Professor Tinyiko Maluleke, Vice-Chancellor and Principal.
In the first part of his address, Prof Maluleke digs deep in the history of the Tshwane University of Technology, demonstrating the significant contributions which the institution has made, over the past eighteen years, in higher education and in the development of skills for the country.
Confident that TUT graduates “are competitive enough to be able to find employment in conventional professions”, Prof Maluleke suggested that, what set TUT graduates apart from their peers, “is their readiness for jobs that do not as yet exist, jobs that will only exist in the future”. In his view, TUT graduates a poised to shape the future of work.
He was particularly encouraged by the accolades which the institution has received from university ranking agencies like the World University Rankings and Times Higher Education. “By virtue of these independent and unsolicited reviews, we can safely conclude that TUT is steadily transforming from a good University into a great University”, he noted.
Prof Maluleke also remarked on the significance of attaining a qualification from the University when he described a TUT qualification as “a powerful tool” which has paved the way for many successful people.” He also challenged TUT graduates to “stretch out their hand and pull up those still left behind”. To this end he appealed to TUT graduates not only to sign up to become members of the different alumni chapters, but also to give back to TUT, in terms of monetary donations and in terms of provision of mentorship for TUT students.
“Future-ready graduates, go on and make your knowledge work for your country and for the world”, said Prof Maluleke.
He was full of praise for the resilience shown by TUT graduates during the two years (2020-2021) when Covid19 was wreaking havoc in the world. He noted how “TUT students switched, with admirable agility and remarkable resilience, from face-to-face teaching and learning to various modes of online teaching and learning.” He concluded that the TUT students graduating during 2022 “have overcome the greatest challenge ever faced by students in higher education in a hundred years”.
Invoking the words of Nelson Mandela, Prof Maluleke was unequivocal about the key role of education in both personal and national development: “It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”