Education will empower you
“Education will empower you, as it did earlier generations, to meet the tests of your own time.” This is according to Prof Linda du Plessis, acting Campus Rector of the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), as quoted during her opening address at the October graduation ceremony.
She continued to state that all South Africans have the responsibility to steer change in a constructive and adaptable manner and to offer every child in this country an education what will make them competitive in the global knowledge economy. “As graduates you have an added responsibility. To be role models for your brothers and sisters, to be mentors in your communities and when the time comes, to pass that sense of an education’s value down to your children. It is furthermore expected of you to pass down that sense of personal responsibility, self-respect and, the work ethic that made it possible for you to graduate today.”
During the ceremony – which was hosted at the Quest Conference Estate in Vanderbijlpark, a total of 114 students graduated. A total of 25 postgraduate qualifications were also be conferred – including five Honours degrees, twelve Master’s degrees and eight Doctoral degrees.
|Prof Linda du Plessis|
NWU – to teach more than mere academic knowledge
According to Prof du Plessis, the ultimate goal of the University is to equip its students with more than mere academic knowledge. “You’ve read novels and histories that take different cuts at life. You’ve discovered interests you didn’t know you had, and made friends who didn’t grow up the same way you did. All of it, I hope, has had the effect of opening your minds; of helping you understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.“ She motivated the graduates to continue the concept of lifelong learning and to help in opening the minds of others. The latter is, according to Prof Du Plessis, the elemental test of any democracy: whether people with different points of view can learn from each other, work with each other, and find a way forward together.
Graduates to exceed the expectations of success
In closing, Prof Du Plessis, told the graduates that they should be “graduates of significance” – not only in South Africa, but the world. By doing so they will become champions of impact and hope. “Take up the torch and become a thought leader for a better future. Use the qualification you receive today as an instrument of change and dynamic innovation. It all starts here. Today. With you!”