Of all the obstacles one has to overcome in order to complete one’s degree, arriving at Graduation Day and being unable to receive one’s much deserved certificate as a result of financial difficulties must be the most saddening of all.
This was the case for many students again this year at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Recognising the impact being unable to graduate might have on the students, one woman decided to take the matter upon herself.
Vice-Chancellor of UCT, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, has donated all the funds for her inauguration to help students with outstanding funds from 2015 to 2017. This generosity allowed them to partake in an exclusive graduation ceremony organised by the Vice-Chancellor.
Professor Phakeng has taken strides towards equal opportunities for all. The funds set aside for her inauguration benefited over 100 students from six faculties. Many of them were those who had finished writing their final exams between 2015 and 2017.
Additionally, the Vice-Chancellor has vouched to donate 10% of her salary to support female students doing their postgraduate studies at the university. This adds up an annual amount of R200 000 going towards securing the academic future of female students.
UCT and its students are doing well. Over 1,885 students were capped this month, including 118 doctoral and 780 masters’ students. Thousands of families from across the globe came to witness the joyous occasion.
With the UCT ranked as 191st in the QS World University Rankings this year, the announcement of Professor Phakeng’s generosity added to the many great strides that the university has taken in ensuring quality education for all.