With the endless opportunities and benefits students have in university, one has to consider making their varsity years the best time of their lives. These were the sentiments of the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Ihron Rensburg.
Prof Rensburg addressed top achieving undergraduates at the UJenius Club welcome event on Friday, 2 June 2017, at UJ’s Sanlam Auditorium in Auckland Park Kingsway (APK) Campus – where he motivated the top performing students to take advantage of the benefits and opportunities the university has for them to grow academically, professionally and as individuals.
The UJenius Club is the University’s initiative to recognize remarkable academic performance. The club offers UJ’s best performing undergraduate students study benefits and additional opportunities of intellectual and professional development. Students who’ve achieved an end-of-year average of 75% in the previous year, on a full course load, and with no module below 70%, are nominated for membership into the UJenius Club.
“Opportunities such as meeting and being associated with faculty deans and UJ alumni helps in terms of getting some wisdom on how to better take advantage of the benefits we have in the club and how to make a mark while achieving academically,” said Ms Felicia Mulovhedzi, third year Retail student .
“Being a top achiever shows that one is committed to their work. Benefits such as extended book loans in the library make a difference in giving us more time to better prepare our school work and be ready for assessments. This also contributes to the university’s reputation in terms of academic performance, therefore this ‘special treatment’ motivates us to keep at the pace we are at and inspire others to perform exceptionally,” Felicia added.
Prof Rensburg noted that it is the top achieving students that help push the university’s global ranking higher. “It is a great pleasure to be in your presence and personally say to you well done! You are the cream that makes everyone proud to be associated with UJ.”
The aim of the UJenius initiative is to acknowledge and promote academic excellence as a core component of the UJ student identity; bring together students from a diverse range of disciplines to stimulate interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration; promote UJ values; create a social space where UJenius Club members from different Faculties and campuses are able to interact with each other; to build partnerships and friendships; create opportunities for closer contact with members of the broader UJ community; and provide UJenius members with privileged connections and benefits, given their academic performance.
“This is the time when you make friends for life and some may be future business associates, and this is the time where you make the most of your mistakes. Dust yourself and learn as much as possible. Make this time useful, if your undergraduate years are not yet your best time, make them the best time from this point,” concluded Prof Rensburg.
Present at the welcome event was Prof Rory Ryan, UJ’s Academic Development Executive Director, who welcomed the students; Nickolaus Bauer, a UJ Journalism alumni, gave a motivational talk; and Ebenhaezer Dikabwane, a South African comedian provided the students with some laughter.