Students have welcomed the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s decision to have in-person graduation ceremonies this May.
This comes after two years with four virtual graduations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, with Covid-19 having eased and the State of Disaster being cancelled, UKZN announced on Tuesday it would be having in-person graduation ceremonies for its 21 345 graduates this year.
The number includes students who also graduated in 2020 and 2021 and only had virtual graduations.
The dates for the ceremonies of the 2020 and 2021 cohort will be announced by the university towards the latter part of the year.
“Holding this event during the latter part of the year will ensure that there is enough time to plan what promises to be a bigger and never-seen-before celebration,” said UKZN in a statement.
Normah Zondo, UKZN’s executive director for corporate relations, said the institution was excited to have in-person graduation ceremonies back.
“A graduation ceremony is a crowning moment in any student’s academic life, so we understand the importance that the ceremonies have to our graduands and their families,” she said.
“The university is hard at work planning for these events, and we remain mindful that the Covid-19 pandemic is still with us. We want to ensure that these ceremonies are memorable to each and every graduate.”
Nokuphila Mlambo, a double UKZN graduate with an Honours Degree in Education, said she was looking forward to having her parents see her walking down the aisle. “I graduated cum laude so I know my parents will be proud of me when that is announced. It is something I have been looking forward to for a long time,” she said.
Zuma Melusi, UKZN student representative council president, also welcomed the move for in-person graduation ceremonies. Unlike UKZN, Durban University of Technology is going ahead with virtual graduation ceremonies.