UKZN Graduation 2017: Numbers of Doctoral Graduates on the Up General

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s 2017 Graduation will see 10 148 certificates awarded at 23 Graduation ceremonies, starting on the Westville campus on Monday, 03 April and ending on the Pietermaritzburg campus on Wednesday, 12 April.

The University is especially proud to highlight some of its notable achievements which reflect further advancement of transformation in Higher Education.

There has been a marked increase in Research Masters and Doctoral graduands with numbers having more than doubled over the past five years. Research Masters graduands rose from 260 in 2012 to 625 in 2017, and Doctoral graduands from 150 in 2012 to 350 in 2017. This is largely due to an increase in Doctoral enrolments, i.e. 1 283 in 2011 to 3 051 in 2016.

This growth in the numbers of Masters and Doctoral enrolments and graduands is in response to imperatives set out in South Africa’s National Development Plan and contributes to UKZN’s success in excelling as the No.1 research-led University in South Africa.

Another notable achievement is the increasing number of women who are graduating cum laude and summa cum laude, outperforming their male counterparts in terms of numbers. This has been the trend over the past five years.

Of the 336 cum laude graduands, 62% are women while 67% of the 119 summa cum laude graduands, are women. The percentage of women graduands overall is 61.3% this year.

About 2 043 degrees will be conferred in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, 4 604 in the College of Humanities, 2 339 in the College of Law and Management Studies, and 1 162 in the College of Health Sciences.

Furthermore, 89 graduands with disabilities will be capped.

UKZN will honour four leading South Africans for their significant contributions in the fields of Arts, Social Sciences, Law, and Business. Through their innovation, expertise and intellect in their respective fields the honorary graduands have changed the lives of people both in South Africa and around the world.

Two academics will receive the University’s Distinguished Teachers’ Award for teaching excellence. They are Dr Cecile Proches in the Graduate School of Business and Leadership and Dr Vittorio Tramontin in the School of Engineering.

Two prominent academics, Professor Deresh Ramjugernath, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research; and Professor Rob Slotow, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences, will be made Fellows of UKZN. University Fellowships are conferred annually on outstanding academics for research excellence and distinguished academic achievement.

Honorary Doctorates will be conferred on:

Mr Justice Barathanathan (Thumba) Pillay, a highly respected member of the legal profession who has made a lifetime contribution to the struggle against apartheid, the development of a democratic South Africa and to advancing human rights and social justice for all South Africans.
Dr Kumi Naidoo, the Launch Director of the Pan African social movement, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity. He is recognised for his outstanding contribution to the South African struggle for democracy, the international fight against climate change and the struggle against poverty and injustice.
Hugh Masekela, an African Music legend, a world-renowned musician and a struggle icon, whose political campaign through music, contributed to liberation. He is recognised locally and internationally not only as a superb performer and entertainer, but also as an inspiration to all.
Wendy Luhabe, a pioneer in the area of economic empowerment of women. Her revolutionary ideas enabled South African women to become investors. She launched the first R120 million private equity fund that provides capital to women-owned businesses and is recognised for her dedication to the empowerment of African women.
Sejal Desai