Stellenbosch University
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Record number of degrees to be awarded at graduation ceremonies
Author: Martin Viljoen
Published: 07/12/2018

Stellenbosch University (SU) will again award a record number of degrees at its December 2018 graduation ceremonies – 5769 compared to 5720 in December 2017 and 5300 in 2016. There is also an increase in the number of doctorates 149 and master's degrees 546.

Eight ceremonies are to be held in the Coetzenberg Centre in Stellenbosch from Monday 10 to Friday 14 December 2018.

Four honorary doctorates will also be awarded: to Prof Homi K. Bhabha, the world's foremost postcolonial literary theorist from Harvard in the USA; Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath whose contribution to social psychology is globally significant; Mr Lesetja Kganyago, the President of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and Chair of the International Monetary and Financial Committee; and, Justice Zak Yacoob, an outstanding South African jurist in the field of human rights and constitutional law (LINK to more information on the recipients)

Bhabha will receive the degree Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), honoris causa, Breakwell the degree Doctor of Philosophy, (DPhil), honoris causa (both on Thu 13 Dec at 17:30; Kganyago the degree Doctor of Commerce (DCom), honoris causa (Mon 10 Dec at 17:30), and Yacoob the degree Doctor of Laws (LLD), honoris causa (Thu 13 Dec at 10:00).

SU awards honorary degrees to recognise and reward excellence in a variety of fields and to identify these individuals as role models for the University community. Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Bill Gates, Antjie Krog, Helen Suzman, Athol Fugard, Tito Mboweni, Naledi Pandor, David Kramer, Thuli Madonsela, Edwin Cameron and Mervyn King are among the recipients of SU honorary degrees.    

The schedule of the December graduation ceremonies are as follow:

  • Monday 10 December at 17:30: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (for a B group)
  • Tuesday 11 December at 10:00: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and at 17:30: Faculty of Science.
  • Wednesday 12 December at 10:00: Faculties of Education and Military Science and at 17:30: Economic and Management Sciences (for an A group)
  • Thursday 13 December at 10:00: Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences (ONLY Drama, Music and Visual Arts); AgriSciences en Law (excluding BA Law, BCom Law and BAccLLB) and at 17:30: Faculty of Arts and Social Science Faculties of of Arts and Social Science en Sosiale Wetenskappe (Including BA Law but excluding Drama, Music and Visual Art)
  • Friday 14 December om 10:00: Faculties of Theology and Engineering

The university also gives recognition to some of its foremost academics and other staff members throughout the graduation ceremonies.

Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Bill Gates, Antjie Krog, Helen Suzman, Athol Fugard, Tito Mboweni, Naledi Pandor, David Kramer, Thuli Madonsela, Edwin Cameron en Mervyn King tel onder die ontvangers van US-eregrade.   

Ticket system in place

As the seating in the Coetzenburg Centre is limited, and SU has to comply with national legislation and municipal by-laws, only a specific number of admission tickets for guests will be allocated per graduand*. (More info here)

Parking in Stellenbosch

Heavy traffic is expected on all the main roads to Stellenbosch as well as in town. Graduates, parents and friends are kindly requested to arrive early to avoid traffic jams and to ensure parking spots.

Guests should allow for enough time to park their vehicles 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.

Graduates with disabilities, or who are injured or sick and cannot move onto the stage, should call the Client Services Centre at 021 808 9111 or email to arrange for the awarding of their degrees in front of the stage.