Pretoria - The University of Pretoria’s (UP) vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Tawana Kupe, has bagged his second international honorary doctorate in honour of universities across Africa and for the people of the continent.
Kupe graciously accepted his honorary doctorate by the University of Montpellier at a special ceremony held in Montpellier, France.
This follows the honorary doctorate he was awarded by Michigan State University in December 2019.
Kupe hailed for being a visionary leader, was conferred his PhD by the international university for his work in “building academic partnerships across the African continent and the globe, and for his leadership in the transformation of higher education at a global level”.
A representative of Montpellier University remarked that this was evident as, under Kupe's leadership, UP was committed to educating students to be socially responsible, active citizens and leaders working for positive change.
The official highlighted how UP had done this by using the opportunity presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, which ultimately disrupted the world, and had come out instead to find innovative ways to address poverty, unemployment and inequality and strive for social justice.
He added as a result of this vision almost 30 000 students from UP were directly involved in community projects as part of their annual curriculum.
“It is an immense privilege to receive this honour from one of the most innovative higher education institutions in the world, built over eight centuries of academic and scientific tradition, and leading the future through its pioneering research,” said Kupe.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude for this recognition, which I accept not only personally, but on behalf of UP, universities in Africa and indeed the people of Africa."
Honorary doctorates were also awarded to specialist paediatrician Dr Chipepo Kankasa of Zambia and Dr Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kupe added: “I would also like to warmly congratulate Dr Kankasa and Dr Mukwege, and thank you for your outstanding examples in modelling the very essence of service-driven leadership in action.”