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VC's Message - 02 February 2018


Publishing Date: 2/2/2018 8:00 AM

Dear UJ Staff Members and Students

Over the last few weeks it has been all systems go at UJ to ensure that our new and returning students are registered and ready to start the 2018 academic year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank, once again, all staff, the leadership of the Student Representative Council, and the faculties’ and departments’ student assistants for their commitment to ensuring a smooth registration process.
 
UJ’s academic programme commences on Monday, 5 February. It is with great excitement that I look forward to a focused and dynamic start as we welcome all of our students onto campus – most especially our new students. As I anticipate their arrival, I find myself reflecting with some nostalgia on my first year at university. My village school in Duthuni in the Tshivhase region of the Limpopo Province was a far cry from a university. Like most of our first-year students, I entered the world of higher education with great enthusiasm, hope and ambition. However, as you might well imagine, the university environment was absolutely overwhelming for a young boy who used to herd the family cows and goats in his spare time. In order to cater for students who are making the daunting transition from school to university, UJ offers academic support, development, counselling and guidance from a range of centres, all of which were brought to our students’ attention during the campus orientation and First Year Seminars.
 
Our students are our family, and I can confidently say that we will unlock their full potential and shape individuals who will reimagine the future to the benefit of our world − true UJ brand ambassadors! We are now on our way to a year that is filled with the promise of exciting opportunities and the pursuit of excellence at our university.
 
On one such note of excellence, please join me in congratulating Mr Deon Kruger − Senior Lecturer and Researcher in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment – who was acknowledged by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) with its prestigious President’s Award. This outstanding acknowledgement, awarded in exceptional and highly deserving circumstances, is in recognition of Mr Kruger’s commitment to education and his research contributions that impacted the industry. Truly well deserved!
 
During the past week, our Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) hosted fourteen academics from various countries for a workshop on the teaching of International Relations globally. This was the first time such a meeting, co-sponsored by the highly respected World International Studies Committee, took place in Africa. The group compared curricula in the field of International Relations and discussed degree structures across the world, with a special focus on ways to decolonise the field. I wish to thank Prof Peter Vale and his team for this interaction with our international peers.
 
In closing, I invite you to view a video in which Prof Saurabh Sinha, our new Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Internationalisation, shares his thoughts on his overarching vision for research, innovation and internationalisation, highlighting how the Fourth Industrial Revolution will advance the nature of our teaching and research undertakings.
 
Are gopoleng ka boswa bokamoso bja UJ mmogo! (Let us reimagine the future of UJ together!)
 
Thank you and have a great weekend.
 
Prof Tshilidzi Marwala
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of Johannesburg