Dear UJ Community,
Today marks three weeks since our University reopened, in anticipation for the start of the 2022 Academic Year. Registrations for returning students started earlier this week on Monday, 17 January 2022, while registrations for first-year students start today, following the release of matric results. I wish to congratulate the class of 2021 who achieved outstanding matric results. I look forward to welcoming returning and new students to the UJ community.
As you would recall, UJ has now been declared a mandatory vaccination site, following extensive communication and consultation with staff and students. This outcome will ensure that the university community has optimal access to learning, research, laboratory, clinical workspaces and academic spaces within a safe environment. As extensively communicated, the implementation will be done in a phased-in approach to allow staff, postdoctoral research fellows and students time to be vaccinated. In terms of the process and the way forward, it means that:
- Employees and postdoctoral research fellows are required to be partially vaccinated (in the instance of the Pfizer first dose vaccine) and to have uploaded their Proof of Vaccination to https://ulink.uj.ac.za/ujvac by or on 1 February 2022. This will be captured on their personal files and linked to the individual access card. A temporary access permit will be allocated until the employee is fully vaccinated. In this definition, at this point, fully vaccinated does not include the booster shot (where applicable).
- Employees are to be fully vaccinated and to have uploaded their Proof of Vaccination, using the same link, by or on 15 March 2022.
- Students must be partially vaccinated and to have uploaded their Proof of Vaccination on https://ulink.uj.ac.za/ujvac by or on 14 February 2022. Partially vaccinated students will be conditionally registered, with access granted to the campuses or facilities. Accommodation in campus residences for partially vaccinated students will be allowed.
- Students are to be fully vaccinated and to have uploaded their Proof of Vaccination, using the same link, by 31 March 2022. Their registration status will be rendered unconditional, and their access cards will be activated for all campuses and facilities.
- Assistance for staff and students having difficulty submitting their vaccination certificate, can be requested from +27 11 559 4555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On return to campuses and facilities, all precautionary health measures, including but not exclusive to physical distancing, correctly wearing masks, hand washing/sanitising, must be observed. Prior to the abovementioned dates, the normal access protocols will need to be adhered to. For more information on the mandatory vaccination implementation protocols, visit the UJ website www.uj.ac.za.
I also wish to remind you that the Logistics Department will provide transport to the Netcare Milpark and Liberty Life COVID-19 vaccination sites on Mondays and Thursdays between 14h00 and 16h00. Requests from employees must be submitted via their line manager to the campus health clinic a day in advance so that proper arrangements can be made.
On a different note, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation (Prof Saurabh Sinha) and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic (Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi) co-led a two-day strategic breakaway session, from the 13th to the 14th January 2022. Our Executive Deans/Dean(s), Executive and Senior directors associated with their portfolios formed part of the session, which was aimed towards an effective cascading of the Council-approved strategic plan across all academic domains.
As their business is about innovative higher education delivery, through excellence and enablement, Management Executive Committee (MEC) members and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dr Mpoti Ralephata contributed to the engagement, particularly on ensuring a competent delivery of support services (staff retention, recognition, recruitment, wellness and discipline). Given the importance of co-creation through external resourcing and communities, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) contributed to an excellent discussion of the associated financial sustainability strategy.
The Division for Academic Planning, Quality Promotion and Academic Staff Development has developed a Mini Academic Bootcamp series comprising five sessions. The series is aimed at creating a platform for discussion and engagement as academics prepare for the 2022 Academic Year. On Wednesday, 19 January 2022, a session under the theme ‘Ready-Steady-Go 2022 Academic Year’ was held, with 129 academics in attendance. The session provided academics with tools to navigate through the ‘new-normal’. The next session is scheduled for 27 January 2022, and it will be on ‘Revving up students’. For more information on the bootcamp series please contact the Division or you can view the recordings on the YouTube page.
Lastly, I am pleased that our staff and students have taken up where they left off last year by contributing to important conversations on matters of national importance, through thought leadership articles or opinion articles. In this regard, I was fascinated to read Prof Mpedi’s insights on UJ’s approach to finding sustainable solutions through embracing the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution, in an interview he did with AfricaLive, following the COP 26 Summit. Click here to read about this.
The University leadership will continue to monitor the national and provincial COVID-19 outlook, and an update will be provided accordingly. This information may be verified by visiting: www.uj.ac.za/coronavirus. Should any of you experience symptoms of the coronavirus, please use the National Hotline of 0800 029 999 or WhatsApp line 0600 123456 or go to the following link for more information: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/.
Please also continue to visit our COVID-19 portal on the UJ website for valuable information, including health and wellbeing. Only information issued via the University’s official communication platforms is legitimate. This information may be verified by visiting: https://www.uj.ac.za/coronavirus/. We appeal to all to adhere to the recommended precautionary measures, hygiene and physical distancing (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public) at all times.
Kea leboga, enkosi, baie dankie, ndi a livhuwa!
Professor Tshilidzi Marwala
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
University of Johannesburg
Times mentioned in this newsletter refer to the South African time-zone.