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Vice-Chancellor Message – 10 June 2022

Dear UJ Community,

Recently, on the sidelines of our Executive Leadership Group (ELG) and Senior Leadership Group (SLG) meetings, a colleague raised the point that we seldom take a moment to celebrate our successes as a University. Celebrating our achievements is an important aspect of our development, so that we may keep motivated even during trying times, as we continue to position UJ on the global stage.

In this regard, I am thrilled to share with you the exciting news that our University is now ranked second in South Africa and on the African content, according to the latest QS World University Rankings released this week. UJ was previously ranked at position three, behind Wits University and the University of Cape Town. We have improved our global ranking yet again, having been ranked at position 412 in the world, an all-time high, climbing 22 places from position 434 in the world last year.

The QS World University Rankings are based on six performance indicators, related to global academic and employer reputation, research output, and quality, internationalisation, and teaching and learning. Notably, UJ is highly ranked in the International Research Network and International Faculty Ratio categories, with a score of 94.3 and 88.1, respectively. This exceptional feat comes on the back of the University’s upward trajectory in the recent Times Higher Education (THE) impact Rankings, in which UJ improved its global ranking and has been ranked overall, in its third showing, at position 69 in the world, out of 1 406 ranked institutions – 289 more than last year.

This is a tremendous achievement and recognition for UJ. It reaffirms the fact that our academic programmes remain on par with international standards. I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone at UJ – your hard work and dedication is appreciated! An achievement in a global ranking reflects on every aspect of the university, from how our spaces and support services are run, our community outreach and the quality of our teaching and learning, and research. Indeed, it feels good to be part of the UJ Community!

Still on rankings, I am pleased to share with you the news that Prof Chris Rogerson has now been ranked 647 in the world and 8 in South Africa in the discipline of Social Sciences and Humanities. This global ranking is derived from data gathered by Microsoft Academic, with the baseline being an h-index of at least 30 for scientific papers published in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities, the operating arena of CBE. Congratulations to Prof Rogerson, we know that your presence in the Research.com ranking is indeed an important accomplishment for you and UJ!

On the sporting front, I am pleased to notice that six of our student-athletes and our Netball Club manager and coach, Bongiwe Msomi, were named as part of Team South Africa’s athletes headed to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) made the announcement on Wednesday, just 50 days before the Games begin.

The students are Yane van der Merwe (athletics), Caitlin Rooskrantz (gymnastics), Kristen Paton (hockey), Boitumelo Mahloko (netball), Bongiwe Msomi (netball), Monique Reyneke (netball), Michelle Moganedi (wheelchair basketball) and alumnus Ronald Brown (rugby 7s) were among the players announced as part of Team SA. We are immensely proud of our students and wish them well!

On COVID-19 matters, I wish to remind you that we have completed the revision of our COVID-19 workplace risk assessment study. The results of this study are being analysed and will inform us in dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 related challenges going forward. However, I have been informed that there are a few staff and students who are still not compliant with the UJ Mandatory Vaccination Policy. We rely on the leadership of the line managers to ensure compliance within their domains, including the recording of the weekly negative PCR test results where applicable.

We thus reiterate our call for employees and students who are yet to be compliant with our University’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy to do so. If you have been vaccinated and have not uploaded your vaccination certificate, please do so on https://ulink.uj.ac.za/ujvac. To read more about the Policy as well as other COVID-19 information click http://www.uj.ac.za/covid-19.

As usual,?I remind you to?notify our campus clinics if you have tested positive for?COVID-19, or if you know of a colleague or a student who has tested positive.

We appeal to all to adhere to recommended COVID-19 precautionary measures at all times ?(https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public).

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

Issued by:

Professor Kinta Burger

Source: University of Johannesburg

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