Way back in 1675, Mathematician Sir Isaac Newton wrote to the Polymath and Scientist, Robert Hooke saying, ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.’ Unicaf University in Zambia proudly saw 701 “giants” from 67 countries graduate in December 2022 amid much joy and jubilation after having successfully completed their degree programmes.
Due to pandemic restrictions in 2020 and 2021, this was the first physical graduation that took place so it was a particularly momentous occasion. The guest list was a veritable who’s who of government officials and academia. The guest of honour, Minister of Education, Honourable Douglas Syakalima was unable to grace the event as he was out on national duty. He delegated the invitation to the Ministry of Education, Permanent Secretary for Administration, Ms Noriana Muneku.
169 graduates representing the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 attended the 3rd graduation ceremony from the following countries:
- South Sudan
- Côte D’Ivoire
- The Democratic Republic of Congo
- South Africa
- The Kingdom of Eswatini
- United States
The graduates entered the ceremony venue to the accompanying sounds of the Zambia Police Band swiftly followed by the Chancellor’s Procession. The inauguration address was made by Ms Noriana Muneku, who spoke on the role of education in today’s technology-driven world and emphasised Unicaf University’s Virtual Learning Environment platform. She reiterated the essential role of technology and innovation within education and how the rewards of knowledge are ultimately to the benefit of all.
The Chancellor of Unicaf University in Zambia, Professor Mpazi Sinjela then took to the podium and commended the assembled graduates for their dedication and sheer hard work. It was his immense pleasure, he said, to preside over a physical ceremony after the recent pandemic caused by the Coronavirus.
Professor Sinjela reminded the assembled dignitaries, guests, academics and graduates, ‘how technology can be used as a vehicle for the attainment of higher quality education at an affordable cost.’ It is, after all, with the advantages of greater knowledge that global problems such as famine and disease can be eradicated. He closed with a powerful saying from Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Learn as if you were to live forever.’
Addressing the attendees, Vice-Chancellor Dr Christine Phiri Mushibwe congratulated the students for meeting and surpassing their own expectations. Dr Mushibwe reminded them of the fantastic achievements they, and Unicaf University, have made. She also pointed out the innovative state-of-the-art campus being created and which will be up and running by the end of 2023. In Dr Mushibwe’s own words: ‘As a university we are not trying to revolutionise education towards a technology-driven manifest. We are doing it! We are the leaders!’
Dr Kevin Andrews, Vice-Chancellor at the International Level emphasised how far Unicaf University has progressed in such a short space of time as part of a wider network of sister institutions and collaborative partnerships. From a humble 5,400 students just 5 years ago, Unicaf’s unique platform can now boast over 60,000 students in its rota. Additionally, there were 123 employees and 9 academic programmes at the outset, whereas today there are currently over 1,000 employees and 120 academic programmes.
In addition to these impressive milestones, Dr Andrews spoke on the graduation theme of “Technology Driven Quality and Affordable Higher Education Ecosystem” reminding us of Unicaf University’s ‘innovative carousel model and ecosystem of integrated learning technologies that are used to drive the teaching and learning engine forward.’
The motivational speaker, Professor Muna Ndulo of Cornell Law School, New York, USA, addressed the audience via a video link. Professor Ndulo discussed the impact of technology in education and in our daily lives, ‘The world needs educated and skilled people to make this technological world run.’ He encouraged the graduates to continue on their learning path and to embrace the new technological know-how in order to guide them into the future.
The Award Ceremony followed, with the graduates present invited up to the podium to receive their degrees. The following list represents the degree programmes taken by the graduates of Unicaf University in Zambia in 2022.
- Bachelor of Business Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance
- Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA)
- Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Management
- Master of Arts in English Language and Literature
- Master of Business Administration – Finance
- Master of Business Administration – Health Management
- Master of Business Administration – Management
- Master of Business Administration – Management Information Systems
- Master of Business Administration – Oil, Gas and Energy Management
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Education
- Master of Laws (LLM)
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Science in Healthcare Management
- Master of Science in Web Design and Development
As Professor Ndulo remarked, quoting Nelson Mandela, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’
We send our wholehearted and sincerest congratulations to all the graduates.