Vice-Chancellor Message – 20 January 2023
Dear UJ Community,
This coming Monday marks the fourth week since our University reopened for the 2023 Academic Year. I hope you managed to find some time to rest and recharge over the festive season, and that you are approaching the new year with even more enthusiasm. Of course, this year we face the same challenges of load shedding and rising inflation, which are a matter of grave concern to us all. It sounds more like a case of a new year, but the same old problems, doesn’t it?
However, I trust that these challenges will not dampen our spirits and make us lose our momentum in positioning our University among the leading institutions of higher learning on the national and global stages. We should continue to rethink, reimagine and redefine our University operations. We need to lift our gaze and remain focused on building on the successes of the last few years while introducing greater innovation. This will enable us to maintain and sustain our competitive edge, which has resulted in our University soaring in various global rankings and recording achievements across other fields. As we do this, our approach should be inclusive and developmental, so that no one is left behind. In that way, we will all contribute to efforts to create a better tomorrow for our country.
On that note, I wish to congratulate the Class of 2022 for passing the National Senior Certificate examinations. This is an important achievement that represents a gateway to our collective and individual future. An acceptance into further studies, whether at a university or a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) college, marks a milestone that can be a life-changing moment in one’s journey towards self-actualisation and prosperity.
We look forward to welcoming all accepted students into their various study programmes. As our Registrar, Prof Kinta Burger, always reminds us at this time of the year, every new student is a welcome addition to our ever-growing community and we hope you will be uplifted, inspired, and empowered by our highly rated academic programmes and qualifications.
As usual, we wish to reiterate to all qualifying students interested in studying at UJ that the application, admission, and registration process is entirely online. Just like in recent years, no physical ‘walk-ins’ will be accepted. The University will review the status of all applicants based on their final Grade 12 results on 20 January 2023. All applicants who have been provisionally or conditionally accepted into a study programme of their choice at UJ will receive official confirmation of their final admission status via sms and email.
If applicants have not received an sms or email by 23 January 2023, they should visit the UJ website (www.uj.ac.za) to verify their final application status or call the UJ Call Centre (011 559 4555) for more information. The procedures to follow, once accepted into a programme of study at UJ, are set out on our University website and in your admission letters.
The University’s late enquiry system will be available via the website from 20 to 26 January 2023. There will also be an online chatbot facility available on the website to assist applicants with any enquiries about the final admission and registration process. Not only can the UJ chatbot offer answers to standard questions regarding applications and registrations, but it can also help applicants and students submit or change their contact details, view their academic and residence admission statuses, and access class timetables, examination results and financial statements. The 2023 intake comprises approximately 10 500 undergraduate students entering the university for the first time. This will make UJ a home to approximately 52 500 students this year.
As already indicated, the year 2023 will be defined by monumental changes in leadership. We have already announced new appointments in the crucial positions of Chancellor, Chair of Council, as well as Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic. The latest news, in case you missed it, is that Professor Sehaam Khan has been appointed as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic (Designate). This follows the appointment of Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, effective from March this year.
Another notable appointment is that of Prof Annie Temane as the Executive Dean: Health Sciences (Acting). Lastly, Mr Abraham Snyders has been appointed as the Executive Director: Facilities Management (Acting), replacing Prof Andre Nel, who retired at the end of 2022. Prof Debra Meyer, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, has also accepted a position as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning at Sol Plaatjes University (effective from 1 April 2023). We congratulate her on this appointment and wish her well in this new role. You may visit our www.uj.ac.za to read all about the new appointees.
Lastly, as you know, each year when South African universities start the new academic year, the subject of student funding becomes a focal point of national priority. Since 2009, UJ has assisted more than 5 000 academically deserving missing middle students each year with their registration fees. As announced last year, we are doubling our campaign funding efforts for thousands of students registering for degrees in 2023 through the “Double our Future Impact Student 2023 Registration Campaign”. However, this is not something we can do alone – you, too, could play a significant role. We need your help, and we thus appeal to you to donate and help us Double our Future Impact and ensure that at least 10 000 students are assisted with their 2023 registration fees.
We have already received donations towards student support of more than R2.5 million from major donors. Our Incoming Vice-Chancellor, Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi, has donated R50 000, and following closely in his lead is the Head of the Department of Accountancy, Prof Ben Marx, who has donated R30 000. All donations will add up to achieve this goal. Your support could give 10 000 students and their families hope for a reimagined future of certainty. Donate Now!
Lastly, I wish to pass my condolences to the family and friends of Dr Frene Ginwala, the first democratic Parliamentary Speaker who died last Thursday, aged 90. She will be remembered as one of the most principled leaders who committed her entire life to serving our people whith with pride and dignity. May her soul rest in eternal peace.
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.