VUT inaugural Summer Graduations for Masters and PhDs: a celebration of academic and competitive prowess
By: Nontobeko Moimane – 12 December 2023
On 11 December 2023, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) held a special summer graduation ceremony for its Master’s and PhD graduates – a first for the University.
The ceremony marked a significant milestone, tailored for a select cohort of graduates, making the occasion even truly exceptional. Alongside celebrating the highest and second highest degrees in the academic journey, the ceremony was as an opportunity to showcase the institution’s academic and competitive prowess. Like all VUT graduation ceremonies, while this session was primarily aimed at celebrating the achievements of graduates, it also provided a platform to acknowledge and introduce postgraduate students to the academic and non-academic community of the University.
Given its small and intimate nature, the ceremony created a platform for scholars alike to engage not only on their varying research topics that steer public discourse, but also on possible future collaborations. The gathering also afforded the University an opportunity to promote its research output to its stakeholders. Over the years, VUT has put in place initiatives aligned towards supporting and growing its impact-driven research, relevant to society, as underpinned by one of our strategic priorities – Research and Innovation excellence.
In his congratulatory address, Dr. Simphiwe Nelana, the acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of VUT, emphasised this uniqueness of the ceremony, affirming the graduates by saying“You are special.”
He said, as we reflect on the remarkable accomplishments of our graduates, it’s vital to acknowledge the global context of their achievements, adding that pursuit of advanced degrees globally is on the rise, which he says reflects a growing commitment to higher education. “As you step into this distinguished group, remember your triumphs contribute to the broader academic community, and the present year, the number of Masters and PhD graduates worldwide highlights this commitment,” he said.
He continued: “In our nation, a substantial number of graduates contribute to the intellectual wealth of our country, standing out in the dynamic academic landscape. Your dedication aligns you with individuals making a significant impact in society – locally and globally. Your research skills must answer questions and endeavour to find solutions to the worldwide challenges our world faces. It is, therefore, my hope that we you will continue using to use the acquired skills and knowledge for continuous betterment of our world.” This summer graduations have been described as a testament to the university’s commitment to academic courage and the elevation of its scholars. It not only acknowledges their accomplishments but also inspires future generations to aspire and achieve similar heights of academic distinction.