'You can achieve the seemingly "impossible." You just have to tap into your personal power.' This was the sentiment echoed by radio and TV personality, Melody Miya when he inspired top achieving students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Friday, 25 May 2018.
Speaking at the annual UJenius Club event, a University initiative to acknowledge outstanding academic performances by undergraduate students, Mr Miya, a UJ alumnus, offered words of encouragement and stressed the importance of "valuing the importance of making a contribution towards society before creating wealth."
According to Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, UJ's Vice-Chancellor: This year, for the first time, we have been ranked in the QS Top 100 Universities Under 50, the only university in Africa to be placed in this ranking. Our ranking acknowledges the astonishing progress achieved at UJ over the past decade since our founding," explained Prof Marwala.
The UJenuis Club brought together around 548 top achieving undergraduate students who have achieved an end-of-year average of 75% in the previous year, on a full course load, and with no module below 70%.
Dr Graham Dampier, Head: Integrated Student Success, UJ: "The UJenius Club, one of the highly recognised UJ undergraduate initiatives, offers UJ's best performing undergraduate students study benefits and additional opportunities of intellectual and professional development. It is important to celebrate the achievements of the 2018 UJenius members. Retaining students through to post-graduate level and other factors related to postgraduate research output are becoming progressively important focus areas. It is key to focus on the success and retention of undergraduate students, in order for postgraduate study to ensue."
Dr Graham Dampier
Prof Tshilidzi Marwala
The UJenius Club focuses on:
- Acknowledging and promoting academic excellence as a core component of the UJ student identity.
- Bringing students together from a diverse range of disciplines to stimulate interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration.
- Promoting the UJ values.
- Creating a social space where UJenius Club members, from different Faculties and campuses, are able to interact with each other; to build partnerships and friendships.
- Creating opportunities for closer contact with members of the UJ community.
- Providing UJ students who are academically achieving with privileged connections and benefits, given their academic performance.
Dr Dampier concluded by noting that high-performing students are selected to become members of the UJenius Club and offered additional opportunities for intellectual and professional development; including certificates acknowledging their academic achievements, and additional benefits as club members.