Article source: Supplied

Completing your studies is a really special achievement. It is the culmination of all the time, energy, and hard work a student has put into gaining a qualification. Investing in education is a way to honour God and advance His Kingdom. Recently, the Cedar International Academy in KwaZulu-Natal allowed its students, workers, and residents to celebrate all they have achieved in previous years since celebrations were interrupted by the pandemic and other unforeseen circumstances.

On 26 October, the Private Higher Education Institution brought together students for an outstanding celebration event. The special event allowed them to celebrate with other achievers after the finalisation of their successful studies. Those who could not attend in person attended via live streaming.

Graduation day is a truly memorable occasion, and it should be celebrated with a special ceremony like the unique event at Cedar. For many of the students, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to dress up in a cap and gown and attend a ceremony celebrating the milestone of receiving a degree surrounded by their friends and loved ones. The academic procession is symbolic of a long and rich history which dates back many years. It is a time of joy, celebrations, and strengthening bonds with family, friends, and those who shared the journey with the students.


The student’s achievements varied from a Diploma in Teaching to a Doctorate in Education. Others achieved degrees in law and commerce and some of the students graduated Cum Laude. What made this event even more outstanding was the cultural diversity and age of the successful students! The almost 79-year-old Dr Elsa Bosman was one of the oldest students there, receiving the Doctorate in Education she completed during the pandemic (see picture). In essence, her research was about relationship-centred strategies for improving discipline in rural secondary schools. It is called the PALAR approach (Participatory Action Learning and Action Research).

Ilsa Vermaak, the CEO of Cedar initiated this outstanding event: “It is not only at Cedar where people are studying; many other young people at the KwaSizabantu Mission – at various other departments and businesses – are also upgrading their qualifications. We would like to recognise it and also encourage others to better their qualifications.”

The history of Cedar International Academy
Situated at the KwaSizabantu Mission, Cedar began in 1994 when Kay Stegen, wife of the late Rev Erlo Stegen, established the Cedar Training College (CTC). At the time, it was an off-campus training facility for teachers affiliated with the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University (NWU), formerly the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. CTC was soon upgraded to Cedar College of Education (CCE). Due to the changing governmental legislation, Cedar chose to go private, and the name changed to Cedar International Academy NPC. It was registered as a Private Higher Education Institution in 2021.


Cedar has an excellent track record of successes and milestones since it was established. Their mission statement clarifies their pursuit of knowledge, innovation, and excellence. Cedar was founded to create a multicultural setting committed to engaging with scientific practice and scholarship in a diverse society, preparing students to be effective in current times. Their strategy is to equip graduates to be role models in their communities, demonstrating integrity, honesty, respect, and responsibility while taking on leadership roles within a changed society. Cedar’s goal is to develop a commitment to what is true, honourable, and consistent with the highest values of the Word of God in their students. Their foundation is, therefore, based on the truths and values of God’s Word.

Cedar is provisionally registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training until 31 December 2024 as a Private Higher Education Institution under the Act and is also an approved Public Benefit Organisation (PBO).

Watch the video to learn more about Cedar International Academy:

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Date published: 09/11/2023

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