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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

UFS Dean invited as keynote speaker at international conference
2011-03-23

Prof. Dennis Francis, Dean of Education

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) Dean of Education, Prof. Dennis Francis, has received the honour of being invited as keynote speaker at the Fourth International Conference of Education Reform (ICER).

Prof. Francis, who has already published widely in the areas of social justice education and sexuality education, will address the conference on 24 and 25 March 2011 in Luang Prabang, Laos.
 
The theme of the conference is Equality and Education. Prof. Francis will address the international audience with his speech entitled “Troubling elements of a theory of oppression that should inform the work of teachers in higher education”.
                                                                 
Prof. Francis’ keynote will address three questions, namely what challenges South African society presents to the teaching of anti-oppression, what elements of theory and pedagogy are most effective in equipping teachers and students for those challenges and what real-life experiences of teaching in the area of education for social justice can teach about pedagogy in any context where injustice and inequality prevails. He will draw on his personal experiences regarding the latter. 
 
“We need to deepen the theoretical grasp of oppression if education is to be effective in addressing social inequality. Teaching for equity and social justice education requires that we address the multiple layers of oppression that correspond with varying forms of privilege and injustice, and none of these exist in isolation.” 
 
Prof. Dennis says that he is humbled by the invitation and sees this as an opportunity to learn, grow and contribute in the area of education in social justice.


Media Release
23 March 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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