The University of Johannesburg’s current Strategic Plan,UJ Strategic Plan 2025 for 2021, is a living document that guides and frames its activities at all levels of the organisation. It gives effect to the Mission of the University to inspire its community to transform and serve humanity through innovation and the collective and collaborative pursuit of knowledge. It provides the roadmap to achieving UJ’s Vision to be an international University of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future.
The 2025 UJ Strategic Plan is organised around 6 strategic objectives:
- Excellence in research and innovation
- Excellence in teaching and learning
- An international profile for Global Excellence and Stature (GES)
- An enriching student-friendly learning and living experience
- National and global reputation management
- Fitness for Global Excellence and Stature (GES)
The Global Excellence and Stature (GES) Strategy, conceived in 2014, and now in its second iteration known as GES 4.0, is a specific investment initiative to accelerate the achievement of the strategic objectives, and to position UJ as a leader in developing people and technology appropriate for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) as it pertains to the African context. The UJ Strategic Plan underpins all endeavours at the University, and is incorporated in annual reporting processes, planning at faculty and division levels, and in the performance management system.
The 2021 UJ Strategic Plan, which is the latest annual version of the UJ Strategic Plan, incorporates 87 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in broader Key Performance Areas (KPAs), the vast majority of which, beyond new ones, have been tracked since 2013.
Strategic Objective 1: Excellence in Research and Innovation
UJ aims to increase its stature and reputation through the quality, integrity and impact of its research endeavour, particularly as it engages with issues pertinent to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in the pan-African context.
In this regard, the UJ Strategic Plan guides postgraduate output, research productivity, research collaboration, research impact, research funding, and research capacity in terms of staffing. In terms of innovation, the Key Performance Areas (KPAs) monitored relate to applied technology-driven research and innovation, and revenue from commercialisation.
Strategic Objective 2: Excellence in Teaching and Learning
UJ aims to establish pre-eminence and stature in teaching and learning and to promote outstanding achievements by the full range of its highly diverse student body in intellectually rigorous curricula which respond innovatively to the challenges of the 21st century in general, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in particular.
The UJ Strategic Plan monitors enrolment targets, relevant programme and curriculum development, international collaboration, student achievement through various success and output indicators, graduate employability, and scholarly output on teaching and learning.
Strategic Objective 3: An International Profile for Global Excellence and Stature (GES)
UJ aims to build its international profile for Global Excellence and Stature (GES) through actively pursuing internationalisation in terms of students, staff and academic programmes.
The UJ Strategic Plan monitors the recruitment of international students and staff, the number of students involved in study abroad programmes (inbound, outbound and online), institutional partnerships and collaboration on joint academic programmes.
Strategic Objective 4: An Enriching Student-Friendly Learning and Living Experience
UJ aims to provide an enriching student-friendly learning and living experience with excellent teaching and learning facilities, ongoing support through the entire cycle of studies, vibrant learning and living communities, and a responsible and respectful student culture and ethos.
The UJ Strategic Plan monitors the teaching and learning facilities, student satisfaction, participation in SRC elections and students’ voluntary service.
Strategic Objective 5: National and Global Reputation Management
UJ aims to manage its national and global reputation as a pan-African centre for critical intellectual inquiry achieved through extensive scholarship, participation in knowledge networks and profiling UJ achievements and research through public engagement, particularly in flagship areas such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The UJ Strategic Plan monitors pan-African partnerships, public conferences and lectures at UJ on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), prestigious staff and student awards, brand survey results, global rankings positions, and public intellectual contributions of leaders and staff in global and national media on all matters, and on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in particular.
Strategic Objective 6: Fitness for Global Excellence and Stature (GES)
UJ aims to be a well-governed, financially stable organisation fit for Global Excellence and Stature (GES) that employs a diverse and illustrious staffing complement to further its strategic objectives, and that promotes environmental sustainability in its policies and practices.
The UJ Strategic Plan monitors efficiency and effectiveness, financial sustainability indicators, institutional culture through survey results and leadership programmes, investment in the academic project, staff:student ratios, academic staff qualifications, employment strategies to build proportions of black, female, disabled and international staff, staff seniority and turnover indicators, as well as environmental sustainability and good governance indicators.
UJ Strategic Plan – Annual Monitoring Process
The achievement of the KPIs in the UJ Strategic Plan as a whole is monitored at the level of the executive leadership of the institution, the MEC (Management Executive Committee), at an annual November breakaway, and by Senate and Council. At the MEC breakaway, any changes to the KPIs are decided upon, and the outcomes of each KPI against the targets are discussed, and new targets for the following year are proposed for Council’s discussion and approval.
UJ Annual Performance Plan (UJ APP) – Quarterly Monitoring
In addition to annual monitoring and review, a subset of the KPIs in the UJ Strategic Plan form what is known as the UJ Annual Performance Plan (UJ APP) that is monitored quarterly by the MEC, Senate and Council. The UJ APP for the fourth quarter of a particular year is also subject to audit by external auditors.
DHET Annual Performance Plan (DHET APP)
UJ also conforms to the statutory reporting requirements to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) determined by the 2014 Regulations for Reporting. In what is known as the DHET Annual Performance Plan (DHET APP), to distinguish it from the internal UJ APP, a set of targets related to commitments the University has made to the Minister of Higher Education and Training (such as enrolment targets and funding envelopes) is presented to the DHET by 15 December each year. A mid-year report on the achievement of targets is provided by November of the following year, and the year-end achievements form part of the University’s formal Annual Report to the DHET. Like the UJ APP, the DHET APP is arranged according to the 6 strategic objectives, but it is less extensive and there is limited overlap with the UJ APP as the targets are mostly enrolment-related.