School of Social Sciences

SRC Members Thrilled to Graduate with Social Sciences Degrees

Ms Thandeka Mkhwane and Ms Nonkululeko Mhlongo graduate with their Bachelor of Social Sciences degrees.
Ms Thandeka Mkhwane and Ms Nonkululeko Mhlongo graduate with their Bachelor of Social Sciences degrees.

Howard College Student Representative Council (HSRC) members from the University of KwaZulu-Natal were thrilled to graduate with their undergraduate degrees recently.

Ms Thandeka Mkhwane (Community Development Officer) and Ms Nonkululeko Mhlongo (Deputy President) received their Bachelor of Social Sciences degrees at the UKZN Spring Graduation Ceremonies.

Mkhwane initially wanted to become a teacher. However, due to her high school background, she ended up enrolling for the College of Humanities’ Bachelor of Social Science Access/Extended programme. ‘My plan was to transfer to Edgewood campus the following year, but during the course of studying Social Sciences, I developed a passion for Administration. It was influenced by a volunteering role during UKZN’s applications and registrations period. This is why I chose Industrial Psychology (equivalent to Human Resources Management) as one of my majors,’ said Mkhwane.

Mkhwane comes from a supportive family that helped raise her son while she pursued her studies. For the first two years, she did not have any financial aid and relied on assistance from friends and her grandmother who was always there for her since her parents died.

‘It’s difficult to balance academic life, family responsibilities and student activism. Through perseverance and commitment, I always manoeuvred my study timetable to accommodate other responsibilities. I am inspired by myself because I am the first graduate amongst my siblings. I hope this will encourage other undergraduate students to be active in academia and participate in volunteering in order to gain work experience,’ she said.

Mkhwane plans to further her studies and to get a job to support her family.

Fellow SRC member Mhlongo was introduced to social sciences in her high school geography class in which she studied the various social challenges that society face on a day to day basis. This inspired and motivated her to pursue a bachelor of social sciences.

Mhlongo left home to study with her parents’ blessings and the last R50 her mother had. She juggled both academia and motherhood, often finding it difficult but through hard work and dedication, she prevailed. Mhlongo is now the pride of her family, being the first to graduate with her degree.

She thanked her family and friends for their support. Offering advice to other students, Mhlongo said, ‘Each and every study has their own struggle. Don’t let your problems define you. Stay focussed through tests and trials.’

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Dr Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu at CODESRIA’s General Assembly Conference.

UKZN Research Fellow presents paper at CODESRIA General Assembly Conference

Research Fellow in International Relations within the School of Social Sciences, Dr Clayton Hazvinei Vhumbunu presented a paper on African Regional Economic Integration in the era of Globalisation: Reflecting on the Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs, at the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa’s (CODESRIA) 15th General Assembly Conference in Dakar, Senegal.

From left: Mr Niq Mhlongo, Mrs Shantha Maharaj, Ms Darniel Small, Dr Patricia Opondo, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, Mr Mbuso Khoza, Dr Saleem Badat, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, Professor Nogwaja Zulu and Ms Xoliswa Zulu

Humanities Academics spearhead research projects through the Mellon Foundation

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize and academics Professors Ernest Khalema, Maheshvari Naidu, Nobuhle Hlongwa and Nogwaja Zulu recently met with Dr Saleem Badat of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to discuss their research projects that were made possible through funding from the Foundation.