This was the sentiment shared by Prof Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UJ, when he addressed staff and students at the SWC as part of the third leg of the VC Campus Engagement that took place on Friday, 7 March 2014.
Joined by members of the Executive Leadership Group (ELG), Prof Rensburg noted that with the Global Excellence and Stature strategic drive, the University continues to look at ways in which it can enhance SWC infrastructure to that which is world-class and resonates with the University’s strategic goals. “Currently, UJ is investing in infrastructure in the form of a new residence, which will enable the University to accommodate more students on campus,” Prof Rensburg said.
He added that the commitment and investment from staff complement the strategic direction of the institution. “The extraordinary talent that we nurture at the University is reflected in our graduates; the knowledge that we produce, in our research outputs; our community initiatives and public scholarship. Our efforts to establish ourselves as a world-class institution do not come easily, but when we put in our combined efforts we get the results,” Prof Rensburg said.
“At UJ we set goals, not because of the goals themselves, but because we believe. When we set goals we exceed even our own expectations. SWC was falling apart a decade ago, but is now fast becoming a signification landmark in the higher education arena as a centre of excellence in one of the city of Johannesburg’s iconic locations,” he said.
The Centre for Small Business Development (CSBD) which forms part of the Faculty of Management, also announced several initiatives they will be rolling out this year. One of these initiatives will see investment to grow small and medium business enterprises. Part of this investment will towards the start-up of student business which was introduced by the Vice-Chancellor through the VC Innovative Business Idea Awards in 2013.
Prof Sarah Gravett echoed Prof Rensburg’s sentiments that the University’s academic robustness is being acknowledged on a global scale. Referring to the recent QS Subject Rankings where, for the first time, five University subjects were ranked amongst the elite top 200 in the world.
“UJ is a leader in the country in primary school teacher education programmes with the ‘teaching school’ initiative at the Soweto campus – a unique example of practice-based teacher education. The teaching school performs the same function as a university teaching hospital in the education of medical practitioners. This programme for the foundation phase is also one of the flagship programmes at UJ.”