Stellenbosch University
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March / April 2020 graduation and further arrangements
Author: Dr Ronel Retief: Registrar/ Dr Ronel Retief: Registrateur
Published: 16/03/2020

16 March 2020

March / April 2020 graduation and further arrangements

Dear Graduand

As communicated on 13 March 2020, Stellenbosch University (SU) unfortunately has had to cancel the March/April 2020 graduation ceremonies as a preventative measure against a possible local coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Please click here for the initial communication.

Based on the above communication we wish to clarify and communicate further details concerning the March/April graduations and the way forward.

Graduation documentation (certificates and results)
All qualifying March/April 2020 graduands will receive their qualifications in absentia. This decision was taken to enable SU to make your graduation documents available to you, as we realise that you may need your documentation for career opportunities or further study.

Registered post
We encourage graduates to opt for receiving your graduation documentation via registered post, but you do have the option to personally collect your documents from campus.
Irrespective of the option you select, we kindly request that you do inform us how you would like to receive your graduation documents by completing the absentia form which will be available online as of Tuesday 17 March. Please note that you will be required to confirm your postal address.

Graduands are kindly requested to complete the response by Friday, 20 March 2020. If we should not receive any response from you by the above due date, your documents will be kept for personal collection.

Collection of graduation documentation
The certificates and academic records of March/April graduates will be made available for collection during the week of 30 March to 2 April 2020. Please note that this will apply to March/April 2020 graduates only. Please see below for the details concerning the distribution during this period. 

Dates: Monday 30 March – Thursday 2 April 2020
Time: 8:30 - 16:00
Venue: The Dance Hall, Sports Science Building, Coetzenburg

After this period graduates may collect their graduation documents from the Examinations Office in the Administration A Building.

Graduation Photographs
Graduands will be offered the chance to have graduation photographs taken. Graduands can contact the University's official photographers, currently, Stellenbosch Centre for Photographic Services (SCPS) to make a booking for graduation photographs.

Contact Details
Cell: 083 492 7616
Tel: 021 808 3073 / 9260
Email: OR
Bookings: (08:00 – 16:30)
Stellenbosch University, Admin A, Room 1013, Ryneveld Street

Ceremonial awarding of degrees in December
The Rectorate has decided to grant March/April graduands the option of attending the December 2020 graduation for the ceremonial crossing of the stage. This will be made possible by increasing the number of ceremonies per day from two to three, and by doing away with the presentation of doctoral citations and other speeches during the ceremonies. We will communicate with graduands in due course.

Please take note that the above arrangements will depend on the prevailing situation and will also be subject to the approval by the relevant authorities. As we have seen, circumstances may change rapidly, which will necessitate agility and responsiveness. We continue to monitor the situation very closely and will share information as it becomes available. Please also regularly visit the graduation webpage for updated information.

I would like to reiterate that the decision to cancel the March/April graduations was not taken lightly. We are acutely aware of the significant impact that this decision may have on graduands and your families. The University, however, considers it to be the most responsible course of action under the current circumstances, as the gathering of between 20 000 and 24 000 individuals, having travelled from all over, during graduation week poses a significant risk.

Many corporates (airlines, hotels, etc) have adapted their cancellation policies over the past several weeks in response to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak and it being officially declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Graduands are encouraged to directly contact service providers as soon as possible and to present this communication as proof of cancellation of travel arrangements due to the coronavirus outbreak.

We sincerely appreciate your understanding and cooperation during a very difficult time.

Kind regards
Dr Ronel Retief