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The Department of Town and Regional Planning at University of Johannesburg (UJ) was established during the erstwhile Technikon Witwatersrand. The first intake of students for the National Diploma Town and Regional Planning was in 1989 and the BTech Town and Regional Planning had its first intake of students in 1996. With the merger of the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), Wits Technikon and Vista University, the Department became part of the UJ during 2005. The Department of Town and Regional Planning forms part of the cluster of School of Civil Engineering and the Built Environment (SCEBE) that is located in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) at University of Johannesburg. The UJ is the only tertiary institution in the whole of Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and the Free State Provinces that focuses on the training of Town and Regional Planning Technicians. The Town and Regional Planning Department within the UJ is therefore the exclusive educational hub of Technicians in four major provinces and as a result provides prime stakeholders with a required level of skills that is important in industry. The only other institutions training Town and Regional Planning Technicians are the Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
The National Diploma Town and Regional Planning Programme was phased out in 2017 for new intakes and introduced three year’s Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (BURP) programme from 2017. The Department also introduced interdisciplinary Masters Programme in Sustainable Urban Planning and Development (MSUPD) from 2018. Three new programmes are under development and expected to start from 2020 namely: Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (Honours), Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (by Research), and PhD in Urban and Regional Planning. During 2019, the BTech Town and Regional Planning would be the last intake batch and would be phased out in 2020 with the introduction of Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (Honours).
The Department of Town and Regional Planning is among one of the 11 Planning Departments located in higher learning institutions in South Africa. The Department is part of the member network of 55 Planning Institutions under Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS). The Department actively engages with other institutional partners at national, provincial and local level and provides active networking support to the staff as well as students. The Department of Town and Regional Planning maintains strong relations with planning professions through its affiliation with South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN) and the South African Planning Institute (SAPI). Its strategic linkages provides a platform for engagement on local, national and global trends and promotion of research, teaching and learning. At the national level, the Department has strategic partnerships with national institutes, cities, provincial and national departments and universities. At the international level, the Department has strategic partnerships with reputed universities through research collaborations.