The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) will host virtual graduation ceremonies from this month for the graduating class of 2021.
All the qualifications listed in the various graduation programmes will be conferred during these virtual congregations of the university, said Normah Zondo, the acting executive director of corporate relations.
“The university had hoped that by 2021 we would be able to hold our traditional graduation celebrations. Unfortunately, due to the unprecedented challenges brought about by Covid-19, the university has had to once again significantly change the way it is required to undertake the conferral of qualifications and distribution of its degree and diploma certificates ...” said Zondo.
The university will broadcast four separate ceremonies, which will be available for online viewing.
A recording of the event as well as a programme will be shared with graduates on the day of their college graduation ceremony. The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science ceremony will be broadcast on May 25 at 11 am; College of Health Sciences on May 26 at 11 am; College of Humanities on May 27 at 11 am; and College of Law and Management Studies on May 28 at 11 am.
The university will be conferring a total of 10 313 degree certificates, 7 399 of which will be awarded to undergraduate recipients and 2 914 to postgraduate students. There are 362 Master’s (thesis) and 257 doctoral graduands.
As has been the trend in previous years, 62,57% are women graduands. This year, 381 students will graduate cum laude and 148 students’ summa cum laude. Women graduates make up about 68% of the top achievers, she said.
Zondo added that the university is “incredibly proud” of the achievements of 90 students with disabilities, 26 of whom have completed postgraduate studies. Three exceptional achievers will graduate with PhDs and six with Master’s, she said.
There are 246 international graduands, 201 of whom will graduate with postgraduate certificates, with 109 attaining their doctoral qualifications. Overall, 1 781 degrees will be conferred in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science; 5 363 in the College of Humanities; 2 010 in the College of Law and Management Studies; and 1 159 in the College of Health Sciences.