Dear Staff Members and Students
This week started on a high with my formal inauguration as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University on Monday, 26 March, in the presence of invited guests from academia, government, business, and representatives from labour and civil society. We were also privileged to have the former President of South Africa and UJ Doctorate, Thabo Mbeki, Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande, Member of the Executive Council for Roads and Transport of Gauteng Provincial Government, Mr Ismail Vadi, in attendance, and to be addressed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Ms Naledi Pandor.
I am extremely honoured to have celebrated this occasion with staff and students. Thank you to everyone who was involved in organising this very special ceremony.
Following my inauguration on Monday, the University also conferred, on Tuesday, 27 March, an honorary doctoral degree (Doctor of Laws, LLD honoris causa) on the Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Mogoeng Thomas Reetsang Mogoeng for his sterling and exemplary leadership of the judicial branch of government. And yet more celebrations took place as we entered the second week of our autumn graduation season and applauded our successful students who received their degrees in front of their families and lecturers.
The results of the January 2018 Initial Test of Competence (administered by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants) were released on Friday, 23 March 2018. I am thrilled to announce that UJ student, Simon Basson, achieved the number one position out of the 3 012 students who wrote this strenuous, nation-wide examination. Simon is also an academic trainee at UJ. Another UJ candidate, Brett Black, was placed in the Top 10. Both candidates achieved Honours, (that is, a pass mark of 75% or higher). Congratulations to the College of Business and Economics and to Simon and Brett!
Today concludes the first quarter of our academic programme. As we ease into the first short recess this Easter weekend, I encourage our students and academics to rest well and return ready to complete the first semester with physical and intellectual vigour.
There are a number of staff members who will remain on campus to keep the momentum of the University going as we prepare for the start of our mid-year examinations and winter graduations. While your break will be shorter than others, I trust that you will enjoy the long weekend nonetheless.
I urge those of you who will be travelling to various destinations to do so safely.
With my very best wishes,
Professor Tshilidzi Marwala
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of Johannesburg