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SPONSORED | University of Mpumalanga holds largest-ever graduation ceremony

The university is proud to celebrate the 1 515 students who recently graduated.

More than 1 500 students successfully completed their studies at the University of Mpumalanga (UMP) in the past academic year and were awarded/conferred qualifications at the graduation ceremony held at the Mbombela Campus on May 3 and 4.

The latest number of graduates increased from 1 235 during 2023 to 1 515 this year.

UMP’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Thoko Mayekiso, lauded the university and students for continued excellence in driving education, and highlighted that the university provides holistic learning, educating students for work and life. She congratulated the graduates on their commitment, dedication, sacrifices and perseverance, which made them worthy recipients of their qualifications.

UMP celebrated a decade of excellence and creating opportunities last year. Starting out with 169 students in 2014, enrolments increased to 10 091 this year, with academic offerings growing steadily during this period; from higher certificates to doctoral degrees.

University staff with doctoral degrees has risen from 5% a decade ago to 55% this year, and the UMP has received the prestigious National Research Foundation Acceleration Award for increased research performance. Partnerships with 35 international universities have been entered into: 11 in Europe, four in the USA, two in Australia, nine in Africa and nine in Asia. The UMP had also received clean audits every year from inception.

This year’s graduates hail from South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Kingdom of eSwatini.

The UMP graduates celebrate their academic achievements during the graduation ceremony.

Notable achievements for this year’s graduation include:
• 36 graduates were conferred with master’s degrees.
• 98 qualifications were awarded/conferred with cum laude.
• A total of 66.4% female and 33.6% male students graduated this year.
• 23 recipients of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships graduated.
• 15 recipients of Academic Excellence Awards graduated.
• 50 different qualifications were awarded/conferred during the graduation ceremonies.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Prof Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele, congratulated the parents, families, friends and funders who worked with them to reach where they are today. “Our graduates had a shoulder to lean on, so we all played a major role for them to achieve their qualifications. As we all know, it takes a village to raise a child, so congratulations,” she said.

She also encouraged the graduates to continue climbing the ladder of education, and is confident that the UMP has given them the stimulus that will give them the energy to continue. “Those who graduated their first qualification, you have set your foot on the lowest step of the ladder. Climb to higher echelons. Study further. We will welcome you back to study. Our country is looking for innovators and entrepreneurs. Don’t join the grumbling team. Bring solutions to the challenges that Africa and SA are facing. Africa is bleeding; instead of complaining, bring solutions,” said Davhana-Maselesele.

She urged the graduates to go and represent the UMP brand excellently.

University of Mpumalanga’s top student of the 2023 class, Ms Tshepiso Kekana receives an award from Prof Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning and Prof Thoko Mayekiso, Vice-Chancellor during the university’s Academic Excellence and Vice-Chancellor’s Awards Ceremony.

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