“In spite of the challenges the University has faced in the last year, I am pleased with the strides that the institution has made.”
This was the sentiment expressed by Ms Xoliswa Kakana, Chairperson of Council at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) when she delivered her virtual address at the launch of its 2022 Stakeholder Report.
The launch took place at the University’s Ubuntu Chambers, at the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus on Tuesday, 15 August 2023 .
The report highlights the significant gains made by the University across its different spheres in the 2022 year. These include: UJ’s global recognition and various rankings, highlights in the academic teaching and learning space, an overview of the institution’s research, the performance of the faculties, student experience, the chairperson of council’s report as well as the Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s report.
Kakana added, “Of course, I am cognisant of the fact that there were a lot of challenges and that this was not an easy feat. When I took over from my predecessor, Mr. Mike Teke, I was appraised about the challenges facing the university and the higher education sector in general. Student wellbeing and safety, student financial challenges and infrastructure development rank among the main issues”.
She shared that with the havoc wreaked globally by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University managed to come up with necessary solutions to pressing challenges.
“UJ has adopted a blended model of teaching and learning for most of its modules. This approach aligns with global best practices and aims to integrate 4IR into our teaching and learning architecture. It has been encouraging to note that many of the learning practices that emerged from remote teaching and learning at the height of extended COVID-19 lockdowns have become the norm in current and future approaches. Our constant reference to our 4IR-centred strategy and viewing education and research through an innovative lens has ensured that, alongside the challenges, we have also seen successes. As a testament to this, UJ has emerged as a leading institution in embracing and harnessing the systems and tools of 4IR in its teaching and learning, and research and knowledge production,” Kakana said.
UJ Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Letlhokwa Mpedi used his address to share some of the efforts the University has made towards a fair and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.
“Amidst the pandemic and its aftermath, UJ reflected on the impact and challenges faced, as well as its role in shaping a just, fair, and sustainable post-COVID-19 world. These considerations remain central to UJ’s teaching, research, innovation, and community outreach activities, as outlined in this report. As the newly inaugurated Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), I reflect on the past few years, which were greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. UJ played a crucial role in African education revitalisation, leveraging its leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
“In 2022, UJ made significant progress in fulfilling its commitment to 4IR and its strategic goals. UJ’s Global Excellence and Stature 4.0 (GES 4.0) strategy positioned the university as a leader in 4IR on the African continent and in the global arena,” Mpedi said.
See the full report here: 2022 Stakeholder Report.