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VC's Message - 26 January 2018

Publishing Date: 1/26/2018 8:00 AM

The end of January marks the last phase of our registration. I am pleased to report that we are well over the halfway mark with more than 60% of new and returning students who have already registered for the 2018 academic year. I am confident that we will reach our planned enrolment targets as set by the Department of Higher Education and Training. Our registration process concludes on Friday, 2 February, and I would like to thank, once again, all our staff members and student assistants who have worked diligently to ensure that the process is effective.

Over this weekend and next week, our first-year students will be preparing to enter the world of UJ! As they transition into the University environment, we will be introducing them to the rich array of academic services and support systems offered by the University that will enrich their student experience.

Please join me in congratulating Dr Banothile Makhubela - Senior Lecturer and Researcher in the Faculty of Science – on her reappointment to the board of South Africa's electricity public utility, Eskom. She is one of 13 board members who will be responsible for repositioning the electricity utility as a key contributor to SA’s economy. I wish Dr Makhubela all the best with this extremely important task.

The University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have a long history of collaboration in research and postgraduate student training. I am happy to report that our renewed commitment to this partnership was formalised through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2017. With a strong focus on human-capacity development, additional areas identified in this mutually beneficial partnership include: positioning South Africa in the Fourth Industrial Revolution; joint research projects; joint appointments with focus on designated candidates and established researchers; and the establishment of collaborative centres. To this end, a steering committee, which includes representatives from both institutions has been established to oversee the launch and progression of the specific programmes and activities.

​This week, South Africa has lost one of its greatest musicians with the passing of jazz legend, Bra Hugh Masekela. He was one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz, uplifting the soul of our nation through his music. In the past few years, the University has hosted the Hugh Masekela Lecture in collaboration with the wRite Associates and his insights about and aspirations for South Africa and Africa, in general, will be missed.

I would like to invite you to view a video in which I share my thoughts on, among others, the University’s performance in 2017; our 2018 first-year student intake; the announced fee-free education; research activities; the improvement of our technology infrastructure; our international footprint; and our integration projects with the City of Johannesburg. I trust that you will find this information valuable.

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