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​UJ Convocation​

Notice of the Annual General Meeting of the Convocation

Members of the Convocation of the University of Johannesburg are cordially invited to the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Convocation.

Date:   9 November 2016          
Time:   16:30 for 17:00
Venue: FADA Auditorium Bunting Road Campus, Auckland Park.

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OFFICE OF THE VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL


If you have successfully completed an approved curricular course at The University of Johannesburg (UJ), then you are part of Convocation (calling together). It is the primary channel for your opinions as a UJ Alumni to be passed back to UJ for consideration. Convocation is the official interface between the University and its alumni.
 
There are various mechanisms through which Convocation discharges its mandate:
 
  • The Standing Committee of Convocation meets annually to discuss University matters, changes affecting UJ alumni and develops approved responses.
  • The Annual Meeting of Convocation is open to all alumni.
  • The Convocation committee receives reports from the University, then discusses and agrees on opinions and resolution to be passed on to the University.
  • The chairperson of Convocation represents all alumni at the Council.
  • The Convocation is a legally constituted body that concerns itself with key issues of concern to alumni.  It must, however, always recognise the concerns and interests of the University.

Convocation supports the entire spectrum of activity devoted to consulting, informing, representing and supporting UJ alumni. Convocation is a part of the University’s structure and does not exist outside it.

Want to get involved, connect with us on the details below:

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  • Join the Alumni Network by submitting a membership application by clicking here.
  • Read and contribute to the Alumni E-Newsletter and the magazine, UJ Advance with your story or achievements.
  • Ensure that the Alumni Network Office has your current contact details by emailing them to alumniadmin@uj.ac.za
  • Recommend to other alumni in your circle to do the same.

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OFFICE OF THE VICE-CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL

Dear Alumni

I write to you having just received the encouraging news that government will subsidise poor, working- and middle-class students by providing the funding to cover fee adjustments for 2017.

What this means, in essence, is that the plight of all poor, working-class and missing middle students — whose families earn up to R600 000 (six hundred thousand rand) per annum — and who genuinely cannot afford to pay fee adjustments for next year, has now been addressed. This will see the government committing up to R2,5 billion to all universities, to support the gap of the 8% fee increase for financially needy students.

However, and unlike last year, the 2017 government support will, not cover students whose parents can afford to pay the fee increase. This will also extend to students who receive bursaries and scholarships to cover their fees.  The government is arguing that subsidising the fees of students who are on scholarships and those who can afford to pay fees, will limit funds which can be used to provide tertiary access to a number of poor students in higher education who rely on state support. By continuing to support poor and missing middle  students, the government has tried its best to balance a range of competing interests within the overall constrained national budget framework, which will all go a long way to ensure the long-term viability of the South African university sector.

We are further pleased to hear that the government has also reconfirmed its commitment to progressively introduce free higher education for the poor, which will increase the number of university entrants of people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

But given that the authority for determining fee adjustments resides with university councils, the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, has also asked that respective councils and their communities decide their specific fee adjustments for the 2017 academic year. This will only affect those who can afford fee increases.

In this regard, I have no hesitation in commending the government on its pronouncement, and in calling upon you to support this framework, as it is a win-win outcome that looks after the interests of students and sustains universities. This allows universities to continue to provide quality education that is affordable to all academically deserving South Africans — with increased support to poor and working-class communities to ensure that higher education access is not denied on the basis of financial need.

Government's decision has considered the recommendations by the Interim Report of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) on 2017 university fees, as well as all the inputs that were made during Minister Nzimande's consultations with stakeholders, university vice-chancellors and council chairs, various student organisations, organised labour, faith communities, political organisations and government.

The CHE's recommendations, which considered a number of fee adjustment models, proposed an inflation linked fee adjustment across the board for 2017, which balanced the interests of students and the sustainability of the higher education system.

Based on this recommendation from the Minister of Higher Education and Training, UJ will consult with the Student Representative Council and the final decision on the 2017 fee increases for the students who do not qualify for the subsidised fee adjustment will be decided by UJ Council - the minimum required to enable the University to continue operating effectively without severely undermining its capacity to offer quality education.

There was no fee adjustment in 2016.  This, in effect, means that the proposed 2017 fee adjustment is less than what is required, as it is calculated on the 2015 fee base. Universities will still need to procure the necessary items, such as academic books and journals, electronic information databases, computer hardware and software, laboratory equipment, research equipment and research and laboratory consumables from overseas, in foreign currency, in the backdrop of our own depreciating currency. Despite this year's massive national budget boost to the higher education sector, universities continue to face challenges in funding research, as well as teaching and learning, and the university sector remains underfunded.

As Minister Nzimande said today, I too cannot stress enough how critical it is that our minimum operating capacity is restored, if we are to continue to make a significant contribution to sustaining and innovating South Africa's industrial economy and to empowering young people to participate in and contribute to that economy.

Another year without fee adjustments would intensify this situation and could lead to a further shrinkage of critical programmes at all universities, in addition to undermining the longer-term financial sustainability of the university system.

UJ, together with the Department of Higher Education and Training, will also continue to mobilise institutional and private sector financial support for students not covered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), specifically those students whose family incomes are above the NSFAS threshold, but who may not afford fees on their own.

In addition, the higher education sector is also eagerly following the progress of other crucial initiatives, such as the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the feasibility of fee free Higher Education and Training, as well as the Ministerial Task Team on Funding Support for the Poor and 'Missing Middle' Students, all of which should engender the long-term future of the sector when their work comes to completion.


Yours sincerely

Mr Jaco Van Schoor

Acting Vice-Chancellor

University of Johannesburg

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UJ Convocation President, Mr Mbali Mkhonto, urges students to keep a level head

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Minutes

Convocation Minutes - Special General Meeting 29 February 2016
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UJ Future Walk Message

Dear members of the UJ Convocation

The University's annual fundraiser, Future Walk, enters its second year with an ambitious aim to grow the participation numbers and has set the target of R10 million to be raised which will go a long way to assist financially needy students at UJ. In 2015, the UJ Future Walk — a 5 km walk and 8 km run - raised just over R1 million with just one thousand participants.

The University urges its staff and students and its members of Council, Senate, Convocation, and surrounding communities to gather at the AW Muller Stadium (APB Campus Sports Complex) on Sunday, 2nd October 2016 (8 km run starts at 7:30 am and 5 km walk starts at 7:45am) and commit to be part of the solution in providing our students with a better chance at their academic future.

Annually‚ thousands of successful matriculants‚ driven by hope and youthful optimism‚ are trying to gain entry to one of the country's institutions of higher learning. However‚ a sizeable number of tertiary students and their parents cannot afford university education. The purpose of this Walk is to raise funds for students that deserve to pursue studies at UJ‚ but are financially excluded due to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) shortfall.

We therefore kindly invite you to please join us at the UJ Future Walk on Sunday morning, 02 October 2016 at the AW Muller Stadium for a walk/run.

Please RSVP to Mathatho Manaka: 011 559 1361 - futurewalk@uj.ac.za


Details of the Future Walk:

5KM Walk: R145
8KM Run/Walk: R175
Nappy Dash / Kids Race: R60

SMS 'UJFutureWalk' to 40287 to pledge R20

Please click HERE to participate in the UJ Future Walk.

Sincerely,

UJ: Sport, Student Finance and Institutional Advancement