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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

Thirteen Scholarships for Science and Mathematics learners awarded
2011-02-15

The Thirteen Scholarship winners are seen here with: Back: Mr Cobus van Breda (Project Manager, School for Continuing Education, far left), Prof. Jonathan Jansen (Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, Second from the right), Prof Dennis Francis (Dean of the Faculty of Education, on the right), Middle: Ms Elizna Prinsloo (School for Continuing Education, left) and Ms. Pearl Nhlane (SANRAL, right).
- Photo: Stephen Collet

Thirteen learners from the University of the Free State (UFS)’s School for Continuing Education (SCE) were successful in their applications for school scholarships at SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency). This represents more than a third of the successful applications countrywide.

The SCE’s ICT Laboratory aims to enable and encourage more learners to enter into science related studies and careers. To achieve this, 180 selected learners from Grade 10, 11 and 12 are exposed to activities at the ICT Laboratory every year. “It is an attempt not only to foster a positive attitude towards Mathematics and Science amongst learners, but also to raise their knowledge and skills levels through e-Education in Science and Mathematics,” says Mr Cobus van Breda, Project Manager of the programme.
 
As part of the programme, learners have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship at the sponsor, namely SANRAL (South African National Roads Agency). The scholarship not only covers all school and hostel fees for the particular year, but also includes stationary as well as school and sports outfits of the learner.
 
At a recent information session for successful learners and their parents held at the UFS, Ms Pearl Nhlane of SANRAL congratulated the learners and said that “SANRAL is recognising the hard work of the learners by investing in them”. Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, in turn thanked SANRAL for their initiative and told the learners “that one has to take the gap when one gets the opportunity”, indicating to the learners that the scholarship can be seen as such an opportunity, since it can possibly pave the way to study benefits in future.  

 

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