National pride as UniSey yields first ever graduates


President Michel addressing the graduates

In a colourful ceremony at the university’s Anse Royale campus, 22 graduated in business administration, and in computing and information systems, as another 107 got diplomas and advanced diplomas in education.

The event was presided over by Mr Michel, UniSey pro-chancellor Professor Rolph Payet, vice-chancellor Marina Confait and pro vice-chancellor Lucy Athanasius.
Among those present were the university’s faculty members, its council, the graduates’ parents and other distinguished guests.

Also there were representatives of the universities of London, La Reunion, Queensland and of other international institutions of higher learning.

Mr Michel noted that many were skeptical as others argued Seychelles was too small to have a university.

Mr Michel congratulated the graduates and expressed confidence they will contribute positively to society and the future development of Seychelles.

“Today is your day, a very special occasion to remember, to celebrate and treasure. Your commitment to your studies has culminated in this well-deserved university recognition and validation of your academic achievement. In years to come, when you bring your children and grand-children to visit the corridors of this campus, your graduation photograph will have a unique place on the walls of this university. You have set a fine example for the cohorts of students that will succeed you here, and I am confident that you will bring great pride to your alma mater, the University of Seychelles, in the years ahead,” he said.
He recalled that the vision to create the university was evoked in 2007 – during his state-of-the-nation address – and that the graduation of its first degree-holders is a milestone and fulfillment of this vision.

“That was one of the dreams I wanted to achieve for the people of Seychelles. That was one of my wishes for our people. That was the future I wanted to offer the young people of Seychelles. On this historic day in our nation’s history that dream has now been fulfilled, and our nation is justifiably proud of this accomplishment,” he said.

With the continuation of the university’s role in shaping the future of the country, it would be possible to achieve another vision he had shared in the past; to have one university graduate in every Seychellois household, he said.

Mr Michel also noted with satisfaction that a large group of teachers graduated with diplomas in education, adding that in the future more teachers will need to be trained to meet growing demand.

“Seychelles values its teachers, but we need more teachers. Education cannot progress without good and devoted teachers. Education is the foundation of any modern society, and university education is the cornerstone of this foundation.”

He called on all the young graduates to use their talents, imagination, energy and resourcefulness to help our country prosper further, and to use them generously in the service of their country, especially  for those in greatest need.

A total of 22 former students graduated with Bachelor of Science with Honours degrees. One was not there so she was awarded in absentia.

Professor Payet noted UniSey was a dream and a promise made by President Michel just under five years ago.

“The success of the University of Seychelles is a result of more than 30 years of investment in universal education. Our government has committed to nation building through investing in education. Our university stands today as one of the principal outcomes of realistic, attainable and sustainable strategic planning in the education sector. We have invested in the people by encouraging them to think for themselves and contribute with confidence to the future development of Seychelles. Today, as a consequence, many young Seychellois professionals hold key leadership positions in government, the private sector and the non-governmental sector,” he said.

He told the graduates their future is bright and that Seychelles needs people who walk the talk: “brave young people who are not afraid to believe in themselves and in their country”.

He said UniSey contributes directly to the economy of Seychelles by sub-contracting work to many small local businesses so the positive economic impact of the university extends across our nation to the very heart of our communities.

Prof Payet thanked the many Seychellois, local organisations and foreign colleagues who worked together to design the first Seychelles university, “and all those who have faithfully raised money for this important endeavour”.

“Thank you for your hard work and devotion in making this dream a reality for Seychelles,” he said.

Mrs Confait said studying at our local university has many advantages for example the personal attention students get from lecturers because there are fewer scholars than would be the case overseas.

New graduate Renny Bijoux thanked President Michel for his vision to have a university in Seychelles, assuring him it was a major step towards the realisation of the goal of having a graduate in every household.

He also expressed gratitude to all who have helped them during their challenging journey to graduation particularly their lecturers and family members.

The graduates triumphantly throwing their mortarboards in the air amid cheers and great excitement

In an interview he said studying here helps establish ties with potential employers, noting that he and many in his corhort already have jobs.

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