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Unisa Ethiopian Regional Learning Centre celebrates stellar graduates

Unisa recently held a graduation celebration at its Ethiopian Regional Learning Centre in Addis Ababa. The event was graced by a high-level Unisa delegation, Ethiopian government representatives and officials from the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Ethiopia.

In line with the mandate of the Unisa Regional Learning Centre to focus on postgraduate qualifications, 57 of the 71 graduates completed PhD programmes, while ten earned master's degrees

Achievements of 71 graduates who completed their studies in 2022 at the regional learning centre were colourfully celebrated at the ceremony. In line with the mandate of the regional learning centre to focus on postgraduate qualifications, 57 of the graduates completed PhD programmes, while ten earned master's degrees.

Unisa has been operating in Ethiopia since 2007 following an agreement signed with the government of Ethiopia. The opening of the learning centre was part of the implementation of the 2004 agreement of cooperation of the governments of South Africa and Ethiopia as part of their broader vision of building a united, developed and prosperous Africa. The university's presence in Ethiopia has contributed significantly towards increased access to postgraduate study programmes in the country, especially PhD programmes.

Front, from left: Dr Yeshimebrat Mersha, Member of House of Peoples' Representatives and former Ambassador of Ethiopia to South Africa; Mashukudu James Maboa, Chairperson of Unisa Council; Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor

In her keynote address, the guest of honour, Dr Yeshimebrat Mersha, Member of the House of Peoples' Representatives and former Ambassador of Ethiopia to South Africa, remarked: "Ethiopia and South Africa have been collaborating in various areas. Today's graduates are the results and testimonies of this great partnership and the manifestation of the strong bond between the people and governments of the two countries. It is an exemplary south-south cooperation, which must still be expanded further."

Thus far, 968 students have completed their studies at Unisa's Ethiopian Regional Learning Centre. Among them, 454 completed PhDs and 367 are master's degree graduates. The rest completed honours and bachelor's degrees. The majority of the doctoral graduates are academics from Ethiopian public universities. Unisa is very proud to be playing a pivotal role in building Ethiopian universities' research and teaching capacity, which will contribute to sustaining the growth trajectory the county has embarked on. In addition, Unisa graduates in Ethiopia have attained high-level leadership roles in various sectors, including positions of Minister, Commissioner, University President and Head of Regional Organisation, to mention a few.

In recognition of this outstanding achievement of Unisa in Ethiopia, Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Unisa, expressed in her welcoming address: "Unisa is proud of the work and growth of the Ethiopia Regional Learning Centre."

Prof LenkaBula, Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor

LenkaBula emphasised the strategic importance of the university's work in Ethiopia and its plans to expand its operations into other countries in Eastern Africa by making Ethiopia a regional hub.

She said: "The Ethiopia Regional Learning Centre – which will soon become a Regional Hub – is one of the practical ways in which we invest in Africa's future in science, innovation, human capacity development and leadership for the renewal and sustainability of our continent. Our work here in East Africa is aligned with our Strategy, Agenda 2063, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."

In addition to running its academic programmes in Ethiopia, Unisa collaborates with Ethiopian universities, the African Union Commission, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to promote education, science and research.

* By Meseret M Tefera, Deputy Director, Unisa Ethiopia Regional Learning Centre


Publish date: 2023/01/17