Dear UJ Staff Members and Students
Today the third of our four campus engagements takes place at the Kingsway Campus. It was encouraging to note active participation by staff and student leaders at these engagements discussing the vision for UJ to become a leading global player in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I look forward to hearing from other colleagues and student leaders at the Doornfontein Campus next week on Tuesday, 13th of March, and much appreciation to those who attended the recent engagements.
Last week we received the excellent news that our University has again been recognised by the 2018 QS World University Rankings by Subject. More than 4500 institutions in 151 countries were evaluated across 48 subjects in five broad subject areas, and only 1130 institutions featured in the final subject rankings. UJ excelled in four subjects, namely Development Studies (Top 100), Geography (Top 200), Law (Top 300), and English Language & Literature (Top 300). The University was also ranked globally in three broad subject areas: Arts & Humanities (364), Social Sciences & Management (401–450), and Natural Sciences (451–500). These results are yet another important endorsement of UJ's growing international reputation! I would like to extend my compliments to the staff and students in the Faculties of Humanities, Science, Law and the College of Business and Economics for making this accomplishment possible. For more information on this achievement, please read here.
In the next few days, we will commence with the first 2018 graduation season. In this Autumn series of 44 graduation ceremonies, 9,366 graduands will walk across the stage to receive their qualifications. A total of 4,875 Bachelor degrees and 2,490 undergraduate diplomas will be conferred, as well as 1,382 Honours degrees and 372 postgraduate diplomas, 192 Master’s degrees, and 55 Doctoral degrees. Not only do these qualifications indicate a personal triumph for each of our successful students, but they are also the means towards an improved livelihood for 9,366 families, as well as for their communities and our society at large. The long journey taken by our graduands when they registered a number of years ago has now reached its triumphant destination, and I am proud of the role that UJ has played in creating new professionals who will positively shape the future of our nation.
Please join me in congratulating our student Ms Hiresha Naidoo for her selection as a representative of UJ and South Africa at the KPMG International Case Competition finals in April 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The national round of the competition included 14 universities, with just five making it to the finals. In the competition, the teams face a panel of judges who ask them to provide practical solutions to a variety of challenges. Congratulations Hiresha: we wish you well in the competition!
I would also like to congratulate Prof Michelle van der Bank – from the Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology – on her professorial inauguration which took place on Monday, 5th of March. In her address entitled, “DNA barcoding at the ACDB: Current applications and future prospects”, Prof van der Bank described the important work undertaken by the African Centre for DNA Barcoding which has contributed more than 21 000 DNA barcodes for African flora to the Barcode of Life Database.
I am pleased to share with you that Prof Maria Frahm-Arp, former Vice Dean: Faculty of Humanities, was appointed Executive Director: Library and Information Centre. She took office on the 1st of March. We wish you a successful career in your new role at UJ.
The University takes seriously the safety of staff and students on and off-campus. Last year, informed by our students’ and staff’s concerns for safety, we successfully implemented our off-campus safe-corridors programme together with the Brixton South African Police Service and the City of Johannesburg. This programme continues and I encourage you to remain vigilant when you are walking outside the campuses.
Yesterday, the world celebrated phenomenal women during the International Women’s Day. Through this Day, we reflect and recognise the strengths, qualities and the importance of women in shaping the world. In many of our programmes at UJ, such as the Women in Leadership Programme, the University amplifies and echoes the growth and representation of our women leaders. Wathint' abafazi, wathint' imbokodo! (You strike the women, you strike a rock!)
With my very best wishes, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of Johannesburg