Women lead UFH 2023 May Graduation - Celebrating 100 Years of Graduation

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Sixty-three percent (63%) of the graduands to be capped during the University of Fort Hare (UFH) 2023 May graduation are women. In addition, over 60% of those graduating cum laude are women.

Altogether, 2992 graduands will cross the graduation stage at the University’s Alice Sports Complex to collect their merited qualifications during 10 sessions to be held this week, 15-19 May. This year’s ceremonies are special because they mark 100 years of students graduating at this historic institution.

The Chancellor, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza SC, and the Vice-Chancellor Prof Sakhela Buhlungu will confer the following degrees:

  • 2168 Undergraduate Degrees
  • 412 Honours
  • 302 Postgraduate Diploma and certificates
  • 77 Masters Degrees
  • 33 Doctoral Degrees

Morning and afternoon sessions will be held for the University’s six faculties.

Today, 15 May, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities will graduate 810 students during a morning and afternoon session. On Tuesday, 667 students from Management and Commerce will be capped also during two sessions. On Wednesday, Law (morning) and Health Sciences (afternoon) will graduate 228 and 138 students, respectively.

On Thursday, 652 future educators will cross the stage in two sessions for the Faculty of Education and the final day will see the Faculty of Science and Agriculture graduate 497 students.

Commenting ahead of this special occasion, Mr Actor Katurura, Acting Deputy Registrar: Academic and Administration said: “As we stand at the cusp of the University of Fort Hare’s centennial graduation ceremonies, my thoughts for some reason have turned to the 2002 coming of age comedy-drama, “Drumline”. Drumline is a “fish out of water” story about a gifted young man from Harlem who gets a place at a historically black College in Atlanta, Georgia.”

“Certainly, many of you graduating this season are young. That you are here is surely testimony that you are gifted and for some of you at least, arriving at and trying to fit into this citadel of higher learning was a real fish out of water experience and yet in the coming days we will be celebrating your triumphant journey through your chosen areas of study.”

“This means that you have traveled through contested territory and that every inch of ground you gained, every module that you passed required dedication, preparedness, hard and smart work, and more. Over and above the usual and inevitable challenges of higher education the bulk of your studies were during the miasma that came with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Remarking on the 100th year of graduation, Katurura accentuated on the evolution of UFH graduations since 1924. “Having come this far it is therefore fitting that there is evidence of real transformation in patterns of achievement at this graduation. This year there will be more female graduates at every level except at the doctoral level but even here the gap between the number of male and female graduates is closing. The majority of those graduating with cum laude are also women.”

“Graduation is a very distinct coming of age event, which is why in America they have “commencement” speeches delivered on such occasions. One of the punchlines from the movie Drumline says, “Gentlemen [and ladies] you have now crossed the burning sands….!”  The phrase aptly captures that “against all odds journey’” of challenge and sacrifice which you have gone through to arrive at this point. Therefore, you who are graduating here can now rightfully bang on the doors of opportunity, whether they be in education, careers, entrepreneurial endeavor, or any other, and proclaim, “We have crossed the burning sands, grant us entry!”

Congratulations to all our graduates. You have now joined the ranks of UFH's esteemed alumni, go forth and make your mark in the world.