Tomorrow (Friday, 29 May 2020), UKZN will host a virtual Graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 who were set to receive their qualifications during the autumn Graduation Ceremonies.

The decision to host a virtual Graduation has been made in accordance with the national lockdown and social distancing regulations to safeguard all South Africans from contracting COVID-19.

For graduands, the annual Graduation ceremonies – which are a joyous and grand occasion – are their proudest moment. ‘Although we are confined from hosting a traditional Graduation ceremony where thousands converge on our Durban and PMB campuses, we are elated at the opportunity to gather in a virtual space and celebrate in a whole new and unconventional way,’ said Ms Normah Zondo, Acting Executive Director: Corporate Relations.

A total of 9 963 degree certificates – 6 505 of which will be awarded to undergraduate recipients and 3 458 to postgraduates – will be conferred. A total of 414 master’s and 228 doctoral graduands will graduate. Overall, there are 104 summa cum laude and 270 cum laude graduands. Female graduands continue to lead with 70% summa cum laude and 67 percent cum laude achievements.

Eighty students with disabilities, 31 of whom have completed postgraduate studies, will graduate. Two exceptional achievers will graduate with PhDs and six with master’s degrees.

This Graduation ceremony will also include 276 international graduands, 217 of whom will graduate with postgraduate certificates. Overall, 1 609 degrees will be conferred in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science; 5 087 in the College of Humanities; 2 254 in the College of Law and Management Studies; and 1 013 in the College of Health Sciences.

The virtual ceremony will entail the conferring of degrees to qualifying graduands whose names appear on the autumn graduation ceremony programme. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Nana Poku, will deliver an address. As Acting Chancellor, Prof Poku will officially confer degrees on all graduands who have succeeded in meeting all their academic requirements, including those who will graduate posthumously. Deputy Vice-Chancellors will convey congratulatory messages to graduands. Standard Bank has partnered with UKZN to make this graduation possible. For this reason, Standard Bank CEO will also give a message of support.

The event will be broadcast live on SABC3 (Channel 193) at 13h30. Graduands will join via the link: https://virtualgraduation.ukzn.ac.za. This link will only be active and accessible tomorrow. UKZN has partnered with Ukhozi FM on this special broadcast between 12h00 and 15h00.

Words: Sejal Desai

Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan