UP provided financial support to 55% of the 12 511 students set to graduate this autumn

Posted on April 15, 2024

The University of Pretoria (UP) will confer degrees on 12 511 undergraduate and postgraduate students during its autumn graduation season, which will take place between 15 April and 15 May 2024 on Hillcrest campus. Notably, more than half of these graduates have benefited from financial assistance provided by the University.

Parents, guardians, donors, members of the media and friends of the University will be attending the graduation ceremonies, where 270 doctorates, 1 410 master’s degrees, 2 234 honours degrees, 6 832 bachelor’s degrees, 1 214 postgraduate diplomas and 551 advanced certificates will be conferred. Among these graduates are individuals who have triumphed over significant personal challenges to reach this milestone.

“The University has always encouraged members of the UP community to seek additional funding beyond that of government grants in order to support vulnerable students in realising their dreams,” said Professor Themba Mosia, Interim Vice-Chancellor and Principal at UP. “We are in the service of producing graduates who are equipped with knowledge and skills to make an impact on their communities and the world; as such, we support them wherever possible.

“Our motto, #MakeTodayMatter, inspires us to create positive change in our communities and in the lives of those around us,” Prof Mosia added. “This extends to our graduates, whose achievements fill us with pride. Initiatives such as the UP Giving Day Campaign – launched in 2022 with the aim of raising R100 million over three years to aid students who are ineligible for bank loans or support from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme – enable us to provide support beyond tuition fees. This assistance encompasses vital needs such as nutrition, psycho-social well-being, accommodation and more.”

Recipients of the Chancellor’s medal, bestowed for outstanding research accomplishments, will share the stage with the graduates. The recipients are Nonkululeko Gobodo, who, in 1987, made history as the first black woman in South Africa to qualify as a chartered accountant, and Dr Reuel Jethro Khoza, a businessman, academic and author who is recognised for advocating ethical leadership, collaborative management and sound governance across private and public organisations.

In addition, three professionals will be awarded honorary doctorates in recognition of their significant contributions to their respective fields: Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa; Prof Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in the US; and Prof Toyin Falola, a Nigerian intellectual and author who is widely regarded as a leading figure in African literature.

- Author James Mahlokwane

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