UUZM Graduation 2023
The 4th Graduation Ceremony of Unicaf University in Zambia was graced by the presence of the Minister of Higher Education, Hon. Douglas Syakalima, and several Vice Chancellors from local universities. 626 graduates from 68 different countries received their Bachelor, Master’s and Doctoral degree awards on October 12th, 2023, at the Golden Peacock hotel in Lusaka, with their families and friends in attendance. The theme of the Graduation Ceremony was ‘Transformative Education for the 21st century.’
Speaking at the Ceremony, the Zambian Minister of Education emphasised that Higher Education Institutions shoulder the responsibility of providing graduates with skills, knowledge and competencies anchored in a robust ethical foundation. This, the Minister said, provided the capability to conduct meaningful research and offer solutions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. The Hon. Douglas Syakalima then added: “Unicaf University has ushered in a new era of accessibility for students, transcending continents and national boundaries. The inclusive technology ecosystem, championed by this institution, stands as a beacon to be emulated by others in the academic sphere…. The rapid pace of technological change, due to automation and artificial intelligence, exerts a palpable influence on the job market. In this volatile terrain, education’s role extends beyond the mere preparation for existing roles; it must equip students for professions that may not even exist yet.”
Addressing the gathering, Unicaf University Chancellor, Professor Mpazi Sinjela stated: ‘Education is the greatest facilitator for solving global problems. Transformative education is the process of deep, constructive, and meaningful learning that goes beyond simple knowledge acquisition. Transformative education is precisely what we do at Unicaf University, teaching our students to be deep thinkers and problem solvers through critical thinking. Our virtual learning methodology is the answer for training armies of professionals to tackle global problems. This methodology is even more appropriate for developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America because it is also cost effective.”
The Vice Chancellor of Unicaf University in Zambia, Dr Christine Phiri Mushibwe, stressed that Unicaf University provides education that makes students feel valued, acknowledged, and included in the learning process, thereby developing innovative, creative and entrepreneurial mindsets. Addressing this year’s graduates Dr Phiri Mushibwe said: “Whatever challenges you may face in the world today and tomorrow, always remember that you are educated and equipped with innovative skills, which foster creativity, adaptability, collaboration, communication and lifelong learning. The quality and transformative education you have attained at Unicaf University is crucial for the 21st century. The world is waiting for you to make a difference!”
Dr Kevin Andrews, Unicaf University Federal Vice Chancellor, underlined the importance of technology in higher education: “Embracing technology is not just a choice, it is a necessity. It enables us to expand the horizons of learning, making education accessible to all, irrespective of geographical and logistical constraints. The Unicaf platform, shared across our network of sister Universities in Africa and our collaborative partners, has been recently recognised as a global change agent in democratising access to higher education, with a prestigious PIEoneer award for ‘championing diversity, equity and inclusion in Higher Education”. In this digital age, Dr Andrews continued, online learning promotes inclusivity, ensuring that education is not a privilege but a fundamental right for every individual.
Representing all graduates of 2023, Kennedy Ochola Oduor from Kenya, who was awarded a Master’s degree, addressed his fellow graduates with these words: “Success is defined by the impact we make in the lives of others and by the positive change we bring to the world. Let us address the global challenges we face, such as climate change, poverty and inequality with the knowledge and skills we now possess. Let us grow into responsible, engaged world citizens, who help create inclusive, peaceful, and sustainable communities. Let us celebrate this milestone not just as an ending, but rather as a beginning. Let us go forth with courage, passion, and the belief that we have the power to make a difference.”
The excellent brass band of the Zambian Police entertained the audience with interlude music at the ceremony. The 2023 Unicaf University Graduation Ceremony was live-streamed on Facebook for all graduates, their families and others who could not attend in person.