UKZN Graduations: Women Take the Lead!
Excitement is in the air! It’s that time of the year again when the University of KwaZulu-Natal confers degrees on thousands of students who will take to the stage to receive their hard-earned qualifications during the 2023 Autumn Graduation ceremonies.
The ceremonies, which take place in Pietermaritzburg from 3 to 4 May and in Durban from 8 to 12 May, will award 9 363 graduands from the Colleges of Agriculture, Engineering and Science; Health Sciences; Humanities; and Law and Management Studies with their respective qualifications. Of this total, 65% are women, 6 564 undergraduates, 2 799 postgraduates, 626 masters and 276 are doctoral graduands. The University will also celebrate the achievements of 101 graduands with disabilities.
Top academic achievements include 158 summa cum laude and 444 cum laude graduands who have completed their studies with distinction, a proud achievement for the University as more than 71% of the top achievers are women.
The University will also award seven honorary doctorates to notable individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to Social Sciences, the Arts, as well as Management. The honorary doctorates include:
• Ms Bavelile Gloria Hlongwa (Doctor of Administration), who will be awarded the degree posthumously, is remembered as a champion of youth development, women empowerment and transformation;
• Dr Michael Oliver Sutcliffe (Doctor of Administration), a distinguished local government specialist whose contributions have shaped the South African municipal landscape;
• Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah (Doctor of Literature), who will receive the degree in absentia, is a leading contemporary African intellectual;
• Mr Muziwakhe “Madala” Kunene (Doctor of Music), a world-renowned guitarist who has earned a reputation as one of the leading guitarists in South Africa;
• Mr Paul Mikula (Doctor of Architecture), a respected architect who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and promotion of KwaZulu-Natal’s arts and cultural heritage;
• Prince Bhekizizwe Zeblon Zulu (Doctor of Literature), a member of the Zulu Royal House and former member of the democratic National Assembly who has made a significant contribution to recording the rich history of the Zulu nation; and
• Professor Obioma Nnaemeka (Doctor of Social Science), a distinguished scholar and expert in the fields of gender/women’s studies and development.
The University has announced that the School of Education academic and Department of Science and Innovation/National Research Foundation South African Research Chair in Gender and Childhood Sexuality, Professor Deevia Bhana, has been made a Fellow of the University. In a distinguished academic career spanning 25 years, Bhana has pioneered high-quality research and also maintained a sustained focus on gender and sexuality as it is experienced in the course of young adolescent lives.
The recipient of the Distinguished Teachers’ Award - conferred to outstanding teachers who demonstrate innovation and excellence in the areas of curriculum development, teaching methodology and assessment methods - is Dr Dalene Vosloo, a senior lecturer in Ecotoxicology and Academic Leader of Cellular Biology in the School of Life Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.
Photograph: Sethu Dlamini