesterday. Small incremental improvements will result in major forward movements in your skills and achievements.”

“I salute all of you for your achievements,” she concluded.

Another highlight at the ceremony was that the first seven Postgraduate Diploma graduates in Integrated Water Management, who started in January 2018, received their qualifications.

Two presidents graduate in one ceremony

Student Representative Council President, Sonwabile Dwaba, and his predecessor, Asive Dlanjwa, shared the graduation stage on 10 April 2019. Dance and song marked the iconic Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences afternoon session.

Vian Chinner, guest speaker, enticed graduates in both sessions to leverage the ability of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to advance and augment reality. “Consider how AI is going to impact your career decisions,” said the CEO of Xineoh and Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for 2017.

Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, implored the new generation of graduates to maintain their values in a world dominated by the digital economy alluded to.Critical inquiry, social responsiveness, and integrity are the values I propose,” he said.

Karli Botha, who graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting, was named the Dean’s Medallist. Botha emerged as the best performing student in the faculty for 2018.

Humanities graduates encouraged to take leap of faith

A day of jubilation. It is only fitting to say that the graduates from the Faculty of the Humanities found the inspiration for their journey beyond the UFS.  Thembekile Mrototo, former UFS student, current broadcast journalist at radio station 947, and freelance anchor for television news channel eNCA, was the guest speaker.

 Mrototo told the 729 graduates about his journey from a student in Bloemfontein to becoming a regular face and voice on television and radio. “For a child who comes from the background that I came from, education is very important,” he said, referencing the hardships which he endured during his years of studies at the UFS.  He motivated the graduates by saying that they have the power to change the notion that ‘nothing great comes from Bloemfontein’. “You have the power – the world out there is for us to take,” he concluded.

Johnathan Kehrer was awarded the Dean's Medal for best results in respect of an Honours degree whilst Anneke Niewoudt was awarded the Dean's Medal for best results in respect of a first Bachelor's degree.

Guest speaker warns graduates of challenges facing SA education

At the University of the Free State Graduation Ceremony for the Faculty of Education on 8 April 2019, guest speaker and Chief Executive Officer of the National Education Collaboration Trust, Godwin Khoza, said graduates should be well aware that they will be going into a sector where leaders will offer no solutions to the problems, but lots of criticism.

“They will criticise learners for not learning and they will criticise teachers for being incompetent.”

Graduands exhorted: ‘Lift others as you rise’

Setlogane Manchidi, Head of Corporate Social Investment at Investec, told graduates yesterday morning: “Your success is a privilege and a responsibility. Your qualification is just a piece of paper; it is you who must give it meaning. Lift others as your rise.” In his concluding remarks, Prof Francis Petersen mirrored this sentiment: “Always remember where you studied; keep in contact with us and share with us what you are doing. Give back, keeping social responsiveness in mind.”

The parents, friends, family, and peers of 2019 UFS graduates can look forward to a flight of inspiring April graduation ceremonies that are guaranteed to soar graduates off into the finest direction of their career and overall lives.

521 UFS South Campus Open Distance Learning graduates will have the opportunity to be addressed by Head of Corporate Social Investment at Investec Bank, Mr Setlogane Manchidi. Likewise, the Faculties of Education (1 036), the Humanities (726), Economic and Management Sciences (934), Natural and Agricultural Sciences (1 188), Law (676), Health Sciences (244), and Theology and Religion (71) will have the opportunity to be addressed by expert guest speakers in the relevant career fields of the class of 2019 graduation ceremonies.

CEO of the National Education Collaborative Trust, Godwin Khoza; broadcaster on 947 and eNCA, Thembekile Mrototo; and CEO of Xineoh and Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner, Vian Chinner, will address graduates during the April graduation ceremonies. Head of Department in the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and recipient of the UFS Chancellor’s Medal (2017), Joyene Isaacs, and Chair of Social Justice at Stellenbosch University and former Public Protector of South Africa, Prof Thuli Madonsela, are also scheduled to impart words of knowledge and wisdom upon UFS graduates throughout the April graduation ceremonies, which will be taking place in the Callie Human Centre on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus from 8 to 12 April 2019. 

Kovsie graduates have described the annual UFS graduation season as a time and place that diffuses feelings of anticipation, exhilaration, and optimism on campus, where graduates can be assured of a purposeful and enriching send-off experience.

