Speech by Prof Barry Richter of North West University, 15 March 2014:
Welcome to Revernds Erlo Stegen, Mdlalose, Kjell Olsen, Dr Vermaak and my collegues of North West University.
Good evening ladies and gentleman, Sanibonani.
Let me begin by telling you more about the University and the Faculty from whom you are receiving your qualification tonight. North-West University cam into existence 10 years ago when the then Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education merged with the University of the North-West. This merging was the result of the government's policy to reduce the number of universities serving South Africa. In actual fact, the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (CHE) came into existence in 1869 in Burgesdorp as a theological school where ministers of the Reformed Church were educated. The Faculty of Education of the PU for CHE was created in 1919 and so it is 96 years old today!
In 2002, the former Potchefstroom Education College was incorporated into the PU for CHE and the faculty was given a new name – the Faculty for Educational Sciences. We are proud to say that things are going well with the North-West University and the Faculty of Educational Sciences.
The Faculty has in the region of about 28 000 students, of which 25 000 are off-campus students who are currently upgrading their qualifications. The four-year BEd and the one-year Post-Graduate Certificate of Education are the two initial teaching qualifications offered in the Faculty. Last year there were 15 Doctoral degrees, 22 Master's degrees, 1,339 Honours degrees, 542 BEds and 133 PGCE qualifications, to name but some, awarded by the Faculty. This year, the Faculty is holding no less than 18 Graduation ceremonies, of which tonight's is one.
It has been and still is a privilege for me to be associated with Cedar College and Kwasizabantu. Every time that I visit I am touched by the presence of our Heavenly Father that is infused in everyone connected with the college and Kwasizabantu.