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Unicaf University Graduate Conference (UGraC)

The Unicaf University Graduate Conference (UGraC) is an award-winning, annual, 5 day, online postgraduate conference established in 2021. The conference attracts more than 500 doctoral students and faculty, while featuring multiple sessions of doctoral students’ presentation, plenary sessions and workshops.

In 2022 the Unicaf University Graduate Conference was awarded the AdvanceHE Global Impact Grant for student success in recognition of its demonstrable impact on student development.

Attending the Unicaf University Graduate Conference helps students, through their interaction with the presentations and the Q&A sessions which follow them, to develop skills such as analytical reasoning, clear communication and critical thinking. There are also workshops on topics such as effective dissertation writing and how to go about your literature review.

Presenting at the Unicaf University Graduate Conference conveys further benefits. Presenters are given feedback on the formulation of both their abstract and their rehearsal and gain valuable practice in how to present before an audience. Furthermore, conference proceedings are published in the peer-reviewed Unicaf University Graduate Student Papers (UGrasP) via the Unicaf Online Journal, since publishing is an essential step for those who wish to work in academia.

Graph taken from: Papadopoulou, E. Unicaf University Graduate Conference (UUGRaC): a world impactful research dissemination event. Global Impact Grants – Issue Three: Student Success, 20-24.

Research events that promote research dissemination are needed in Africa, due to the research practice deficit and relative unavailability of higher education across the continent; more than 41% of 18-24-year-olds want to emigrate abroad in an attempt to receive better education (Ichikowitz Family Foundation, 2022). UGraC, as part of Unicaf’s Doctoral Student Development Plan (DSDP), helps alleviate this problematic trend.

Students who were unable to attend UGraC in person can access video recordings of the presentations, starting from UGraC 2022 onwards.