For more information about the 2019 April graduation ceremonies, visit the UFS graduations page, where students can access information about the Graduation Career Guide and Graduation Frequently-asked questions. Any other graduation enquiries may be directed to

Bloemfontein Campus: 

8 April 2019
WATCH: 8 April 2019 ( Morning Session)

Day 1 South Campus new
South Campus: Open Distance Learning
Higher certificates
Graduation Programme 

Your success is a privilege and a responsibility. Your qualification is just a piece of paper; it is you who must give it meaning. Lift others as your rise.” Setlogane Manchidi

WATCH: 8 April 2019 (Afternoon Session)

8 April Afternoon Graduation Ceremony

14:30: Faculty of Education
Undergraduate qualifications up to Honours degrees
Graduation Programme 

"Innovation and critical thinking should take a central place in our education system and this should apply to all subjects," - Godwin Khoza.

WATCH: 9 April 2019 ( Morning Session)

Morning Session
09:00:  Faculty of the Humanities
Certificates, diplomas, and Honours degrees
Graduation Programme

"You have the power to change the notion that nothing great comes from Bloem. The future is ours. The world out there is for us to take," -Thembekile Mrototo

Watch: 9 April 2019 ( Afternoon Session)

Afternoon session Humanities
Faculty of the Humanities
Undergraduate Bachelor’s degrees
Graduation Programme

"There's no greater feeling than the feeling of being supported by your parents. Even in hardships."
Thembekile Mrototo

WATCH: 10 April 2019 ( Morning Session)

Day 3 Faculty of Economic and Management Science
Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (excluding BCom)
Certificates, diplomas, degrees and Honours degrees
Graduation Programme

Consider how AI is going to impact your career decisions,” - Vian Chinner

WATCH: 10 April 2019 (Afternoon Session)


14:30: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
BCom degrees and Honours degrees
Graduation Programme

WATCH: 11 April 2019 (Morning Session)
NAS morning session

09:00: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Diplomas and Honours degrees
Graduation Programme

"Don’t rush to the top – take time to smell the flowers," - Joyene Isaacs

WATCH:11 April 2019 ( Afternoon Session)

NAS afternoon

14:30: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
Bachelor’s degrees
Graduation Programme

"Move away from your safety net and look for a trampoline,"
- Joyene Isaacs

WATCH: 12 April 2019 (Morning Session)

Faculty of Law Morning session

09:00: Faculty of Law (including School of Financial Planning Law)
Diplomas and Bachelor’s degrees 
Graduation Programme

“The one-size-fits-all approach to law does not work for everyone, you will have to bring in the social justice aspect to your work,” -
Prof Thuli Madonsela

WATCH: 12 April 2019 (Afternoon session)

Health Sciences afternoon

14:30: Faculties of Health Sciences and Theology and Religion
Undergraduate qualifications up to Honours degrees
Graduation Programme

News Archive

Qwaqwa Campus opens: Prof. PA Mbati's speech

Official welcome speech by Prof. PA Mbati for 2005 first year students held on Saturday 22nd January 2005. Program Director, The Chief Director Operations Rev. Kiepi Jaftha, Dean of Students Dr. Natie Luyt, Program Head of the Faculty of Humanities, Dr. Elias Malete, Program Head of Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Prof. Riaan Luyt, Acting Program Head of the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences Prof. Andries Venter, Deputy Director Student Affairs Mr. Teboho Manchu, Coordinator Finance: Mrs. Elizabeth Nchapi, Senior Librarian Mr. Stoffel Kok, Senior Magistrate Mr Saul Mohosho, SRC President Mr. Tello Motloung, members of staff, invited guests, parents, guardians, my dear students, ladies and gentlemen.

It is indeed my pleasure to welcome you to the official welcoming ceremony of the UFS-Qwaqwa Campus 2005 first year students. Our Rector and Vice Chancellor Professor Frederick has requested me to pass to you his warmest wishes and regards on this special occasion. I am confident that the orientation exercise in which you have participated has achieved the desired effect of introducing you to your new way of life here on campus, and that you are now sufficiently prepared to get on with the rigors of being a student at this University.

Following the restructuring of the higher education landscape, the Qwaqwa campus was incorporated into the University of the Free State with effect from January 1 2003 . As a consequence, Management was faced with a whole complex series of challenges including, primarily making the campus financially viable, but also ensuring that it remains relevant in it’s core business as a satellite campus of the University of the Free State in terms of its teaching, learning, research and community service responsibilities.

A whole series of strategic planning workshops were conducted last year with both internal and external stakeholders. Various important strategic objectives were flagged out, and the next level of consultation will take place soon. I know that there is a lot of eagerness, sometimes to the level of impatience to see this process completed as quickly as possible. But again on the other hand, due to the far reaching consequences of any hasty decisions, plus the need for a carefully planned process, we need to be a little more patient before the implementation of the strategic objectives is implemented. You will be kept informed as this important and critical aspect in the evolution of our campus takes place.

As a response to the need for a more effective governance model on the Qwaqwa campus, a review of the governance structure was completed towards the end of 2004 and will soon serve before the Executive of the Executive Management for approval.

