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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

Health Sciences dean’s term extended
2008-09-17

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) has unanimously decided to extend the term of office of the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Letticia Moja, by another five years.

Prof Moja became the first black woman to be appointed dean of a medical faculty in South Africa in 2003.

She has been at the helm of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the UFS for the past six years, first as the Acting Dean and then as the Dean. Under her leadership the faculty has achieved great successes and remains one of the leading Health Sciences faculties in South Africa.

However, she still faces many challenges that she hopes to overcome in the next five years to fully accomplish the mission of the faculty to promote the well-being of the community by means of education, research, community service and comprehensive health care delivery.

She hopes to achieve this by attracting and retaining dedicated and well-qualified staff to the faculty, supporting students in all aspects of their life, implementing regular assessment of the teaching and learning environment, mentoring young researchers and increasing the intake of students from previously disadvantaged communities.

Prof Moja is the current vice-president of the Health Professions Council of South Africa and the treasurer of the central region of the South African Association of Health Educationalists.

She is also the director of the UFS’s Grow Our Own Timber project which is aimed at developing black academics. She is a member of the Medical and Dental Council and also serves on its executive committee.

Her current term of office expires on 30 November 2008.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
17 September 2008
 

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