The Chancellor, His Majesty King Mswati III officiates at the 39th Graduation Ceremony

His Majesty King Mswati III, Chancellor of the University of Eswatini officiated at the 39th Graduation Ceremony of the University which was held at the Kwaluseni Campus on Saturday 5th October 2019.  The Chancellor conferred two PhD, 77 Master’s and 1148 bachelor’s degrees and awarded 304 certificates and diplomas.

The Chancellor in his speech congratulated all those who were involved in producing the graduates and noted that it was a remarkable achievement.  “The country has taken significant strides towards tapping into the innovation and creativity of its citizens and it was time that these yield results in terms of revenue generation, knowledge and skills transfer.”

His Majesty noted that in a few years ago the University was tasked with being the leading partner of the Royal Science and Technology Park and was happy to note that the partnership was growing in strength each year and was showing positive results.  The Chancellor also mentioned that the country was expecting revenue as a result of the partnerships. He also informed the congregation of his visit to Cuba and saw their bio-technology parks. “The facility contributes immensely towards the support of a variety of research programmes in many fields with special attention to the health and agriculture sectors. The park has become a beacon of hope towards research of many drugs for curing diseases in Cuba” he noted.

In discussing the Government’s 5 year Strategic Road map and vision 2022, the Chancellor noted that the students were graduating at a time when the country was looking for a renewed vigour and innovative ideas that will boost economic growth.  “This presents an opportunity for you to think outside the box, be creative and come up with new entrepreneurship concepts that will turn around the fortunes of the country.  We have given ourselves a target of first world status by 2022, and to this end we should position ourselves in a manner to ensure that we see significant results and improvements being achieved in all sectors of our development agenda” the Chancellor mentioned.

In addressing the issue of financing higher education in the Kingdom, His Majesty revealed that Government continues to allocate a large budget amount towards education in the country.  He stated that the country was still experiencing a shortage of expertise in the health, ICT and science and engineering sectors hence they remain a top priority for the country.   He went on to challenge the University to raise funds to sustain itself.   “The University is expected to be innovative and come up with ways to raise funding.  In other countries, their universities are able to offer scholarships, while they own shopping malls, industries, and sell their products to sustain themselves. A University should not be easily affected by the government economic position” His Majesty stated.

He went on to challenge the University to play a pivotal role in all its initiatives and the country gears to change the landscape of the living conditions of the nation.   He also acknowledged support of the Republic of China on Taiwan for the purchase of IT equipment and the Motsepe family for their donation which will be used to construct additional classrooms and staff offices.  The Chancellor concluded by congratulating the graduates and encouraged them to continue to shine and make a difference wherever they will be.