Due to the importance that top management attaches to the development of an effective governance on the Qwaqwa campus, the process was facilitated by an internationally acclaimed consultant. Again the contents of the revised governance model will be made known to the campus and the broader community once it is approved.

I am glad to report that in recognition of the need to improve the infrastructure on campus to provide a conducive learning atmosphere to our students, a total of 8.2 million rands was made available towards the end of 2004 for recapitalization of specifically our student residences and lecture venues. The first phase of the residence renovation is completed and residences C, D and E have now been officially handed over to the University by the Contractor. Among the features of the renovated residences is that they will now computer rooms, kitchenettes for cooking, and a redesigned TV room. The rooms have even been fitted with heaters. Our challenge will now be to maintain our newly acquired facilities and to ensure that they do not again deteriorate to an un-acceptable level. The second phase of renovation will start soon.

As indicated in my address during the orientation week, our obligation to you as a campus is to offer you quality training to the best of our ability, and to disseminate this knowledge to you within a conducive atmosphere worthy of good learning. On the other hand, our students have to take advantage of this opportunity to acquire the necessary skills and training in the various academic programs that we offer on campus.

We have a very simple agenda on this campus – our vision is to continuously strive to build and develop the Qwaqwa campus of University of the Free State into a truly quality institution of higher learning in our country. To develop a tradition and culture in which we are proud of who we are, and constantly and tirelessly working towards excellence in our academic programs, and other non-academic but core and important aspects in your growth and development such as sport and community service. To nurture young conscientious citizens who are aware of their duties and responsibilities. Ultimately to produce hard working young people who fully exploit their potentials, and who will serve this country with diligence when unleashed into the real world in effectively managing their roles and responsibilities in society, whether in private or government civil service.

I would like to encourage that the various stake holders of this campus, the students, academic, administrative and support staff, and our broader community, to work together in harmony for the well being of our campus. For this campus to continue to be relevant in the environment that we find ourselves, there is a need for continuous engagement of its various stake holders, and genuinely listening to each other. We must continuously and regularly keep our feelers on alert in order that we can remain relevant.

I am particularly inviting our parents and guardians, the alumni of this campus, and leaders from our community to join hands with us in seeking solutions to the various challenges that we continue to face on campus. I am open for frank and honest discourse on the best way forward for our campus.

The University of the Free State is committed in making tertiary education accessible to as many students as possible. In this regard, students who do not have the required ‘M’ score to gain entry into main stream classes are given an opportunity to study in the highly successful ‘bridging program’ in which learners are integrated with main stream students but with fewer courses to tackle in order to ensure success. This is done on the premise that such students have the potential to pursue a degree course, and that therefore within a well structured program, they can make a success of their lives.

The University is conscious of the fact that in many instances several academically deserving students fail to be admitted into university due to financial reasons. For students who are academically deserving but who because of reasons of poverty cannot pay the requisite fees, the university is able to assist such students through the National Financial Aid Scheme – commonly known as NSFAS, and University Merit Awards. Other incentives such as Sports bursaries are also available.

Please remember that it is important to balance your life on campus and the phrase ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’ aptly describes this statement. Ensure that you participate in sport and cultural activities of this campus so that you can develop and strengthen the various God-given talents that you have been blessed with.

A second major ingredient for your success on campus is discipline and respect for rules, policies and procedures that govern the University of the Free State , and respect for your fellow students. Good discipline is a major contributory factor to success in life, and more so in your formative academic life at University. This means for example that you must attend all your lectures, complete your assignments on-time and visit the library frequently. Please manage your time wisely and responsibly. Remember that as a university student, you are basically the master and architect of your own destiny.

Think very carefully when you are confronted with difficult situations, be they negative peer pressure, or temptations to indulge in intoxicating drugs, and make the right choice.

The University has well trained personnel including a social worker, a psychologist and counselor, and members of the student affairs division under the leadership of Mr. Teboho Manchu, Deputy Director Student Affairs, who are available to assist whenever you require their help.

Today is also a special day because we have officially inaugurated the SRC President and the rest of the SRC leadership. I am sure that you all join me in congratulating the SRC for being elected to their leadership roles for 2005. Mr. SRC president and your team, please remember that you now have a huge responsibility in carrying out the aspirations of the student body on campus. I want to wish you luck and success as you champion the rights of your constituents, which I believe and trust will be compatible with management’s expectations with regard to quality teaching and learning on campus. As you are aware, Management values the input that the student leadership makes in the operational management of the affairs of this campus, and we look forward to a cordial, non-confrontational working relationship with a view of rendering un-paralleled service on campus.

Mr. Program Director, allow me to wish everyone here a successful and prosperous year. May the good Lord give us the strength and courage to overcome any obstacle that may be placed in our way in the course of our work in 2005.

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