Dear Staff and Students
The second graduation season for the 2018 academic programme ended this week with fourteen ceremonies. Congratulations to all the graduates, I wish you all the best for the future! We are now approaching the end of the first semester, and rightly so, our students and academics are gearing up for the finish line. Please allow me to thank all the staff members and the invigilators who enabled the examination period to run efficiently. To students, I hope that you will keep warm during this winter break and that you will return energised and ready for the second semester.
You will recall that in April, I informed you about the development of Industry 4.0 strategy for the University. I am delighted to report that, since my invitation to the University community, there is progress in this regard. Soon, the four sub-committees, namely; teaching and learning; research and innovation; infrastructure (including ICS systems and processes); and communication, will unveil plans on how they propose the University takes the Fourth Industrial Revolution forward. In addition to these internal initiatives, the University plans to hold a series of dialogues and other initiatives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on the world of education, work and society at large. These national conversations will be rolled out with an Inaugural Indaba on Industry 4.0 from July to November 2018. The schedule of these discussions will be communicated to you in due course.
Next Friday, 22 June 2018, the Strategic Initiatives and Administration Unit in partnership with the Postgraduate School, will host the postdoctoral research fellows at a Research Project Management engagement session. As you know, with the pressure of research output requirements and set time frames, it is important for postdoctoral fellows to manage their time well to ensure optimal research productivity.
Speaking of research, please join me in congratulating Prof Jace Pillay – our Research Chair in Education and Care in Childhood in the Faculty of Education – for the SARChI Chair renewal granted by the National Research Foundation (NRF), which will continue for another five years. I hope that this new leaf will bring you all the success!
At the beginning of June, Prof Angina Parekh – Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic – attended the Young Universities Summit at the University of South Florida to talk about challenges and opportunities for young universities. At the Summit, Prof Parekh shared the story of our successful fourteen years since the merger and the transformation of UJ to global excellence and stature. The Summit, organised by the UK-based Times Higher Education (THE), comprised of 261 people from 88 universities representing 41 nations globally. Prof Parekh: thank you for sharing our story with the world!
Sadly, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and fellow students of Ms Ramaesela Bapela who passed away on Wednesday, 13 June. The recent deaths of our colleagues and students have shaken our community. I would like to wish all of you strength and courage as we embark on our journey together.
Lastly, as the Muslim community ends their holy month of Ramadan today, Eid Mubarak to all our colleagues and students.
With my very best wishes,
Professor Tshilidzi Marwala
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of Johannesburg