UNESWA successfully hosts 2023 Graduation Ceremony
KWALUSENI – After not holding the Graduation Ceremony for more than three years, the University of Eswatini magnificently held the 41st Congregation of the University on Saturday 21 October 2023 at the Kwaluseni Campus. The Ceremony which was officiated by the Chancellor of the University, His Majesty, King Mswati III saw a record number of graduands graduate, 4444 in all. The breakdown of the graduands’ statistics from the four cohorts is provided below:
2019/2020 – 1654
2020/2021 – 1432
2021/2022 – 1243
2022/2023 – 115 (First Semester only)
In his address, the Chancellor thanked the University for all its effort by continuing to provide tuition to students during the COVID -19 pandemic era. He mentioned how delighted he was seeing the University exhibit during the 2023 Eswatini International Trade Fair where it showcased technological innovations and research products some of which were medicinal. He implored the University continue with that positive trend and live up to being a centre for research and innovation. He implored Parliament to pass legislation that would be favourable for research especially if plants such as cannibas would be used. His Majesty also thanked parents and guardians for all the sacrifice they had made for their children to go through formal education. He appreciated the Eswatini Government for providing scholarships to Emaswati and noted that not many countries provided such for their citizens. He also commended the University Management for working tirelessly for the success of the University.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Justice Thwala mentioned how “it was always a great honour for the University to host you, Your Majesty on this occasion. We always look up to this day with a sense of joy where Your Majesty, as our Chancellor, you award certificates, diplomas and confer degrees to the graduands. It is exactly four years since the last graduation ceremony. The COVID-19 pandemic and other events prevented us from holding the graduation ceremony. Your presence today, Your Majesty, signifies your unwavering love and support for the University, and your continued commitment to the development of higher education in the Kingdom of Eswatini.”
Professor Thwala also thanked his Majesty for the following:
- The success of the elections and appointment of members of Parliament for the 12th Parliament of the Kingdom of Eswatini;
- The National budget allocation for education which continues to be the highest and evenly distributed from primary to tertiary education;
- Support for job creation, inclusive sustainable development and belief in “the leave no one behind principle”; and
- The appointment of the new Chairman of Council to help oversee policy issues and general performance of the University management structures in executing the mandate of the University.
The Vice Chancellor also mentioned a number of issues which included:
Scholarships – The University had received a lot of support from the Eswatini Government. The University had received scholarships ranging from 861-1700 over the 2018-2023 period. He mentioned how the Government in liaison with the University had put in place a proposal to expedite the processing of scholarships that have been awarded. “This will help reduce delays in release of allowances to students, which has been one of the main causes of disruption of teaching and learning regrettably as students boycotted classes.
Fundraising Initiatives – He mentioned that the university established two units to help raise funds for the Institution; the UNESWA Foundation and Chakaza Holding Company. He mentioned how the UNESWA Foundation had launched a campaign meant to raise the so much needed funds for renovation of the infrastructure of the University and put in place improved security systems. Professor Thwala appreciated the private sector and University partners for contributions that had been made through the UNESWA Foundation. On Chakaza, a new Board of Directors had been appointed and tasked with overseeing the improvement in operations of the company.
Academic Initiatives – He mentioned programmes that were being developed and some had already been introduced which include:
- Post Graduate Diploma in Neonatology;
- Post-Graduate Diploma in Critical Care Nursing;
- Bachelor of Science in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics;
- Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics;
- Post-Graduate Diploma in Taxation;
- Clinical Pastoral Psychology; and
- Degree programmes in Performing arts to name but a few.
Networks and Grant Funding – The Vice Chancellor mentioned projects that the University had been involved in which resulted in the improved rankings of the University currently ranked among the top 100 Universities in Africa.
The Graduation Ceremony was attended by thousands of guests that included the Royal Family, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, the Judiciary, Members of Parliament, Principals of Colleges, Captains of Industry, parents and guardians, and members of the public.