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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 tightens links with Netherlands’ Dronten University
2007-08-10

 

The University of the Free State (UFS) and CAH Dronten Professional Agricultural University, the Netherlands are expanding and strengthening the relationship between the two institutions. The focus of the cooperation will initially be within the Departments of Agricultural Economics and Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences.

Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, visited Dronten recently to investigate the possibility and feasibility of a more formal linkage between the two institutions. That was followed by a visit from Dr Will Beckering to the UFS where a letter of undertaking was signed, paving the way for the establishment of a memorandum of understanding and implementation agreements.

Both the institutions share an interest in the training of emerging farmers; the carrying out of an agricultural skills development project; short-term visits of staff for consultations and lecturing; formulating and implementing projects on capacity development to broaden access to professional education; exchange of students for study programmes, placement projects; curricular development, more especially the possibilities of developing a joint master’s degree programme; and identifying the possibilities of the use of e-learning in joint educational programmes.

Signing a letter of understanding, were, from the left, front: Dr Will Beckering from Dronten and Prof. Herman van Schalkwyk, back: Dr Aldo Stroebel (Head: Internationalisation) and Prof. Izak Groenewald (Director: Centre for Sustainable Agriculture).

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