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George Campus


Nelson Mandela University’s graduation season commenced on a high note with a record number of students who completed their studies at the university’s George Campus crossing the stage to receive a wide array of qualifications during two sessions on 13 April 2018.

This year 454 students from George Campus, representing an increase of 25% compared to 2017, graduated with qualifications in four faculties – Science; Business and Economic Sciences; Education; Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology. 

Bachelor of Commerce degrees, including the BCom Accounting for Chartered Accountants degree, accounted for about half of the qualifications awarded in the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, with the National Diplomas in Management, Marketing and Tourism Management together with the newly introduced Advanced Diploma in Business Studies accounting for the other half.


The introduction of a number of new qualifications to the George Campus over the past few years, which saw the first set of students this year qualifying with the Advanced Diploma in Business Studies, was rewarded with excellent growth also recorded for the Higher Certificate in Information Technology (User Support Services); The Higher Certificate in Veldfire Management, as well as the Higher Certificate in Business Studies.

Thirteen students who had completed their practical year (experiential learning at schools in our region) during 2017 were awarded the BEd (Further Education and Training) degree.

The George Campus graduation was also characterised by a significant growth in the number of students who qualified with advanced qualifications, such as the Bachelor of Technology degree in the Agricultural Management, Forestry, Game Ranch Management, Nature Conservation and Wood Technology programmes. 

Seven George Campus students were awarded Master of Science degrees - five with distinction (Cum Laude).

Another highlight of the George Campus graduation, and a first for the campus, was the awarding of two doctoral degrees in the field of Botany.

Close to 6 800 students will be graduating from Nelson Mandela University during 14 sessions in April (including 454 students from George Campus). This is the first autumn graduation during which students graduate under the university’s new name - Nelson Mandela University.

Addressing the graduates, Prof Sibongile Muthwa, the university’s new Vice-Chancellor, indicated that education is a critical investment in the future of our country.  Quoting a poem by Mia Angelo, she indicated that students should go out into the world, pursue their passion and not lose track of their goals. If students pursue the things they love doing, “the world will not be able to take its eyes of you” she said, alluding to the fact that the university’s association with the icon Nelson Mandela brings about both high expectations and high responsibilities. She urged the graduates to use their knowledge wisely and to make a positive difference in the world. 

Doctor of Philosophy

Lecturer in the Science Faculty, Bianca Currie, was awarded the degree Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) (Botany), with her thesis titled, SOCIAL LEARNING FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE: THE CASE OF KNYSNA MUNICIPALITY.  Dr Currie’s study was supervised by Prof Christo Fabricius.

Lisa Heider’s doctoral thesis titled, MOTIVATION FOR LANDSCAPE STEWARDSHIP AS A DRIVER OF CHANCE – GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA, was also supervised by Prof Fabricius, with Prof Rob Fincham as Co-Supervisor.

Masters of Science (Research)

Three students were awarded MSc-degrees in the field of Nature Conservation, while four MSc-students had pursued their studies in the field of Forestry.

Masters of Science (Research) (Nature Conservation)

Christopher Brooke was awarded the degree MSc (Nature Conservation) Cum Laude.  His dissertation is titled, ENERGY MAXIMISATION STRATEGIES OF DIFFERENT AFRICAN HERBIVORES IN A FIRE DOMINATED AND NUTRIENT POOR GRASSLAND ECOSYSTEM. His study was supervised by Dr Jan Venter, and co-supervisor by Dr Tineke Kraaij, who also overseed the study of Mika Vermeulen, another MSc (Nature Conservation) graduate.


Francis Martens’ study for her qualification (MSc, Nature Conservation, Cum Laude) focused on THE SPATIAL ECOLOGY AND ROOST SITE SELECTION OF FLEDGLING CAPE VULTURES (GYPS COPROTHERES) IN THE EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA. (Supervisor:  Dr Jan Venter, Co-supervisors: Prof CT Downs and Dr MB Pfeiffer).

Masters of Science (Research) (Forestry)

Pasca Dembure’s dissertation for the qualification MSc (Forestry)  supervised by Dr R Spinelly and co-supervised by Dr Andrew McEwan and Mr Muedanyi Ramantsana, was titled: DETERMINING PRODUCTIVITY, RESIDUAL DAMAGE AND COST OF TWO ALTERNATIVE HARVESTING SYSTEMS IN PINUS ELLIOTTII THINNING.

