Vice-Chancellor Message – 18 November 2022

Date: Nov 18, 2022 | News, Vice-Chancellor Messages


Vice Chancellor Message 02 November 2021Dear UJ Community,

This morning, as I was finalising this newsletter, I reflected on the meaning of success. As the African proverb goes, “There are no shortcuts to the top of the palm tree”. I was reminded of the power of these words on Wednesday evening following the Vice-Chancellor Distinguished Awards event. These are special awards that recognise outstanding contributions by staff members in the areas of Teaching & Learning, Research, Innovation, and Service, and recognise staff for their outstanding performances during the academic calendar year. In this year’s edition, nine academics and two support service staff received an award.

This year’s occasion was my last VC Awards event, and I could not help but pause to reflect on what a remarkable institution UJ is today. On behalf of the entire UJ community, I wish to thank and congratulate all of this year’s winners for their extraordinary efforts, and for making UJ such a special place to study and work. Through their dedication and passion, they play an invaluable part in delivering exceptional education, excellent research, and allow for valuable student and staff experiences. To see the full list of award recipients, please click here. You may also watch a recording of the event here.

Still on staff achievements, our UJ Sport Division held the 2022 Sports Awards last night, where our excelling student-athletes and sports personnel were honoured. Beyond the playing fields, sports play a critical role in skills development in areas such as leadership, sportsmanship, team building, endurance and emotional intelligence and serves as a way to emphasise our unity through diversity. To quote Nelson Mandela, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand”. I wish to congratulate all the winners for their endurance and perseverance. You may also watch a recording of the event and the list of winners here.

Additionally, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that the International University Sports Federation (FISU) has this week, on Tuesday, 15 November 2022, awarded our university a gold status as a Healthy Campus university. This means that UJ is on par with other leading universities in addressing the criteria and needs of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Congratulations to Ms Nomsa Mahlangu (Senior Director: UJ Sport), Dr Nolitha Vukuza (Senior Executive Director: University Relations, Student Affairs and UJ Sport) and Mr Collen Maepa (Operational Person: UJ Healthy Campus Programme) for their excellent stewardship of the programme.

Please also join me in congratulating five researchers associated with our university that have been included in the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list for 2022. Compiled by Clarivate Analytics, the Highly Cited Researchers list recognises researchers that are in the top 1% of their respective fields as measured by the number of citations that their published research receives over a period of 10 years. Our Clarivate highly cited researchers for 2022 are:

  • Prof Arnold Bakker, a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management (CBE),  and a Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  • Prof Samuel Fosso Wamba, a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Applied Information Systems (CBE), and a Professor at TBS Education, France.
  • Sascha Kraus, a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Business Management (CBE), and a Professor of Management at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy.
  • Robin Nunkoo, a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Tourism and Hospitality (CBE) and based at the University of Mauritius.
  • Nripendra Rana, a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Marketing Management (CBE), and a Professor in Marketing at the College of Business and Economics at Qatar University, Doha.

The full Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list is available here.

Alumni remain a critical spoke in the wheel of successful universities across the world, and this is no different at UJ. Through our Alumni Office, UJ maintains active linkages with our alumni across a range of activities, and our Alumni continue to add positively to the UJ brand. Our Alumni magazine, Impumemelo plays an important role in our UJ Alumni relations. It is, therefore, very pleasing that Impumemelo received the MACE Award in the category Alumni Campaigns. The MACE (Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education) Excellence Awards takes place annually and recognises and celebrates excellence and the achievements of specialists and practitioners in marketing, advancement and communication in the higher-education sector.

On matters regarding opportunities for staff members, please note that our Johannesburg Business School (JBS) is offering 20 UJ staff members subsidised entry into its Master of Business Administration (MBA) for 2023. UJ will subsidise the MBA for the selected staff members, and no further tuition fees will apply. For staff members to qualify for the subsidy, they must meet the following criteria:

  • A permanent employee with a minimum of four years of work experience, and hold an honour’s, postgraduate diploma or equivalent (NQF 8);
  • The honour’s/postgraduate diploma must have a minimum of 60%;
  • The application must have the support of the respective Executive Dean/ELG member.

Applications should be emailed to Ms Mariette Steyn on mariette.steyn@jbs.ac.za. All applicants should note that JBS will rank all applications received and that the subsidy excludes the international immersion fees that form part of the MBA studies.

Last week, our Vice-Chancellor Designate, Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi, gave an opening address at the Campus Protection Society of Southern Africa (CAMPROSA)Conference and Annual General Meeting, comprising Heads of Security from institutions of Higher Learning across the country where he reflected on the importance of security in the sector. We are proud to announce that at the event, Ms Busisiwe Mtsweni, Director: Compliance, Risk and Enforcement in the Protection Services Department, was elected as the President of CAMPROSA for a three-year term.Her election is significant, as she is the society’s first female president in a historically male-dominated industry. We wish her well with this assignment and look forward to her contributions to enhancing the safety and security of students throughout the country and transforming the sector!

Kea leboga, enkosi, baie dankie, ndi a livhuwa, thank you!

Professor Tshilidzi Marwala                     

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Times mentioned in this newsletter refer to the South African time-zone.

Professor Tshilidzi Marwala

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