Dear Staff and Students
our campuses are quietening as we approach the last two weeks of our
University activities this year, I thought it was important to share
with you some of the most
recent UJ highlights. A formidable achievement came in the form of talent in the sporting field last weekend. Our alumnus Aphiwe Dyantyi was awarded the Breakthrough Player of the Year by the World Rugby Awards
jury in Monaco on Sunday, 25 November 2018. Since his debut in the South
African national rugby team colours this year, Dyantyi has scored six
tries in his first eight Tests for the Springboks – including two in the
famous win against the All Blacks in Wellington
– and finished his debut season with 13 caps. He played for the UJ rugby
team during his studies at our University and the Lions winger has not
wasted time embracing the challenge at a national and international
level. Congratulations, Aphiwe, for this accolade
and thank you for making UJ and South Africa proud!
UJ recently honoured leading human rights activists from various fields
outstanding contributions in the higher education sector. This year, our
University honoured individuals who, in the estimation of the Council,
made formidable contributions by being the advocators of equality in
areas such as human and gender rights, fighting
HIV/AIDS as well as showcasing their talent in the South African arts
and culture domain. This occasion also celebrated visionary leadership
and commitment to teaching and research excellence.
Friday, 23 November 2018, UJ’s Council bestowed the four advocators
with the Ellen Kuzwayo Awards. The recipients were Prof Chris Brink for
his visionary leadership and commitment
to teaching and research excellence; Honourable Justice Edwin Cameron
for his dedication to HIV/Aids and gay right advocacy; Ms Sophia Theresa
Williams-De Bruyn for her activism and sustained commitment to human
rights and Ms Sue Williamson for her formidable
talent and contribution to the South African arts and culture.
Congratulations to all the recipients – thank you, your sacrifices and
sterling work over the years has immensely contributed to our
nation-building! The Ellen Kuzwayo Council Award is in the form
of a specially minted medallion and an accompanying protocol.
On Thursday, 22 November 2018, the University of Johannesburg's Confucius Institute (UJCI) launched Africa's foremost Centre
for Africa-China Studies (CACS)
This Centre was established to build a better understanding of SA's
largest trading partner, China. It will allow UJ researchers to bring a
wide range of multidisciplinary knowledge and expertise
to complement the University's research priorities and strengths, and
promote our China expertise across faculties and research programmes.
Both Prof Tshilidzi Marwala and Chinese Ambassador, His Excellency Lin
Songtian, attended the launch with committing
words shared between the two leaders.
the recent communication regarding the UJ launch of the Institute for
Global African Affairs, both the Vice-Chancellors of the University of
the West Indies and UJ, Prof Sir
Hilary Beckles and Prof Marwala, respectively, launched the second phase of the Institute in the Caribbean on Monday, 26 November 2018 in Barbados.
A UJ delegation comprising Prof Adekeye Adebajo (Director, Institute
for Pan-African Thought and Conversation at UJ), Dr Bongani Ngqulunga
(Co-Director: Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study), Prof Angina
Parekh (Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic) and Dr Nolitha Vukuza (Senior
Executive Director: University Relations) was
at the launch. We look forward to a fruitful partnership.
Please join me in congratulating Mr Biswas Kapasule,
a third-year Bachelors of Accounting student, on being selected as a
Top 10 finalist
in the renowned 2018 Global Peter Drucker SA Competition. His essay,
“Reclaiming individuality in the age of AI”, was selected among 470
submissions received from 60 countries of which three finalists were
from Africa. Biswas is attending the 10th
Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna, Austria, this week. Well done Biswas, we take pride in your fine achievement!
I also congratulate Prof Muna Ndulo,
Director of Cornell’s Institute for African Development (IAD), for
being named the William Nelson Cromwell
Professor of International and Comparative Law at Cornell Law School at
Cornell University, USA. Prof Ndulo was also recently honoured with a UJ
Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Global Excellence and
Stature. Congratulations, Sir!
Yesterday, our Soweto Campus hosted one of Nelson Mandela Foundation’s three-part celebrations
in honour and memory of Madiba’s life. As you
know, the country and the rest of the world are celebrating the Nelson
Mandela Centenary this year, and we had the privilege to have global
leaders such as Oprah Winfrey, Mama Graça Machel and Mama Phumzile
Mlambo-Ngcuka, among other prominent attendees, at
our campus in Soweto to reflect on Is’thunzi Sabafazi in South Africa.
2018 second semester final examinations concluded on Tuesday, 27
November. I would like to wish all the staff, students and all the
University stakeholders a
happy and safe festive season. Please drive safely and
responsibly. To our staff and students who will be returning to our
campuses in January 2019, I hope that the New Year will be a prosperous
and happy period in our lives, careers and future endeavours.
To our 2018 graduates and 2019 graduands, go out there and make the much
needed difference in our society.
Until we meet again, take care!
Professor André Swart
Vice-Chancellor and Principal (Acting)
University of Johannesburg