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VC's Message - 25 August 2017

Publishing Date: 8/25/2017 12:00 PM

Dear Staff and Students

On Wednesday this week I presented the annual Stakeholder Report and reviewed the extraordinary strides the University made in 2016 – a phenomenal success story that has surprised critics and won over sceptics. Our many accomplishments, combined with our shared commitment to nurturing an even more inclusive, transforming, caring, engaged and responsive university will serve us well in the future as we aspire to reach new heights. Our progress would not have been possible without your commitment to UJ’s 2025 strategic objectives: I thank each and every one of you for shaping the work of our university.
The University Council, supported by the UJ Senate and the Institutional Forum, has unanimously reappointed Prof Njabulo Ndebele as the Chancellor of UJ for a second five-year term of office commencing on 1 October 2017. We are delighted that we can continue to benefit from his stature, his wisdom in leadership and his vision for the future.
The National Department of Science and Technology (DST) honoured six of UJ’s leading women researchers at the South African Women in Science Awards held last week. The awards were made in support of ‘Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work’, which is the 2017 priority theme for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. We are very proud of Dr Philiswa Nomgongo, now Prof Nomgongo, who was identified as ‘Distinguished Young Woman Researcher’ in the Natural and Engineering Sciences. (Another UJ researcher, Prof Esther Akinlabi was the winner in this category in 2016.) Ms Jacqueline Moodley and Ms Valentine Saasa were awarded DST Fellowships for their doctoral degrees, Ms Funeka Nkosi was awarded a Tata scholarship for her doctoral studies, and Ms Dimpho Takane and Ms Dorcas Lekganyane received DST Fellowships for their Master’s degrees. Congratulations to each one of these six amazing UJ women!
Please also join me in congratulating Prof George Mpedi, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, who received both regional and national awards in the ‘Education and Training: Academic Sector’ category at the ‘Titans – Building Nations’ ceremony held at the beginning of this month. This is the second year in a row in which Prof Mpedi has been so recognised for his leadership in research, industry development, social responsibility and his strategic vision for the sector. As a regional winner, Prof Mpedi automatically qualifies for the Continental Awards, which will be announced in November.
The results of the June 2017 Initial Test of Competence (ITC) examination of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) were released on Friday. I am pleased to announce that 29 first-time UJ candidates passed the exam, bringing UJ to a total of 268 successful candidates for 2017. An impressive 95,4% of UJ’s 2016 CTA graduates passed this year: we contributed 12% of the total number of candidates countrywide. Our university also contributes the most Black African candidates (from a residential institution). In addition to our commitment to producing excellent results from our first-time ITC candidates, UJ is also a significant participant in the SAICA Thuthuka Repeaters’ Programme, which is a programme that is committed to the transformation of the accounting profession in South Africa. We are very proud of the excellent performance of our UJ alumni in the 2017 SAICA ITC examinations and the contribution that UJ makes to the profession.
On Monday 21st of August, we officially launched the UJ College of Business and Economics (CBE). Combining the accessible excellence of the Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences with the Pan African footprint of the Faculty of Management, the CBE houses six schools that serve 19 500 full-time students and a further 6 600 part-time, continuing education students, totalling about 40% of UJ enrolment. The CBE also incorporates the newly established Johannesburg Business School (JBS). The JBS – the largest in Africa – strives to develop successful Pan African leaders and managers and will focus on capitalizing on our Pan African location, while scaling up our international networks and research collaboration.
Finally, a note to our students - as you busy yourself with your academic programmes, tests, assignments, and so forth, I urge you to make use of the dedicated safe study spaces made available across all our campuses, and to refrain from studying alone in any venue outside of earmarked protected spaces. For further information on safe study spaces please go to the UJ student portal.
With my very best wishes,
Professor Ihron Rensburg
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of Johannesburg