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VC Message - 24 August 2018

Publishing Date: 8/24/2018 10:00 AM

I am excited to share with you the good news on the performance of our students who wrote the June 2018 Initial Test of Competence (ITC) of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). The ITC is the first of two professional examinations in which candidate Chartered Accountants (CAs) are required to pass in order to register as CAs.

Following the June results, UJ has achieved an overall pass rate of 93% for the 2018 cohort of students, compared to the national pass rate of 88%! Our University continues to contribute immensely to the growth of the Accounting Profession, with a total of 304 students passing the SAICA ITC exams in 2018. UJ had the largest number of successful candidates, and the highest number (167) of African candidates (contributing 15% of all African passes nationally) of all residential universities. This confirms our University's position as a leading institution in transforming the Accounting Profession in South Africa.

SAICA also acknowledges the role that UJ has played in the Thuthuka ITC Repeat programme – offered to black candidates across universities – at a pass rate of 71%, compared to the national pass rate of 61%. Congratulations to Professors Daneel van Lill and Ben Marx, and the entire staff and students in the College of Business and Economics as well as the Department of Accountancy at UJ for this sterling showing!

On another note, we have received the exciting news that our BA Honours Programme in Sociology has been given full accreditation by the Board of Directors of the Commission on the Accreditation of Programs in Applied and Clinical Sociology (CAPACS). The Board applauds the fine work of the Programme, Department, and our University in achieving this notable distinction with substantial compliance on all the Commission's Standards at the Baccalaureate-level. Congratulations!

As we all know, great results come with proper support. We are deeply grateful to business and industry and the public sector for their generous contributions to our Missing Middle Fund this year. The University has managed to raise R130M since the beginning of 2018, with the recent R8M cash donation by ABSA. A big thank you to ABSA for extending a hand to care for others!

Also, I am thrilled to announce that Cabinet has appointed three of our senior staff members – Prof Nadine Petersen (Head of the Department of Childhood Education), Prof Saurabh Sinha (DVC: Research and Internationalisation), and Dr Bongani Ngqulunga (Co-Director: Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study) – to the National Research Foundation (NRF) board. They are part of a total thirteen appointments. In addition, I am pleased to announce that Ms Xoliswa Kakana, a member of UJ Council, has also been appointed to Chair the SA National Space Agency (SANSA) Board by Cabinet.

I would like to commend the Office of the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Buti Manamela, for initiating conversations with our young female students on BackChat. Later today at the School of Tourism and Hospitality, the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, will engage with women from various spheres in a roundtable discussion on gender matters and policies that advance women in the workplace, and as they prepare to enter the world of work. I hope that the participants will use the opportunity to make meaningful contributions in carving their destiny.

This Wednesday, 22 August 2018, I presented the annual Stakeholder Report and reviewed the extraordinary strides that the University made in 2017. We have done well and continue to do so! Our many accomplishments, combined with our shared commitment to nurturing an even more inclusive, transformative, responsive and responsible university will serve us well in the future as we aspire to reach new heights. The report will be shared electronically with you next week.

The series of panel discussions on the Future of Work continue at the JIAS. On Wednesday, 22 August 2018, the second of the four discussions – Trade Union Perspectives on the Future of Work – featured representatives from labour, who shared their views on the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and what trade unions are doing to secure their members' futures. Panelists included representatives of COSATU and NACTU. Next week's session will focus on business perspectives.

As I previously shared with you, the past weekend was packed with thought-provoking discussions on efforts to transform the Humanities curriculum in South African universities. We had the privilege to host scholars and authors from African and African-American institutions, presenting lessons on opportunities and challenges on transformation. Professors Crain Soudien, Ahmed Bawa, Walter Allen, Toyin Falola, Severine Rugumamu, Boubacar Barry, Chris Wanjala, David Owusu-Ansah, and Zine Magubane were among the academics who shared inspiring chapters from different perspectives to guide the decolonisation of our institutions.

As we continue to celebrate the life of liberation icon, Ms Albertina Sisulu, who turns 100 years this year, we were recently inspired by the insightful views of Ambassador Thenjiwe Mtintso, Ms Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Ms Thandeka Gqubule, Ms Nomtuse Mbere, and Ms Thuto Thipe. They formed part of guest speakers at the Women in Leadership seminar, which our University co-hosted with the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation.

Next week I will be presenting a lecture on The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Society at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore as well as at the Nanjing Tech University in China. To our students who seek employment information and opportunities, I hope that the UJ Career Fair held this week offered you the help and advice you need.

Last but not least, we are saddened by the passing of one of Africa's great sons, peacemaker Kofi Annan. On behalf of the University community, we send our condolences to his family, friends, and the continent and beyond.


With my very best wishes,

Professor Tshilidzi Marwala

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

University of Johannesburg