UWC Celebrates Student Success With Summer Graduation 2017 - Sending Out Citizens of the World
“Graduations are very special and significant occasions in the annual cycle of universities. These ceremonies, more than any other occasion, show us what all the hard work is all about - producing leaders with the knowledge base to be change agents in o ur society.”
So said UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, speaking at UWC’s Summer Graduation 2017 ceremony on 19 December 2017. And this year, the University proved how serious it was by graduating a record amount of those change agents - 615 degrees, diplomas and certificates were conferred in the ceremony, and together with the earlier Autumn and Spring Graduation ceremonies, that means a record number of more than 5000 graduates for 2017, including hundreds of postgrads and well over 100 PhDs.
“Our society is faced with a plethora of social, economic and political challenges. It is a society that is in desperate need of inspirational and ethical leadership and hope,” Prof Pretorius said. “All these challenges cannot be resolved without an educated and skilled populace. It is in this context that your achievements should be celebrated - as they inspire hope for the future.”
Some of those hope-inspiring stories include:
Zambia’s Tiza NG’uni, whose PhD tackled the growing problem of antibiotic resistant germs by examining the effectiveness of indigenous medicinal plants - a story she shares in excellent style in SA’s best postgrad science writing publication, Science Today.
Bellville-based Carinne Adams, who proved that hard work pays off when she achieved her dream of getting her BSc in Dietetics, summa cum laude, despite financial challenges.
Zandisiwe Magwebu, who became the first Doctor in her entire family (in Worcester or the Eastern Cape) for her work on the genetics of nonketotic hyperglycinemia in captive bred vervet monkeys, and who’s working for the SAMRC on animal models for non-communicable diseases.
Elsies River-resident Adaryll Simpson, who never thought he’d get the chance to study, but got his BPharm degree while working - and with the encouragement and support of his employer, MeloMed.
“Empowered with the knowledge and skills you have acquired, you will go on to become entrepreneurs and innovators, educators of our children, carers of the sick and the old, intellectual shapers and leaders of various structures of society,” Prof Pretorius added.
“Well done to all of you - now go out into the world and make your mark, and fly the flag for UWC.”
UWC By The Numbers in 2017
Graduation is a time to reflect on where UWC has been, and where it’s going - and on its current status: as a world-class university that’s dedicated to excellence, producing world-class thinking and research, and impacting society in so many ways. Here are a few UWC numbers worth remembering...
1: Former UWC Vice-Chancellor, Prof Brian O’Connell, received the NRF’s highest honour, the NRF Lifetime Achievement Award, for his tireless efforts in promoting science and reason in the lives of many South Africans.
3 UWC academics received HELTASA National Excellence in Teaching and Learning awards this year for their innovative and effective techniques
3%: UWC is in the top 3% of research-intensive universities worldwide, according to the 2017 World University Rankings
10 UWC Alumni have gone on to become Rectors or Vice-Chancellors of South African universities.
14 SARChI Chairs are held by UWC, providing leadership on everything from Astrophysics to Health Systems Governance to Post-school Education
20: The number of state-of-the-art school science labs developed by UWC’s Science Learning Centre for Africa in 2017 alone
102: UWC’s ranking among all 2 500 universities in the BRICS countries (placing it in the top 5 percent)
144 NRF rated researchers make UWC their home
2 000: UWC’s Research Repository holds over 2 000 papers by researchers, accessible to anybody in the world
12 000: The number of students from South Africa and other African countries who have participated in the UWC School of Public Health’s Summer and Winter School since it began