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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

SRC outlines direction for students at the UFS
2009-09-29

This week, the Student Representative Councils (SRC) of the Main and Qwaqwa Campuses of the University of the Free State (UFS) announced the direction that the student community would follow during their term of office.

Following various difficult situations in the process to diversify the student body and to foster integration among students during the last term of office, the student leaders firstly engaged on prevailing stereotypes among students.

They considered shared values that would assist the student community in building a united spirit and healthy student life on the campuses.

The SRC reached consensus that all students should strive to realise and inspire the following values in student life:

  • Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Respect
  • Counter-cultural leadership
  • Equality

This year the SRC will focus the attention of the university as a whole, but specifically that of the student body on:

  • Growing international competitiveness
  • Promoting continuously meaningful leadership
  • Rolling out broad-based leadership development of all students
  • Social integration of all and diverse groups
  • Developing academic programmes with a broader perspective

The SRC wishes to contribute in building an institution where students grow to maturity through meaningful leadership and total student development.

They seek an environment where students are continuously intellectually stimulated through research-based activities and where student skills development is maximised by evolving a common curriculum.

The student leaders furthermore resolved that they want graduates of the university to differentiate themselves by their distinctive leadership ability

They expect that the university community will exhibit a human-centred focus on reconciliation and on the transformation and integration of diverse groups and that all stakeholder groups will receive equitable opportunities.

In the final instance they envisage that the university will continue to grow as an institution that is respected and internationally recognised.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
25 September 2009

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