In a remarkable achievement by the University of Johannesburg (UJ), a record number of students will graduate during the first series of the 2017 autumn graduation ceremonies and this comes in the wake of having achieved a new record high in undergraduate module completion rates.
Almost 9 500 students, who have embraced the fruits of challenges of the past year and still produced the fruit of their academic labour, will make new memories when they grace the stage at the University’s newly refurbished auditorium, after the 1000-seater auditorium was scorched in May 2016. The 2017 autumn graduation ceremonies is scheduled from Monday, 27 March to 18 May 2017.
“The last few months have been extraordinary times for universities in South Africa, and so too for UJ. Notwithstanding the challenging times, the University ensured a climate of stability and has delivered fully on our promise made to parents and sponsors that the academic programme would be completed without losing a single teaching and research day. As a result the year-end examinations commenced undisrupted. This is an achievement for each of our graduates and for the University as a whole. The students’ performance make it very clear that UJ is fulfilling its mandate to empower individuals, and through them families and communities, while it is making exceptional contributions to research, innovation and community engagement,” says Prof Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UJ.
Prof Rensburg points out that the University is extremely proud of its graduands, who, in spite of the tumultuous times, achieved a new record undergraduate module success rate of 85.4% in 2016. “Our overall annual graduate output is now in excess of 12,000 graduates per year; and we are proud that 93% of our students obtain employment within 12 months of graduation, signaling the value of our qualifications to South African and international employers.”
Of the graduates who will receive recognition for their academic achievements during this series of graduation ceremonies, 4 915 are undergraduates degrees, 2 614 are undergraduate diplomas and 1 967 are at postgraduate level. Apart from the 38 doctoral degrees to be awarded, 1 600 honours degrees and 204 Master’s degrees are to be conferred. The graduates involve students from the University’s four campuses across all nine faculties.
“The excellent results are testimony to the dedication and hard work of our academics, professional support staff and the University’s First Year Experience Programme (FYE). A strong foundation in students first year allows them to build solid academic success. The FYE initiative, with the emphasis on student tutors mentoring fellow students, is designed to assist the school-to-university transition. As part of the UJ’s Academic Excellence Programmes, trained student advisors are assisting first-year students across UJ’s residences. Due to these interventions, the success rate for first-time entering undergraduate students increased. The extraordinary talent that we nurture at the University is reflected in our graduates; the knowledge that we produce, in our research outputs; our community work and public scholarship. Our efforts to establish ourselves as a world-class institution, do not come easily, but when we put in extraordinary efforts we get extraordinary results,” says Prof Rensburg.
The Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences is conferring 2 234 qualifications, followed by the Faculty of Management with 1 752. The Faculty Engineering and the Built Environment and the Faculty of Humanities are awarding 1 557 and 1 207 qualifications respectively to new graduates.
In the Faculties of Education and Health Sciences, 900 and 757 students respectively are receiving qualifications. The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture and the Faculty of Science are conferring 437 and 425 students respectively with qualifications. The Faculty Law will be awarding 227 qualifications during the University’s first round of graduations.