Record number of doctoral degrees to be awarded at Stellenbosch University

University spokesperson Martin Viljoen said: “during this week’s March graduation 139 doctorates will be awarded that are regarded as part of the 2015 academic year. This is the most doctorates for an academic year at the university.”

According to News24, the first group of students in the country will receive their MSc Sustainable Agriculture degree.

Professor Kennedy Dzama, team leader of Sustainable Agriculture South Africa and chair of the Department of Animal Sciences at Stellenbosch University, said that “with this year’s drought, food price hikes and new market complexities because of the AGOA trade agreement, these graduates couldn’t have come at a better time,”

The MSc Sustainable Agriculture Programme was launched as a programme between the Faculty of AgriSciences at Stellenbosch, Wageningen University Research in the Netherlands and Conservation South Africa. It was grounded in real-world application through Work Integrated Learning.

“As potential future practitoners and policy makers for our country’s food system, they have been equipped to deal with complex and controversial topics such as climate change, genetically modified foods, food wastage, land reform and many more,” Dzama said.

In addition, one honorary doctorate will be awarded.

The doctorate will be awarded to award-winning psychologist and Nobel Prize winner Professor Daniel Kahneman. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), honoris causa, will be awarded to Prof. Kahneman in recognition of his research on the human response to uncertainty.

Hanno Schreiber and Dr Hanelle Fourie Blair, who developed the first prototype of a multimedia electronic dictionary for South African Sign Language, will receive their honours degree in computer science.