News and Events > News > 2024 > UMP HONOURS ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
31 May 2024

Addressing the attendees, Vice-Chancellor Professor Thoko Mayekiso congratulated the students for their dedication and contribution to enhancing UMP's reputation. She emphasised that excellence is a fundamental aspect of UMP's academic ethos, stating, "It is not surprising because, among the values of UMP, excellence is the first to receive attention. UMP has excellence in its DNA. Insights from the past to nurture talent and to teach excellence require time, treasure, tenacity, and toiling."

Professor Mayekiso further highlighted the importance of time in sensitising individuals to delayed gratification, urging students to appreciate both the journey and the destination.

"We can confidently assert that as UMP, we have transitioned from being trailblazers a decade ago to becoming trendsetters."

She extended her congratulations to the students and urged recipients of the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship to maintain their outstanding academic performance to uphold this prestigious recognition.

"At UMP, we will provide you with constant support to realise your full potential. Good things are never served on a platter. You need to work hard and manage all accompanying pressures. Pursue excellence, and success will follow." 

UMPProfessor Segalo gave the keynote address.

Keynote speaker Professor Puleng Segalo, Chief Albert Luthuli Research Chair, underscored the significance of acknowledging academic excellence in fostering confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of achievement among students.

"Striving for academic excellence helps students to develop critical thinking, discipline, and a strong work ethic, all of which are invaluable for future success. It also creates opportunities for higher education, as it is the fundamental requirement for securing scholarships."

Professor Segalo urged graduates to identify their unique strengths, which is important for academic excellence in career advancement. "Academic excellence fosters innovation and progress in society by cultivating skills for professionals and researchers. It plays a pivotal role in shaping individuals and advancing communities."

She encouraged graduates to address societal challenges through their work, stating, "Students who excel academically tend to push boundaries and explore new ideas, contributing to groundbreaking research and advancements in various fields."

UMPUMP Vice-Chancellor, Professor Thoko Mayekiso with the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship recipients. 

Professor Segalo stressed the interconnectedness of societal issues with academia, asserting that academic excellence fuels progress and drives positive change in society. "It cultivates a mindset of continuous learning, inspiring individuals to pursue further studies and contribute meaningfully to finding solutions to challenges facing communities and the world."

The following students were recognised for their outstanding achievements:

  1. Ms Tshepiso Kekana: Best Initial (First) Degree Student, Vice-Chancellor’s Award for the Best First Degree and Best Graduate.
  2. Ms Mashaba: Best First-year Undergraduate Degree.
  3. Mr Retang Leshilo: Best First-Year Diploma Student.
  4. Ms Sethembiso Masuku: Best Initial (First) Diploma Award and Vice-Chancellor’s Award for the Best First Diploma.
  5. Ms Nosipho Ngwane: Best Initial (First) Diploma.
  6. Mr Prince Malefahlo: Best Initial (First) Degree.
  7. Ms Patricia Peterson: Best Initial (First) Degree.
  8. Ms Mantwa Mashego: HL Hall and Sons Gold Medal Award: Diploma in Agriculture.
  9. Ms Zamile Mahlangu: HL Hall and Sons Gold Medal Award: Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.
  10. Ms Temosho Phihlela: Sanlam Award for Academic Excellence in Nature Conservation.
  11. Mr Theurgy Mashaba: Keni Foundation Award for Academic Excellence in ICT.
  12. Ms Precious Mamagobo: Best First Postgraduate.
  13. Ms Pheladi Legodi: Best Postgraduate Diploma in Agriculture and Vice-Chancellor’s Award for the Best Advanced Diploma.

Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures supplied.