Spring Graduation Ceremonies at the University of Pretoria

Posted on September 07, 2012

Ms. Surty holds a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) for which she qualified under the supervision of Prof David Fourie of the School of Public Management and Administration with coursework and a minidissertation titled: ‘Community based design and planning for strengthening the Integrated Development Planning (IDP) processes in the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality’.

The purpose of the study leading to the said minidissertation was to utilise the Community Based Planning (CBP) model in local wards through a pilot system of one (1) ward per municipality in four of the municipalities in the Bojanala district and to determine the impact of the pilots on the service-delivery planning processes in the wards concerned. The study demonstrated that CBP is an essential component in the drafting of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) of a municipality.

Prof Carol Diane Lee is attached to the Department of African-American Studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Her research addresses cultural support for learning that includes a broad ecological focus, with attention to language and literacy among African-American youth.

She has led three international delegations in education on behalf of the People to People’s Ambassador Program to South Africa and the People’s Republic of China.

Prof Lee has received the President’s Pacesetters Award from the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education.

The University of Pretoria is one of the largest universities in South Africa, with a rich cultural diversity. It has a total student population of close to 62 000, of which approximately 45 000 are contact students. Of these, 46.9% are black and 52.9% white. The University also attracts students from the rest of the African continent and all parts of the world. The enrolment of about 4 000 international students for this year has made a significant contribution to the imprimatur of the University as an academic establishment.

During the Spring Graduation Ceremony the University of Pretoria conferred 1 406 academic awards for qualifications ranging from diplomas to doctorates.

More than 9 000 undergraduates and postgraduates received certificates, diplomas and degrees at the University’s Autumn Graduation Ceremony in April this year.

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University, Prof Cheryl de la Rey, describes graduation day as a red-letter day in the life of both the University as an institution, as well as that of its students, as it is an important rite of passage which symbolises success and the achievement of an ideal. “When a person graduates, it signifies the end of one phase of life and the beginning of a new one”, thus Prof de la Rey.

Prof de la Rey also expressed the view that graduation was an opportunity for the University to reflect on the state of education in South Africa, and particularly on the role of the University of Pretoria in changing people’s lives. “Our contribution to national development lies primarily in producing graduates who are valued for their academic and professional skills, and for their ability to bring about a better society for all of us”, said Prof De la Rey.

Prof Carol Diane Lee, delivers her address shortly after receiving her honorary doctoral degree in Education.

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