Thursday, 10 November 2022 was a joyous day as the University staff, students’ guardians, and different sponsors and stakeholders gathered at the University Auditorium to celebrate the achievements of UNIVEN graduates. This graduation ceremony was held as part of the University of Venda’s 40th-anniversary celebration. During the winter graduation ceremony on 14 and 15 July, 3 314 students graduated, and in this spring graduation ceremony, the University celebrated the success of 366 graduates which brings the total of 2022 graduates to 3 680, which is the highest number of graduates at UNIVEN in a single year. The graduates received their degrees from the faculties of Health Sciences; Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education; Management, Commerce and Law as well as Science, Engineering and Agriculture. During the November graduation ceremony, 19 doctoral degrees were conferred, and half of the 19 doctoral degrees were conferred to females.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning, Prof Jan Crafford said “UNIVEN is a University where women lead and show the way, watch the space”. He said this when welcoming the guests during the UNIVEN November graduation ceremony. Prof Crafford stated that this graduation ceremony was particularly memorable in that the University of Venda conferred honorary doctoral degree of two remarkable individuals with their roots firmly in the red soil of Venda, but with a stature that transcends all boundaries and is celebrated internationally. He further indicated that it is their natural and international stature that the University of Venda honoured them, but we shall not hide our pride in the fact that they are the sons of the soil.
During this memorable graduation ceremony, by the University of Venda honoured the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Prof Tshilidzi Marwala who received an honorary Doctoral Degree in Sciences while. Dr. Dean Tshenuwani Farisani received an honorary Doctoral Degree in Theology.”

He mentioned that UNIVEN is proud to look back at the year 2022 proudly as there are a lot of research outputs. He emphasised that all these successes are because of the leadership of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr. Bernard Nthambeleni.

Dr. Tshenuwani Simon Farisani

Dr. Tshenuwani Simon Farisani in his acceptance speech mentioned that this doctoral degree is too heavy for him to carry alone. He said the doctoral degree he received belongs to the traditional leaders, doctors, pastors, his family, and employees who kept and took care of him during the struggle of Apartheid. Dr. Farisani encouraged the graduates to make use of the degrees that they have received and that these degrees should serve the people. Dr. Farisani thanked the University of Venda for honoring him.

L-R: Dr. Bernard Nthambeleni and Prof Tshilidzi Marwala

The outgoing Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UJ, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala who is also the incoming Rector of the United Nations University from 01 March 2023, said he is honoured to receive the honorary doctoral degree from the University of Venda. He mentioned that an honour from the University of Venda is the most remarkable and unique to him and special to them all. He said the honorary degree is special because the University of Venda and its emergence in 1982 stood as a beacon of promise, hope, and a better future which is education.

Prof Marwala stated that he feels happy to be honoured here in Venda where he was born and bred. He paid tribute to the graduates who walked the stage on this notable graduation. He urged the graduates to work hard in their respective fields and contribute positively to the country’s socio-economic development. Prof Marwala further advised the graduates to go and change the world for the better.”

Dr Bernard Nthambeleni

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Venda, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni, expressed his deepest gratitude and celebration to both Prof Marwala and Reverend, Dr. Farisani for accepting the Honorary Doctoral Degrees at the University of Venda. Dr. Nthambeleni alluded that the Honorary Doctoral Degree recipients are the individuals who contributed profoundly to the progress of human society and academic research. Both Reverend, Dr. Farisani and Prof Marwala had made immense contributions to the development of our country, continent, and the world.

When conveying his congratulatory message to the graduates, he said “we are immensely proud of your achievements, your unique experiences, and the life stories that each of you brought to our University. Over the past few years, we have seen you grow and flourish despite many challenges and obstacles that characterised our national Post School Education and Training sector. He thanked graduates for choosing the University of Venda as their preferred partner of choice in their quest to attain higher education qualifications.

“We are confident that the knowledge and life skills that you have acquired during your stay at this University would enable you to make a great difference to your respective communities,” he added.

Dr. Nthambeleni advised the graduates that as they leave UNIVEN, they must remain ethical in their conduct, and abhor bribery and corruption.
He congratulated the academic, administrative, and service staff for guiding and offering tremendous support in the graduates’ journey.

Dr. Nthambeleni pointed out that Universities must be catalysts for building inclusive societies. Universities such as UNIVEN should play their role as key institutions in the processes of social change and development.

As per the University of Venda’s motto “Creating future leaders” there is no sector in this country where you would not encounter a UNIVEN graduate.
“As one of the six Comprehensive universities in South Africa, the University of Venda continually strives to deliver robust teaching, cutting edge research, and impactful community engagement of the highest quality for our citizens.”

He highlighted that the University of Venda is one of the fastest-growing universities in Southern Africa in terms of the depth of its academic staff, students’ output, throughput, and quality of research output.

“Despite many challenges that confront our country and its Post School Education and Training system, the University of Venda has relatively remained stable and is a well-managed institution of higher learning which adheres to prudent financial management principles.”

Group photo at the Life Sciences Building

UNIVEN EMC pose for a photo with Dr Tshenuwani Farisani (2nd from left) and Prof Tshilidzi Marwala (2nd from right)

Above photo L-R: Dr Tshenuwani Farisani, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni and Prof Tshilidzi Marwala


Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 / 8710
Date: 14 November 2022

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