(Published - 16 April 2019)
“The University of the Western Cape and its graduands are essentially the same - like their university, our graduates show resilience, determination and the ability to go the distance in achieving their goals. And we engage with matters that make a difference to the society of which we are a part.”
These were the words of UWC’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, during the University’s April 2019 Graduation - during which the University conferred 60 Doctoral degrees, 254 Master’s degrees, 676 Honours degrees, 2131 Bachelor’s degrees and 388 diplomas and certificates.
“As you move out into the world, much will be demanded and expected of you,” Prof Pretorius noted. “During your time at UWC, you have acquired skills that stretch far beyond those gained in the classroom. These will stand you in good stead as you enter the world of work and society at large - but to be the best you can be, you will also be required to do the right thing, to live with integrity and kindness. If you do this, you will find that you have contributed to making the world a better place."
The University and its alumni have done all this and more, he noted.
“Throughout our six decades of existence, we have consistently punched way above our weight - and today we have seven faculties generating world-class research, producing more than half of South Africa’s oral hygienists and dentists each year, having astronomers and astrophysicists who work on the Square Kilometre Array, the world’s most powerful radio telescope,” Pretorius said.
Those words were proven true time and again - as Graduation continued, many other UWC successes played out alongside the ceremonies. Among them:
- UWC was the only South African university ranked among the world’s top 200 higher education institutions in the very first Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2019 - a pioneering initiative to recognise universities across the world for their social and economic impact, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
- The University’s impressive contributions to the fields of science, engineering, technology and innovation received another thumbs-up with no less than six staff members being nominated for the 2018/2019 NSTF-South32 Awards - including a lifetime award for A-rated nanoelectrochemist Prof Emmanuel Iwuoha.
- UWC hosted its third annual Academic Achievers Awards, celebrating and recognising excellence and outstanding achievements among staff and students alike - a way of acknowledging and driving excellence in learning and teaching and an integrated approach to the scholarship of community engagement.
For UWC’s Chancellor, the Most Reverend Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba, these achievements were just the tip of the iceberg.
“You have done well to reach this milestone,” he told the assembled graduates, “but it’s not the end of the journey. You now begin a new phase of your life. I don’t know where your road will take you, or what the future holds. But I do know that there will be challenges and opportunities to which you as our alumni will respond.”
He urged the students to commit themselves to building an equitable and progressive society in which their skills and knowledge would be used to eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment.
“Each one of you now has the potential to become a great change agent in your sphere of influence in our societies,” he said. “And I hope you will reach back and lend a helping hand to others who need it - today, tomorrow and for generations yet to come.”
UWC April Graduation 2019: Celebrating Student Success
The University of the Western Cape celebrated the achievements of thousands of its students at its April Graduation 2019, recognising hard work and achievement across all seven faculties, and highlighting some of the many success stories the University has to tell. Some of these success stories include...
Claim To Fame
Measuring transitional matrix elements using first-order perturbation theory in Coulomb excitation
Senamile’s thesis follows on from work conducted as part of a major African-led experiment at CERN, one of the world's largest and most respected centres for scientific research. The only woman in the group, she has since launched an initiative to empower women in science i South Africa and beyond.
A multimodal discourse analysis of bodies-in-protest on Twitter: case of Sans Souci Girls High School
When a Cape Town high school came under fire for discriminatory practices, it was just one example of the struggle for the realisation of Africanised identities and language in former white spaces in an era of decoloniality. UWC Linguistics Masters student Amy Hiss took a look.
The observed bispectrum for SKA and other galaxy surveys
Next-generation galaxy surveys will deliver detailed maps of the Universe and help tackle the deepest mysteries of the cosmos - thanks to UWC Astrophysics PhD graduate and post-doc Sheean Jolicoeur’s pioneering theoretical analysis of the galaxy bispectrum.
Life beyond protests: an ethnographic study of what it means to be an informal settlement resident in Kanana/Gugulethu
South Africa has been called the protest capital of the world - and that’s particularly evident in informal settlements. But what drives shack residents to protest? And how can we understand them as people? UWC Anthropology Masters student Mzulungile Gaqa investigated.
Water regime requirements and possible climate change effects on Fynbos Biome Restionaceae
The Cape Floristic Region is one of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots, home to over 9 000 vascular plant species. It’s also notoriously vulnerable to climate change and prone to drought. With climate change pressing on, what will the fate of the Cape’s wetlands fynbos be?
Fostering collaboration amongst business intelligence, business decision makers and statisticians for the optimal use of big data in marketing strategies
What is the new role of the business statistician? Uncovering the complexity of optimal use of Big Data from a marketing strategy perspective, Louise De Koker’s thesis brings together the concepts of collaboration and organisational culture for a 21st century approach to business.
The relationship between ideology, food (in)security and socio-religious cohesion in the Old Testament with special reference to Deuteronomy and eighth century prophets
Food scarcity can cause people (and peoples) to destroy each other - and that’s as true of xenophobic attacks in South Africa today as it was thousands of years ago during Biblical times. UWC Theology graduate Zukile Ngqeza explored this connection in his Master’s research.
Know of any more UWC graduates who are making a difference in the world? Well, sharing is caring - so just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!