Vice-Chancellor Message – 27 January 2023

Vice Chancellor Message 02 November 2021

Dear UJ Community,

On Friday last week, our first intake of undergraduate students entered the University following the release of the matric results. UJ has approximately 10 500 spaces for undergraduate students for the 2023 Academic Year. This will make our University home to around 52 500 students for the 2023 academic calendar. According to the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation (DSI), new enrolments across the sector will be an estimated 162 930 (selected from more than 4 million applications), bringing the total overall enrolments within the public university sector to around 1 112 439 spaces. As Minister Blade’ Nzimande pointed out this week, our university sector is steadily growing.

With the huge demand for enrolment at universities comes the accompanying challenges of lack of capacity to enrol all qualifying students, funding gaps and shortage of affordable accommodation. In this regard, it was intriguing to hear the Minister say that post-matric students should consider options other than universities. “The future of our youth does not only lie in going to university, or in going to university the first time you finish matric. You can still access meaningful post-school opportunities and meaningful careers. At another time, you can be able to proceed to university, if you want to do that,” he said.

As usual, we wish to reiterate to all qualifying students interested in studying at UJ that the application, admission, and registration process is entirely online. Just like in recent years, no physical ‘walk-ins’ will be accepted. All applicants who have been provisionally or conditionally accepted into a study programme of their choice at UJ received official confirmation of their final admission status via sms and email (more than 450 000 communications were sent to applicants on Friday, 20 January). If applicants have not yet received a sms or email, they should visit the UJ website (www.uj.ac.za) to verify their final application status or call the UJ Call Centre (011 559 4555) for more information.

The procedures to follow, once accepted into a programme of study at UJ, are set out on our University website and in your admission letters. Applicants with any queries about the final admission and registration process are urged to make use of our online chatbot facility, which is available on the website. For more information on this, including viewing academic and residence admission status, and other registration matters, please visit our website, www.uj.ac.za. I also urge learners who could not secure a place to study at UJ to visit the Department of Higher Education & Training’s (DHET) Central Application Clearing House (CACH) site.

We have also noted the Minister’s announcement that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has agreed to allow all students who have been academically admitted and received confirmation for funding to register for this year. Applications close on 31 January 2023. If you are eligible and have not yet applied, visit nsfas.org.za and apply now. The outcome will be released on 06 February 2023. This is welcome news, as it will allow us to expedite the registration process and begin with our academic activities on time.

Another important announcement by Minister Nzimande was that the Department was finalising solutions for ‘missing middle’ funding. He said the Department would avail loans and bursaries for students registered in scarce skills categories. We urge eligible and affected students to take advantage of this opportunity. As announced recently, we are also doubling our campaign funding efforts for thousands of students registering for degrees in 2023 through the “Double of Future Impact Student 2023 Registration Campaign”.

However, this is not something we can do alone – you, too, could play a significant role. We need your help,and we thus appeal to you to donate and help us Double our Future Impact and ensure that at least 10 000 students are assisted with their 2023 registration fees. We have already received donations towards student support of more than R2.5 million from major donors. Our Incoming Vice-Chancellor, Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi, has donated R50 000, and following closely in his lead is the Head of the Department of Accountancy, Prof Ben Marx, who has donated R30 000. Your support could give 10 000 students and their families hope for a reimagined future of certainty. Donate Now!

Finally, on a different note, I am thrilled to announce that Minister Nzimande will later today unveil the three-dimensional (3D) Construction Project at our University’s Doornfontein Campus. This project is funded by the DSI and implemented by UJ in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements. 3D printing has a massive potential to improve the delivery of RDP houses in South Africa. 3D printing represents a novel technology in the manufacturing sector, which is associated with potentially strong stimuli for sustainable development. This is an exciting iniative indeed!

Kea leboga, enkosi, baie dankie, ndi a livhuwa, thank you!

Professor Tshilidzi Marwala                     

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Times mentioned in this newsletter refer to the South African time-zone.

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