Stellenbosch University
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First SU graduation of the Centenary year
Author: Corporate Communication/ Korporatiewe Kommunikasie
Published: 13/03/2018

Stellenbosch University (SU) will be awarding 3 315 degrees and diplomas at its March 2018 graduation ceremonies next week. Among these will be a record number of PhD and master's degree candidates – 164 and 1 061, respectively.

As part of its centenary commemoration​, SU will also bestow honorary doctorates upon 13 foremost thought leaders. The recipients are Mr Max du Preez, Prof Musa Dube, Mr Trueman Goba, Prof Peter Jones, Prof Mervyn King, Archbishop Thabo Cecil Makgoba, Mr Patrice Motsepe, Mr Jannie Mouton, Prof Andre Nel, Prof Brian O'Connell, Ms Sandra Prinsloo, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, and Baroness Christine van den Wyngaert. 

Du Preez and Prinsloo are honoured with the degree Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil).  Dube and Makgoba will receive Doctor of Theology (DTh). The degree Doctor of Engineering (DEng) is presented to Goba. Jones, Nel and Sooliman will be awarded the degree Doctor of Science (DSc), while King, Motsepe and Mouton are honoured with the degree Doctor of Commerce (DCom).  O'Connell will receive the degree Doctor of Education (DEd) and Van den Wyngaert the degree Doctor of Laws (LLD) - all honoris causa.

Click here for more information on the recipients of honorary degrees.

SU promoting excellence

Among this year's PhD graduates, the Faculty of AgriSciences produced excellent and innovative research on the 'smell' of wine, fungus-farming mites in Protea flowers, and the restoration and conservation of Cape palmiet wetlands.

In the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the first MPhil in Disaster Risk Science and Development will be awarded and the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences celebrates its 100th doctoral graduate since the programme's inception in 2010. The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences has contributed a record number of graduates to the December 2017 and March 2018 graduations: 1 664 in total, compared to 1 495 in 2016.

From the Faculty of Engineering, there has been an increase in the number of female students over the past decade. Since 2003, four women from the Faculty have been awarded the Chancellor's Medal. During the March graduation ceremony, 261 students from the Faculty will receive their degrees – an increase in the number of graduates when compared with previous years.

Creating inclusivity and accessibility at SU

SU continually strives towards inclusivity and accessibility to people from diverse backgrounds. The SciMathUS programme at the Education Faculty is one shining example of the way inclusivity and accessibility can be supported and promoted. The programme offers learners who have already passed Grade 12 but who do not qualify for higher education an opportunity to improve their National Senior Certificate results in specific subjects. This may enable them to re-apply for degree programmes. During the March graduation ceremony, 16 students who had previously completed the SciMathUS programme and obtained entry to SU will be graduating. They will receive degrees from the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and the Faculty of Science.

March graduation ceremonies

This year there will be six ceremonies (from 19 to 23 March), all held in the Coetzenburg Centre, Stellenbosch.

The schedule of the March graduation ceremonies are as follow:

  • Monday 19 March at 17:00 (Economic and Management Sciences)
  • Tuesday 20 March at 10:00 (Theology and Engineering) and at 17:00 (AgriSciences, and Medicine and Health Sciences)
  • Thursday 22 March at 10:00 (Arts and Social Sciences) and at 17:00 (Science, Education, Law, and Military Science)
  • Friday 23 March at 10:00 (Economic and Management Sciences and honorary degrees)

Parking in Stellenbosch

Heavy traffic is expected on all the main roads into Stellenbosch as well as in the town itself. Graduands, parents and friends are kindly requested to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion and to secure parking. Guests should allow for enough time to park their vehicle and walk to the Coetzenburg Centre. Guests are advised to wear a hat during the walk and to bring along unflavoured bottled water. Please note that food and sugary drinks are not allowed in the Centre.

Graduands who are unable to climb the stairs to the stage due to disability, injury or illness, should call the Contact Centre at 021 808 9111 or e-mail to arrange that their degrees be awarded to them on the Centre floor.


All the graduation ceremonies can be followed live online. Click here for live streaming.