On Friday, 27 May 2022, more than forty university rectors, executive directors and coordinators converged at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels, Belgium for the 2022 Healthy Campus Ceremony. At the meeting, Dr Nolitha Vukuza (Senior Executive Director: University Relations, Student Affairs & UJ Sport) accepted a certificate and a bronze medal label on behalf of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) for its certification in the Healthy Campus programme.
UJ is the only African university certified in the programme. Two more universities from the African continent (in Zimbabwe and Uganda) are members of the programme.
“This programme means a lot to our University. The certification is an institutional achievement. I have also noticed that the ultimate prize is the platinum label, and I am committed to ensure that, during my time here at UJ, we will achieve this. Reaching this level is only the beginning of a campus life which accommodates and empowers everyone.
“We have great plans in the pipeline to introduce to our staff and students, to live the UJ values that form part of the bigger global community in realizing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. However, our approach and plans must fit the African context in order to improve the quality of lives in our campus communities. Congratulations to UJ – this is commendable,” says Dr Vukuza.
The universities’ delegates who ascended and descended to Brussels included representatives from Brazil in South America, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Estonia in Europe and Australia, to name but a few.
UJ had seven best practices initiatives that are considered the best in the programme. For this, the University was featured in the “Healthy Campus Best Practices – Edition 2022”, an eBook with the best university initiatives in the programme. Although the Healthy Campus Programme comprises university-wide initiatives, it is managed through the UJ Sport division.
The programme comprises 92 participating universities worldwide, but only forty universities achieved certification. Some of the institutions in the programme include Kings College London, Politecnico De Leiria, University of Coimbra, Waterford Institute of Technology, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, University of St. Gallen, Murdoch University, Peking University, University of Minho, Trinity College Dublin, University of Turin, University of Lucerne, University of Algarve, and Volga Region State University of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism, to name but a few.
About the Healthy Campus Programme:
The Healthy Campus Programme is premised on FISU’s seven cardinal pillars, namely; 1) Healthy Campus Management, 2) Physical Activity and Sport, 3) Nutrition, 4) Disease Prevention, 5) Mental and Social Health, 6) Risk Behavior, and 7) Environment, Sustainability and Social Responsibility.
Initiatives of the Programme are in line with achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (formerly known as the Millennium Development Goals).
For universities to obtain the Healthy Campus World Certification, they are evaluated in two-year cycles. The first cycle consists of a self-assessment, with an audit conducted by FISU officials in the second cycle. After careful and thorough assessment of the universities’ submitted answers and evidences to the 100 criteria, a score determining the status (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) is assigned for excellence.