Wits Cancels In-person Graduations

Following the President's address on 14 December, in-person graduations for 2020 at the University of the Witwatersrand have been cancelled with immediate effect as South Africa has entered its second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Universities have been looking to virtual methods to celebrate their graduates. 

The University of the Witwatersrand has notifed all its graduands that all in-person graduations have been cancelled as a result of President Cyril Ramaphosa's address to the nation on 14 December, in which he has asked South Africans to avoid large gatherings as far as they can. 



This comes after South Africa has entered a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic because of outbreaks around the country mostly among young people particularly in the age group of 15 to 19 years old. President Ramaphosa said that social gatherings and parties are the largest source of these outbreaks. 

Wits said that they are exploring the idea of conducting virtual graduations. 

Other universities like the University of Cape Town took the decision to make graduations a virtual event. They recognise that this is a big milestone in many households as some students are the first to graduate in their families but they decided that it would be in the best interest of the students and their families to avoid a social gathering. 

On 14 December they hosted a virtual event for those who had graduated in March but had their ceremonies suspended and on 15 December another virtual ceremony will be held for those who graduated in December 2020. 

Stellenbosch University has approved a hybrid graduation model for their graduation ceremonies. This model is one in which there will be small in-person ceremonies as well as virtual faculty-specific graduation ceremonies. 

The in-person ceremonies will be held for the following, observing all COVID-19 protocols:

  •  Doctoral Graduands (including March/April 2020 graduands)
  • Honorary Doctorates
  • Chancellor’s Awards Recipients
  • Chancellor’s Medallist

The University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Pretoria has held virtual events for their Spring 2020 Graduation Ceremonies.



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