Both Lindokuhle Dlamini and Noxolo Ndlovu were awarded the degree MSc (Forestry) with distinction. Dr Keith Little was the Supervisor for both candidates, with DSr B Sivparsad and Dr l Titshall as the two co-supervisors respectively.   Dlamini’s dissertation was titled: UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACTS OF FOLIAR INSECT PESTS ON EUCALYPTUS SPECIES GROWTH AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF APPROPRIATE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES.  Ndlovu’s study focused on: LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF RE-ESTABLISHMENT PRACTICES ON PINE PULPWOOD PRODUCTION, SOUH AFRICA.

The fourth MSc (Forestry) graduate from George Campus, Riaan Engelbrecht, also received the qualification Cum Laude. His study, supervised by Dr R Spinelli and co-supervised by Dr Andrew McEwan, was titled: GRAPPLE CABLE YARDING: A PRODUCTIVITY MODEL FOR FAST-GROWING PLANTATIONS IN SARAWAK, MALAYSIA.

Proud mom, Ms Nokhanyo Tiso, and daughter, Alpha Tiso who graduated with the NDip: Management share a special moment.

BEd graduates Leandré Philander, Abronicia Fischer, Lauren Jacobs and Rachelle Jaftha are ready to embrace their roles as fully-fledged teachers and agents of positive change in the classroom.

Sinethemba Godla, BEd (Further Education and Training) graduate and  Dip: Management graduate, Indiphile Matshaya, demanded attention with their beautiful traditional attire.

The George Campus Choir saluted graduates with song during the George Campus graduation ceremony.

Business and Economic Sciences staff member, Charlene Cupido, was in high spirits as NDip: Marketing graduates celebrated their special milestone.

Changing face of Forestry... National Diploma: Forestry graduates - (back, f.l.t.r.) Lulama Kratshi and Sibonginkosi Hlatwayo  and (front f.l.t.r.) Nomajola Fente, Ayattolah Gcwabo, Pilasande Kabeni, Nangomso Lindeni and Xhanti Myali.

First graduates... George Campus Staff members, Bongisa Maqutyana  (Finance) and Anathi Masebeni (Student Affairs, far right) jumped at the opportunity to advance their business knowledge and skills. They are amongst the first group of students to enrol for and graduate with the Advanced Diploma: Business Studies which was introduced to the George Campus in 2017. They are pictured with fellow graduates, Cornelius Swiegelaar (left) and Stefan Cilliers.

Nelson Mandela University George BCom graduates with their proud lecturers, Catherine Fourie (front, third from left), Ewayne LeRoux (front, right),  Peter Broderick (back, third left) and Corean de Bruyn (back, right).

Doctor of Philosophy (Botany) graduates, Dr Bianca Currie (left) and Dr Lisa Heider with their Supervisors, Prof Christo Fabricius (left) and Prof Rob Fincham.

Standing tall... D Phil  (Botany) graduates, Dr Lisa Heider  (left) and Dr Bianca Currie from the School of Natural Resource Management, George Campus.

Masters of their subject... MSc graduates in Forestry and Nature Conservation, with their proud Supervisors; (f.l.t.r.) Noxolo Ndlovu, Dr Keith Little, Lindokuhle Dlamini, Dr Jan Venter, Dr Tineke Kraaij, Mika Vermeulen, Christopher Brooke and Francis Martens.

Nature Conservation BTech student, Samukelisiwe Msweli with her proud parents, Mr TE and Mrs FA  Msweli, and lecturer, Dr Tineke Kraaij.

Demand for the Higher Certificate: IT (User Support Services) is growing in leaps and bounds since being introduced at the George Campus two years ago. Some graduates saviour the moment with Dr Sue Petratos (back, centre) Acting Dean and Lecturers, Ms Alta du Plessis (to the right of Dr Petratos), Mr Chester Moolman (front, left) and ICT George staff member, Asavela Ndzondzo (front, right).

Cum Laude Higher Certificate: Veldfire Management –graduates,  Matthew Kingma  and Lihle Mfeketho flanked by their proud lecturers, Hannes van Zyl (left) and Braam du Preez (right). Matthew and Lihle have strategically used their success in the certificate programme to gain access to the sought-after Diploma Programmes in Nature Conservation and Forestry respectively.


Contact information
Mr Thami Douse