Describing the University as an international university of choice anchored in Africa, that is determined to shape the future, Prof Rensburg announced that the overall student success rate grew by 2,2% from 79.2% in 2011 to 81.4% in 2012, making the 2012 achievement the highest since 2008, which had an achievement of 76.6%. The undergraduate student success rate was up by 2.5% from 79.4% in 2011 to 81.9 % in 2012. Undergraduate first-time entering students’ success rate improved by 3.5%, from 76.5% in 2011 to 80.0% in 2012, mainly due to better selection of first time entrants and the University’s First Year Experience Programme, introduced in 2010 aimed at easing the school-to-university transition with the goal of bettering the rates of dropout, typically experienced during the first year at university.
Since its establishment in 2005, the University has already climbed 1 000 places in the global rankings of universities. The University’s inclusion as the first and only African university in Universitas 21, one of the most prestigious and innovative university consortia in the world, is seen as an important endorsement of the growing stature of the University.
On the research front, the university has more than doubled its research outputs in just five years, well ahead of the University’s ten-year plan. UJ’s academics are leaders in their respective fields and disciplines, as reflected in the phenomenal growth of UJ’s NRF rated researchers, up from 67 to 115. The University boasts with six A-rated, 23 B-rated, 65 C-rated, 1P-rated and 19 Y-rated researchers.
With 22 research centres of excellence and focus groups across the natural, economic, management, sciences, engineering, humanities, technological and academic disciplines, the University’s research efforts have not gone unnoticed and UJ has increased its distinguished National Research Foundation Chairs from zero to seven.
UJ ranks among the top six residential universities in terms of accredited research output. The University’s accredited research output is up with a staggering 137%, since 2005. UJ is up 121% on its 2007 output, by far exceeding its 2011 targets. In the process UJ has grown its national research output share from 4.5% (2007) to 6.9% in 2011.
With over 3000 registered Community Engagement Student Volunteers and 95 active Community Engagement projects, all faculties at UJ are dynamically involved in community outreach, while affording students the opportunity to translate their studies into practical experience.
To ensure a preferred student experience UJ’s sport and culture structures foster a culture of world-class achievement. UJ’s athletic representation included 18 Olympians, 12 Paralympians and 28 USSA (University Sport South Africa) colours. UJ’s Arts and Culture offers students an opportunity to enrich their UJ experience through various aspects of the performing arts with the opening of UJ’s second theatre, the Con Cowan Theatre and an increase in their annual theatre productions from three to 13.
In 2012, UJ sustained financial excellence with specific focus on cost consciousness, effectiveness and sustainable resourcing. Once again UJ received an unqualified financial audit and having a healthy financial situation puts the University in a position where it can further improve its student’s university experience through amongst others further post-graduate support programmes.
“The excellent results are testimony to the dedication and hard work of our academics, staff and students. Going forward, and in full pursuit of our vision, UJ will continue in the next decade to position itself as a modern African city university, which is cosmopolitan in character, and asserts academic freedom in the liberal, progressive and transformative values it espouses. It will continue to provide education that is excellent, challenging, imaginative and innovative,” said Prof Rensburg.