Vice-Chancellor Message - 20 July 2018

Vice-Chancellor Message - 20 July 2018

Publishing Date: 7/20/2018 10:00 AM

​Dear Staff and Students

I am happy that the University is getting back to its lively vibe – welcome back. I trust that as you return, you are re-energised to tackle the second half of the year which you will find challenging and rewarding. Thank you to those who remained at work and kept the home fires burning and to our academic staff who returned early to assist students with revision for their supplementary examinations. I wish you all well for the second semester of our academic programme.

As you know, on the 18th of July annually, everyone is expected to give their time to serving others by joining the call to #ActionAgainstPoverty. Let me thank a number of UJ staff, students, alumni, and the surrounding community residents who participated in the countrywide Mandela Day initiatives on Wednesday. Whether we serve through education, offer food relief, provide shelter, use technology to empower people, or participate in voluntary work without compensation, our combined efforts contribute towards the realisation of Madiba’s vision for our nation. With our optimistic South African drive, the spirit of Ubuntu which means that Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu (A person is a person through other people), we can achieve more together – so thank you for representing our University in these noble causes. You may watch the video of our volunteers here.

As we continue to celebrate Madiba’s legacy, we also celebrate our University’s achievements as reflected in the latest 2018 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS). The results, released on Tuesday, 17 July 2018, place seven of our subjects in excellent standing amongst the best university subjects in the world. The GRAS evaluated more than 1 600 institutions from 83 countries across 54 subjects in five broad subject areas, including: Natural Sciences, Engineering, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences, and Social Sciences. The UJ Hospitality & Tourism Management is placed 20th in the world – this is a remarkable climb of 14 places from last year’s global ranking of 34! Much can also be said about Physics.

UJ also did tremendously well in Sociology, Communication, Political Sciences, Earth Sciences, Education, and Physics. This is fantastic news for our University! Congratulations to the staff and students of the School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) in the College of Business and Economics (CBE) and to the three faculties as well as the University community in general.

Still on matters academic, our congratulations also go out to Prof Ylva Rodney-Gumede from the Department of Journalism, Film and Television, for her professorial inauguration on Thursday, 12 July 2018. In her address entitled, “Revisiting the role of the news media and journalism in South Africa: Convergence, Fragmentation and Decolonisation,” Prof Rodney-Gumede examined the role of journalism in the ever-changing digital and social media environment, thus opening up opportunities for transformation and decolonisation. The examination of such issues could not have happened at a better time than now as we seek to find solutions fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Prof Rodney-Gumede: Congratulations!

Lastly, on Tuesday, 10 July 2018, I signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the MEC of Gauteng Department of Infrastructure and Development (DID), Mr Jacob Mamabolo, where we undertook to collaborate on issues of infrastructure through research, development and innovation. We look forward to a fruitful partnership.

With my very best wishes,

Professor Tshilidzi Marwala
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of Johannesburg