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UJ Vice-Chancellor, Prof Rensburg: You have been groomed for leadership

​​​First graduation series for 2015.

As new graduates, you are now part of an elite graduate population in South Africa and beyond, and you have obtained your qualifications in a higher education environment that mirrors the democratic ideals of South Africa. This was the message by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Prof Ihron Rensburg when he addressed graduates during the first series of UJ’s graduation ceremonies. The 2015 Autumn Graduation ceremonies are conducted between 2 March 2015 and 30 April 2015.

“The University’s undergraduate student module completion rate now stands at 84.5% and the overall annual graduate output is in excess of 11 600 graduates per year, with 511 master’s and 93 doctoral graduates in 2014,” said Prof Rensburg

Prof Rensburg pointed out that 95% of UJ students obtain employment within 12 months of graduation. “This signals the value of our qualifications to South African and international employers,” he said. “This year, UJ is precisely one decade old. As UJ enter its second decade, we have an enormous amount to celebrate. Our achievements, in teaching and research, in our relationships with prestigious universities globally, and in our world-class programmes and facilities, are considerable, and we have reached new heights of excellence far earlier than anticipated. Who would’ve imagined that ten years in, annually, 27% of South Africa’s Black Charted Accountants who end up flourishing in their careers, come out of this University?”

He said that the student experience at UJ, is infused with a level of excellence few institutions can match. “At UJ, you have been groomed for leadership. Leadership carries with it responsibilities, and as future leaders and proud carriers of the University’s standards, I urged you to keep your eyes on the poor, the marginalised and the disadvantaged. As you scale the heights of your selected careers, remember that not everyone in our society is as privileged as you are. You should feel compelled to do what you can, whenever you can, to make positive contributions to society as responsible corporate citizens and future leaders.”

Prof Rensburg added that the commitment and investment from UJ staff complement the strategic direction of the institution. “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,” Prof Rensburg said.

Of the graduates who will receive recognition for their academic achievements during this series of graduation ceremonies, 4 804 are undergraduates degree, 2 513 are undergraduate diploma and 1 495 are at postgraduate level. Apart from the 33 doctoral degrees to be awarded, 1 334 honours degrees and 128 master’s degrees are to be conferred. The graduates hail from the University’s four campuses across all nine faculties.

He concluded: “While this is your achievement, you should always remember the sacrifices other have made to ensure that you are here today.”

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