Meet the Oluseguns – a family of UP graduates

Posted on May 23, 2024

“We were motivated to choose the University of Pretoria (UP) because of our desire for the best and because of UP’s global footprint,” says Dr Rachael Olusegun, who – along with her husband and three children – is a graduate of the University.

Dr Olusegun recently graduated with a PhD in Education Management, Law and Policy during UP’s autumn graduation ceremonies, and chose to pursue her postgraduate studies at the University, because “it is a leading research university”.

Her research topic was inspired by the Telkom Foundation’s Connected Schools Project, which was launched in 2017. It provided state-of-the-art information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and services to under-resourced public schools in Gauteng.

“My research investigated the ICT infrastructure management in under-resourced public schools through public-private partnerships,” Dr Olusegun says. “I investigated how the Telkom Foundation and the recipient schools collaborated to manage the ICT infrastructure to enhance teaching and learning. Through the study, I developed an innovative model of ICT infrastructure management through public-private partnerships.”

Her husband, Olusegun Olanipekun, was also capped during the autumn graduation, having received an LLM.

His research focuses on how African countries create and share state power and authority among national, provincial and municipal governments through their constitutions. It is a case study of the constitutional provisions of South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria for empowering local/municipal governments.

The Olusegun family 

The research posited that there is often a significant gap between what constitutions promise and what happens in society. Good leaders who can turn these promises into real improvements for society can bridge this gap. The research outcome could serve as a guide for national leaders on how to turn constitutional dreams into reality in local communities.

The couple’s three children also share the same alma mater as their parents.

Emmanuel, who graduated with an LLB in 2020 and practises as an attorney for a Western Cape-based law firm, says UP’s Law Faculty was well established when he enrolled, and ranked number one in South Africa and Africa. That’s why “getting an LLB from the department automatically sets one apart in the job market”, he says.

“UP has prepared me for the workplace by creating a collaborative space that encourages professional development,” Emmanuel says. “Receiving the email confirming that I had passed my LLB was a wonderful moment. It was the culmination of years of hard work and support from my parents.”

Olive – who obtained a BSc in Architecture in 2019 and works as a part-time lecturer in the Architecture Department at UP – says education is the development of personal growth, agency and critical thinking, which are effective tools with which to navigate the world.

She believes that alumni have to act as university brand ambassadors in their various fields globally.

“Alumni can potentially come back to the university in various capacities, as student tutors or lecturers, to build on the knowledge they gained outside and at the university,” she says. “For example, I’m working as a part-time lecturer in the first-year design studio in the Architecture Department. It is fulfilling to be able to guide students who are where I was a few years ago.”

Joshua, who graduated with a BCom Law degree in 2021 and works as an administrator at a faith-based organisation in Pretoria, is grateful to his family for all their support when he was facing difficulties while studying, which almost prevented him from graduating. 

“I had health challenges that made it almost impossible for me to graduate,” he recalls. “But with determination, family support and the university support system, I graduated against all odds. I am also grateful to UP for teaching me how to deal with stressful situations constructively – it prepared me for the outside world.”

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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