December is always the month when we experience a ‘changing of the guard’. At the University Graduation Ceremony on 11 December, the list of graduates from our BPhil and MPhil degree programmes was most impressive indeed, with several graduating cum laude. Although not all could attend their graduation, 25 BPhil candidates were awarded their degrees, and 10 MPhil candidates were awarded their degrees. We all celebrated this momentous event the night before at a party organised by the Sustainability Institute. Eve Annecke, the Director, handed out gifst to all the different people involved with the Sustainability Institute, including the staff from the School of Public Management and Planning and the graduating students. In addition, gifts were recieved by the Lynedoch gardeners, the administrative staff, and staff from all the Sustainability Institute projects such as Early Childhood Development, Community Development Practice, Sustainable Agriculture and Research.
With welcome assistance from the new Academic Programme Administrator, Thembisa Dodo (firstname.lastname@example.org), it was possible to review nearly 150 applicants for the BPhil in 2008, and to interview many of them. A large number of excellent applicants were reviewed, but unfortunately it was not possible to accept them all. 67 have been accepted, 36 of whom were men and 31 women; and 46 are black and 21 white. There are, in addition, applicants from several African countries. In addition, there are students from the Renewable Energy stream registered for engineering degrees and from the sustainable forestry stream registered in the Forestry Department. It promises to be an exciting 2008.