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21 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Ian van Straaten
Dr Thandi Gumede
Dr Thandi Gumede graduated with a PhD in Polymer Science. She is from Intabazwe, Harrismith.

The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State was a hive of activity on 17 and 18 May 2019, when over 800 degrees, diplomas, and certificates were conferred on deserving achievers. These included six PhDs and 14 master’s degrees across the four faculties.

Congratulating the graduates on both days, was Africa’s youngest PhD and Industrial Psychology lecturer, Dr Musawenkosi Saurombe, and Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor.

Be like heat

Dr Saurombe started her address by relating her school journey that saw her starting Grade 1 at age 5, thus later matriculating at the age of 15, having skipped Grades 3 and 10. She went on to emphasise the importance of building an honourable character.

“As a graduate, you will soon realise that your degree is useless if you do not have character,” she said to an attentive audience that continued to marvel at her remarkable school history. She encouraged graduates to be like heat that cannot be seen but can only be felt. “Noise can often be seen and heard, but it cannot be felt. However, while heat cannot always be seen, it is always felt. Be like heat and may your presence always be felt,” she said.

Do not focus on yourself

Prof Francis Petersen also encouraged graduates to look beyond their degrees by developing a set of critical values.
 
“For us as the university, this ceremony is not just about your degrees. It is about the values that you must live by,” he said. “As a graduate of the UFS, do not just believe what you are told. Ask questions and engage critically. Secondly, do not just focus on yourself. Remember that you are part of a community and it is your responsibility to make our world a better place for others. You need to be socially responsive to the needs of your community. Thirdly, remember that integrity plays a very important role. This will determine how others value you,” he said.

The two ceremonies also saw three current SRC members graduating. They are Lebohang Miya (BEd FET – Accounting and Business Studies), Duduzile Mhlongo (BA – Geography and isiZulu), and Mhlongo Sinemfundo (BA – Geography and isiZulu).

News Archive

Competition can assist with transformation
2008-06-04

At the announcement of the winners of the transformation competition were, from the left, front: Ms Khani Seatile, Prof. Helena van Zyl, Director of the School of Management, Ms Charlotte Gallego, Ms Debbie Packwood; back: Mr Valentine Ndhlela and Mr Roger Potgieter.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

     

Competition can assist with transformation

The School of Management of the University of the Free State (UFS) held a transformation competition amongst its MBA and BML students. The winners were announced at a function that was held on the Main Campus of the university in Bloemfontein this week.

Prof. Helena van Zyl, Director of the School of Management, said: “The competition gave the students the opportunity to apply their expertise and knowledge and in this way they could add value to the university’s challenge to manage the transformation process effectively and to the benefit of all.” In the competition students had to provide recommendations to the management of the UFS on the effective management of the transformation process at the institution.

The winners in the MBA category were Ms Charlotte Gallego and Mr Roger Potgieter. In the BML category Mr Valentine Ndhlela, Ms Khani Seatile and Ms Debbie Packwood were the winners. The winners can attend either a conference on knowledge, culture and change at organisations in the United Kingdom or a conference on entrepreneurship in Ireland. This prize includes air fare, accommodation and the registration fee for the conference. They also get a 10%-bonus mark in a module of their choice.

Some of the suggestions made by the students include:

The use of the Reitz incident as an empowering tool for skills development for all staff to participate in and not only the previously disadvantaged communities.

Another suggestion was that it is not enough to acknowledge people’s issues involved in organisational change and restructuring in an organisation. Management must be equipped to deal with these challenges. In order to ensure long-term survival, the university must develop skills in strategic transformation.

One of the students also suggested the displaying of notice boards in student residences to enhance unity and shared values, using the slogan “We are all human beings no matter what we are”.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel:  051 401 2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za
4 June 2008

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