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The Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies (GEMES) at the University of Johannesburg aims to be a leading academic centre in Human and Physical Geography, Geo-informatics, Environmental Management and Energy Studies. These core focus areas inform local, national and global priorities to address geographical and environmental problems. Our mandate is to provide quality teaching and research, in keeping with the strategic imperatives of the Faculty of Science at the University of Johannesburg and the UJ’s 2025 Strategic Plan.
Community engagement also forms an integral component of our broad mandate and mission and the department hosts a number of registered community engagement projects. Providing a rigorous academic environment for students and recognising the need for a decolonised academy are among our key challenges. Throughput rates at undergraduate and honours levels have remained high over a number of years. Increased productivity is being initiated at masters and doctoral level.
The Geography Department at UJ has been recognised internationally in the QS World Rankings by Subject in 2016 as being in the top 151-200 geography departments globally. The subject of Geography at UJ is also ranked by QS as 4th in South Africa and in Africa. The department is very productive in terms of research with four of our academic staff being NRF-rated. Visiting professors and researchers complement our research and teaching with regular visits to our department.