Vibrant, multicultural and dynamic, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) shares the pace and energy of cosmopolitan Johannesburg, the city whose name it carries. Proudly South African, the university is alive down to its African roots, and well-prepared for its role in actualising the potential that higher education holds for the continent’s development.
The phenomenal success story of the University is one that has surprised critics and won over sceptics. Being an institution that prides itself in its accessible excellence, after only nine years UJ has established itself as an institution of global excellence and world-class stature.
In its first five years of existence, UJ doubled its accredited research output and increased its number of distinguished South African Research Chairs from none to seven.
This remarkable achievement was reached well ahead of the target set for 2015. The 2010 research outcome was the result of UJ’s desire, during the initial period, to establish UJ as a thoroughly research-focused university.
UJ is the first and only African university admitted to the highly respected consortium of 28 research-intensive universities in the world, Universitas 21 – an important endorsement of the growing international stature of UJ.
UJ boasts world-class, internationally recognised academic programmes based on curricula informed by cutting-edge developments in both undergraduate and postgraduate education. UJ’s programmes, within its nine faculties, are designed to prepare students for the world of work and for global citizenship. The University has four campuses, namely the Auckland Park Bunting Road Campus; the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus; the Doornfontein Campus; and the Soweto Campus.
Based on the choices of UJ’s Orange Carpet First-Year Students – those with an APS score equal to and greater than 40 points – the flagship programmes include: Accounting; Electrical and Electronic/ Mechanical/ Civil/ Mining Engineering; LLB/ BA Law/ BCom Law; Mathematics/ Applied Mathematics; IT/ Computer Sciences; Human Physiology; Optometry; Finance; Psychology; and Teacher Education.
In order to make UJ’s teaching, research and innovation goals a reality, UJ has, over the past eight years, invested in excess of R2 billion into the upgrading and expansion of living and learning facilities on all of its campuses and into creating a safe and secure, world-class learning and research environment for both staff and students.
UJ also introduced handheld devices (a tablet or laptop) into first-year classrooms in 2014, in a bid to connect these young minds with the world of e-knowledge that they are growing into, and to transform their ability to contribute and compete.
UJ’s graduate success rate now stands at 83,4% and the overall annual graduate output is in excess of 11,400 students. The University’s First Year Experience Programme (FYE), an initiative offering academic skills reinforcement with an accent on students mentoring fellow students, is one of the support programmes that help ease the school-to-university transition. Almost 1,300 student tutors, selected from third-year level and up, act as an interface between students and teaching staff. UJ also introduced academic advisors in University residences and approved off-campus accommodation facilities. Under UJ’s Academic Excellence Programme, 250 student advisors are serving 2,000 first-year students in 25 residences.
Notable, too, is that UJ, with more than 49,500 students; 2,300 international students; 6,700 postgraduates and renowned academic staff, is an institution with an admirable graduation rate. UJ is home to 133 rated researchers, six of whom are A-rated, and has seven National Research Foundation Chairs. Additionally, it produces the largest number of black accountants of all accredited residential universities in the country.
While UJ pursues global excellence and stature, the University envisages being nationally responsive in a manner that only UJ can. In this regard, among South Africa’s six leading universities, only UJ successfully provides access to almost 2,000 first-year students who come from the poorest communities, providing them, where needed, with top-up NSFAS funding, bursaries and two healthy meals a day.
In the next ten years, UJ has set six strategic goals, namely:
- Global Excellence in Research and Innovation
- Global Excellence in Teaching and Learning
- An International Profile Fit for Global Excellence and Stature
- An Outstanding Student Experience
- Active Global Reputation Management, and
- An Institution and People Fit for Global Excellence and Stature
Aspiring to greater heights in achieving an international reputation for academic and research distinction, UJ intends investing more than R600 million over the next seven years into six Flagship Research Institutes designed to enrich and deepen its academic profile through research innovation. The strategy aims to transform UJ into a pan-African epicentre of critical intellectual inquiry and scholarship. The Flagship Research Institutes, within UJ’s nine faculties, aims to influence the international search for intelligent solutions to the grand challenges of our time. The flagship programmes have a dedicated focus on postgraduate studies that support students in the master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral fellows’ programmes. The Flagship Research Institutes include: Earth Sciences; Nanotechnology and Water; Sustainability and Megacities; Process Automation; Pan-African Political Thought and Conversation; and Advanced Studies and Innovation in Science and Society.
An international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future.
Inspiring its community to transform and serve humanity through innovation and the collaborative pursuit of knowledge.
Shaping the future
Developing a cosmopolitan identity
Exhibiting ambition and drive
Adopting entrepreneurial approaches
Learning together from our diversity
Making wise decisions collectively
Engaging meaningfully with one another
Displaying mutual respect
Developing sustainably through creative contribution
Introspecting for renewal
Innovating for the common good
Making positive change
Taking advantage of overlooked opportunities
Treasuring academic freedom
Seeking balance in the pursuit of knowledge
Facing challenges with courage and earning trust
Acting responsibly by being fair,
consistent and transparent
Participating in and helping the community (ubuntu)*
*Ubuntu, which means humanness in the Nguni languages of southern Africa, is the idea that a person achieves excellence insofar as she shares a way of life with others and cares for their quality of life.