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16 March 2020
University of the Western Cape Graduations: Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures

(Published - 16 March 2020)

The culmination of a student’s studies is a graduation ceremony. Students look forward to this day when they can share their achievement with loved ones and receive their certificates proudly.

The current global crisis of the COVID-19 virus has, unfortunately, cast a shadow on this milestone. Understanding the significance of graduating, especially for employment opportunities, is critical in deciding how the University of the Western Cape (UWC) will accommodate students who were meant to graduate in March/April 2020. However, the safety of our students is of paramount concern, and the following plan was developed to prevent any delay of their graduation, while ensuring their safety.


Planning for crises is integral to any organisation, and UWC has considered a contingency plan around graduations that will assist students in having their qualifications conferred on them as well as receiving their certificates virtually. This is especially possible as we embrace technology and how it can be used constructively.

The Chancellor, who in terms of our Institutional Statute (s5.1) “confers degrees on behalf of the University”, together with the Rector and Vice-Chancellor and Registrar, will digitally hold a small official ceremony where all qualifications will be conferred to graduands whose names appear in the March/April 2020 graduation booklets. Once the ceremony, which will be filmed and available on various platforms, is concluded, graduates will be permitted to collect their certificates from the University.

Where this possibility does not exist, the University may consider alternative arrangements for certificates to be received by graduates.

At a later stage, once business returns to normal, the University may hold a special ceremony for graduates who may wish to attend.