On 6 April , The University of Pretoria (UP) held a virtual graduation ceremony that awarded 11 000 qualifications to students in absentia. The virtual graduations stemmed from the postponement of autumn graduations that were initially scheduled to take place between 7 April-8 May due to the national lockdown and social distancing protocols imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic . Of the conferred qualifications, 234 were doctorates and 1492 were master’s degrees. Following the conclusion of each virtual graduation ceremony, a congratulatory video message from the vice chancellor will be sent out to all graduating students.
Students have been assured that they will receive printed copies of their certificates mailed to them free of charge. Prof Kupe ascertained that the virtual graduation ceremony “will stay in our memories because of the extraordinary way in which the virus has brought the world to a standstill”.Prof Kupe also mentioned in his message that “once the virus has been defeated, UP will hold celebratory ceremonies where graduates can walk across the stage in the presence of family and friends, take photographs and go home for further celebrations “. Furthermore, Prof Kupe encourages the new graduates, who are now part of UP’s alumni of 300 000, to venture out promote the university and support it as best as possible.
He encouraged graduates keep in touch with UP’s alumni office and make use of the UP Alumni connect App via www.upalumniconnect.com. Students who have any queries related to the graduation ceremony are encouraged to email the Graduate Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org. The virtual graduation ceremony can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nt-PopEVHs&feature=youtu.be .