A total of 9,366 qualifications awarded to the 2018 graduates at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) means a personal triumph and an improved livelihood many families. This is according to Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, UJ’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal.
Friday, 18 May 2018 marked the closing of the 44 autumn graduation ceremonies of the University, with two remaining graduation seasons coming in June and September. In this opening graduation season, UJ conferred a total of 4,875 Bachelor degrees and 2,490 undergraduate diplomas, as well as 1,382 Honours degrees and 372 postgraduate diplomas, 192 Master’s degrees, and 55 Doctoral degrees.
“As I have mentioned previously, not only do these qualifications indicate a personal triumph for each of our successful students, but they are also the means towards an improved livelihood for 9,366 families of our nation. I wish all of our 2018 alumni well in their future endeavours whether they are continuing with their studies or joining the world of work,” says Prof Marwala.
Honorary doctoral degrees awarded
Amongst the Doctoral graduates was Dr Mpho Tshivhase who received her qualification on Thursday, 12 April 2018. Dr Tshivhase, supervised by Prof Thaddeus Metz, is the first black African woman in South Africa awarded a Doctorate in Philosophy. In her thesis, “Towards a Normative Theory of Uniqueness of Persons”, Dr Tshivhase argues that a unique identity, though related to other values such as happiness and morality, is not identical with them. She champions the view that individuality is something worth having in its own right.
The University was heralded in the South African mainstream media and on social media networks for the conferral of an honorary degree on renowned South African Ndebele artist and global icon, Dr Esther Mahlangu. On Monday, 9 April, the University honoured Dr Mahlangu in recognition of her outstanding achievements and for the important legacy as a cultural entrepreneur who skillfully negotiated both the local and global worlds and educated South Africans. Her work attracted international attention at the 1989 exhibition, Magiciens de la Terre, in Paris. Over the past three decades, Dr Mahlangu exhibited both mural and canvas paintings throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America. She broke boundaries in many ways, and in her own way.
Following Professor Marwala’s inauguration as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University on Monday, 26 March, the University also conferred, on Tuesday, 27 March, an honorary doctoral degree (Doctor of Laws, LLD honoris causa) on the Chief Justice of the Republic of
South Africa, Mogoeng Thomas Reetsang Mogoeng for his sterling and exemplary leadership of the judicial branch of government.
World-renowned economist and the 2003 Nobel Laureate in economics, Prof Robert Fry Engle was also amongst the UJ honorary doctoral degree recipients in 2018. He was acknowledged with an honorary doctoral degree by the University on Monday, 19 February 2018. Prof Engle also offered a two-day workshop (19 – 20 February 2018) on Advanced Risk Modelling, followed by a public lecture on Wednesday, 21 February where he provided insight on how much risk is too much.
Prof Marwala thanked the University’s academic and support staff members who contributed to the journey of the University’s achievements and its graduates. “There is a number of staff members who remained on campus, when our academics and students go on a short recess, to keep the momentum of the University going as we prepare for the start of our mid-year examinations and winter graduations. Thank you for your efforts in making UJ a great University,” he said