UKZN to hold virtual graduation that will be broadcast on national TV
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Durban - It was always going to be different for the graduation class of 2020 amid the global Covid-19 pandemic that has seen countries shut their border and more than a billion people world-wide living under some sort of lockdown.
For the 2020 University of KwaZulu-Natal graduands the reality of the pandemic has forced the university to hold a virtual graduation on Friday that will be broadcast on national television.
According to UKZN the decision to host a virtual graduation has been made in accordance with the national lockdown and social distancing regulations to safeguard all South Africans from contracting Covid-19.
While the 2020 class may feel a tad bit sad that their big day will not be celebrated like the classes of years gone by with halls filled with people and the ululations of proud parents, they can at least take comfort that the whole country can take part in graduation as the event will be streamed live on SABC 3 at 1.30pm and broadcast on Ukhozi FM.
Normah Zondo, the spokesperson for UKZN said the University’s annual graduation ceremonies are at the heart of the academic calendar.
"For graduands, it is their proudest moment – a joyous and grand occasion shared with peers, family and friends. Although we are unable to host a traditional physical graduation ceremony, we are elated at the opportunity to gather in a virtual space and celebrate in a new and unconventional way. The virtual ceremony will entail the conferring of degrees on graduands who have succeeded in fulfilling their academic requirements and whose names appear
on the graduation programme. The virtual ceremony will feature an address by UKZN’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Nana Poku and congratulatory
messages by four Deputy Vice-Chancellors," she said.
In addition to the live broadcast on SABC 3 (DSTV Channel 193), graduands will join via the link: https://virtualgraduation.ukzn.ac.za/.
This link will only be active and accessible on Friday.
On the day, UKZN will confer a total of 9 963 degree certificates, 6 505 of which will be awarded to undergraduate recipients and 3 458 to postgraduates. There are 414 Masters (thesis) and 228 doctoral graduands.
Overall there are 104 summa cum laude and 270 cum laude graduands.
As has been the trend in previous years, women graduands continue to excel with women making up 70 percent of the summa cum laude graduands and 67 percent of the cum laude graduands, Zondo said.
"The university is especially proud of the achievements of 80 graduands with disabilities, 31 of whom have completed postgraduate studies. Two exceptional achievers will graduate with PhD’s and six with Masters," she said.
There are 276 international graduands, 217 of whom will graduate with postgraduate certificates.
Overall, 1 609 degrees will be conferred in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, 5 087 in the College of Humanities, 2 254 in the College of Law and Management Studies, and 1 013 in the College of Health Sciences.