30 May 2022

Addressing the attendees, Chancellor Justice Mandisa Maya welcomed everyone to the auspicious occasion: “We have gathered here today to honour the class of 2022, an exceptional group of young women and men, and congratulate them for their hard-won achievements”.

“Attaining a university qualification is a tough undertaking under the best of circumstances, one can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you to do so under the challenging conditions that the pandemic brought about. Meeting these kinds of odds must take tremendous focus, inner strength, adaptability and resilience and we deeply admire your courage and dedication, and we applaud you for your hard work”, she added.

 Justice Maya continued, “You have reached a golden milestone, one that lays a strong foundation for you and opens the door for you to the future and a wide-open world and job market. While I have no wish to spoil your special day, I have to remind you that it is unfortunately a deeply troubled and harsh world set by all manner of great ills. Extreme inequality, joblessness, poverty, violence, greed, corruption, cyberbullying, depression, anxiety and other diseases, climate changes and many others that my generation cannot eradicate.”

“I want to take a moment and make a special plea to the young men we are honouring today and indeed all the men in this audience. There is a very dark cloud that is hovering around us that we simply cannot ignore. South African girls and women are under siege. South Africa holds the world title of abusing, raping and killing females no matter their age. Women are afraid for their lives every time, even in our own homes, and no number of laws will eradicate this evil. It is the attitude of men learning to respect and protect women that will save us from this evil."

UMPInternational graduates from Mozambique and India respectively, Payal Chetan Mehta and Rithuparna Nathan.

UMP Vice-Chancellor Professor Thoko Mayekiso said: “As each graduate walks across the stage and receives their qualification I want you to know that I am greatly honoured to share this special moment with you. The gathering was a magnificent academic forum to affirm the achievement of students.

This reaffirms the intellectual bonds that connect us to those who have crossed this stage and graduated from our great institution and those who will do so in centuries to come."

Professor Mayekiso further said UMP is truly a growing university, which means with distinctions the university is on the verge of establishing a mark nationally and internationally.

“I am honoured to be here with you and congratulate you on achieving this important milestone. By reaching this point in your education journey you have distinguished yourselves as disciplined, committed hard-working South Africans who are determined to make the change we want to see in your lives. This is your moment of pride in your achievements and anticipation for the opportunities and accomplishments that lay ahead.”

“The knowledge you have acquired has not only equipped you to better understand our world but also how to change it. South Africa needs you and your skills to contribute to our nation’s growth and development. Education is a proud accomplishment for any individual, their family or community. It is one of the venture's assets in life that nobody can take away from you, when we welcomed you to UMP a few years ago we urged you to use your time at UMP productively and to be bold in your intellectual pursuits, “she said.

Professor Mayekiso said that it is their responsibility as the university to create a supportive environment that natures students’ enthusiasm and guides them to success.

UMPIn celebration mood, Bachelor of Education graduate.

Giving a congratulatory message to graduates, UMP Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning Professor Shirley Sommers said that it is heartfelt for her to be at the ceremony to offer congratulatory messages to graduates.

“Class of 2022, you have exhibited resilience and persistence, you have made tremendous achievements during a pandemic and its contaminated challenges. You have adapted to online learning, Moodle and responders. Your presence today is a testimony that you have lived the UMP values.

UMPA total of 1 112 UMP students graduated in 2022.

“You are today because of the expertise, skills and the knowledge of UMP’s academic staff and academic support staff, so please rise and give a standing ovation for the remarkable work they have done,” she said.

“Graduates, the world awaits you, it awaits your ingenuity, so go out there and make the world a better place, a better place than you found it and you can make it a better place by ensuring that you build instead of destroying, by being a problem solver instead of being a problem creator. You can make this world a better place by practising what we have taught you here at UMP. Remember when you first came, we spoke about graduate attributes, well you have those attributes now." 

The 2022 UMP Graduation highlights included the awarding of 25 different qualifications, six of which were new. Further highlights included: 15 Master’s degrees were awarded/conferred. 40 students had been awarded/conferred their qualifications with a Cum Laude (distinction).

33 recipients of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship graduated. 13 students who are recipients of the UMP Excellence Awards will be graduating. Graduating students were from five different countries including South African Member of Parliament, Mr Timothy Mashele (MP) who graduated with a Bachelor of Development Studies Honours.

@ Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures by ChrisplPhoto