News & Interviews

A married couple from Kuils River made history at the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) graduation ceremony held on Monday 27 August 2018 when they became UWC's first married couple to receive their PhD degrees at the very same graduation ceremony. The are also the very first couple who are both qualified occupational therapists to do so.

Sylnita Swartz-Filies and her husband Gérard Filies met at UWC during their undergraduate years while both were studying occupational therapy.
The couple completed their first degree in occupational therapy together back in 1997. This year is an extraordinary year for them as a couple especially since they’re also celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this September.

Sylnita went on to obtain an MA in Child and Family Studies in 2007 and today she received a PhD in Educational Psychology She says, “Although I had an opportunity to study at Stellenbosch University at a post grad level, I guess I am proudly UWC. I decided to stay here and I don’t regret it for a moment.

Video by Jesi Townsend

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