University Of Johannesburg Wikipedia, the University of Johannesburg (known colloquially as “UJ“) is a public university located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The University of Johannesburg came into existence on 1 January 2005 as the result of a merger between the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), the Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR) and the Soweto and East Randcampuses of Vista University. Prior to the merger, the Daveyton and Soweto campuses of the former Vista University had been incorporated into RAU. As a result of the merger of Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), it is common for alumni to refer to the university as RAU. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UJ is Professor Tshilidzi Marwala. Between 2005 and 2017, UJ’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal was Prof Ihron Lester Rensburg.
The newly emerged institution is one of the largest comprehensive contact universities in South Africa from the 26 public universities that make up the higher education system. UJ has transformed into a diverse, inclusive, transformational and collegial institution, with a student population of over 50 000, of which more than 3000 are international students from 80 countries
British Rule, 1900s
During the Johannesburg gold rush a number of training institutions were founded to supply skilled labour to the gold mines demands.[1 One of those institutions was Witwatersrand Technical Institute, founded in 1903, with its roots in the Kimberly School of Mines. It eventually became Technikon Witwatersrand in 1979. This institute was based on the British system and the medium of instruction was English. Not only did its policies restrict access to white students only, but it also restricted admission to those who were well versed in the English language. In 2006, the property belonging to the Technikon Witwatersrand was sold by the University of Johannesburg, which had already absorbed the operations of the Technikon Witwatersrand at that stage.
It would take more than half a century before the independence of South Africa from the British, that the newly elected National Party sought to provide education in the Afrikaans language, the third most spoken mother tongue language in South Africa. This led to the foundation of Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) in 1966. At the time of its founding, RAU was the second university to be established in Johannesburg and it was established through an act of parliament as the academic hub for Afrikaners, establishing a standard of excellence. After the fall of Apartheid in 1994, African students started to become more involved in previously white institutions of higher education. RAU was no exception as for the first time in 1995, it had the largest number of African students in its ranks, followed by the University of Witwatersrand, Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town.
In 1982, Vista University admitted the first black students in designated urban black settlements across South Africa. It was established in Port Elizabeth. It had seven satellite campuses throughout South African townships, making tertiary education accessible to most African people, and it had its first academic year in 1983.
It was envisioned that a modern university would spring from unification, and not separation, as it was enforced in the past. The University of Johannesburg, established on 1 January 2005, is the result of the incorporation of the East Rand and Soweto campuses of Vista University into the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) (1 January 2004). The merger of the modified RAU and the Technikon Witwatersrand took place on 1 January 2005 thus creating the University of Johannesburg (UJ).
The integration of these institutions – with seemingly more differences that similarities, offers UJ a unique identity and character, which serves to bridge the chasms that previously divided South Africa. Indeed, no other university in South Africa truly represents the rainbow nation like UJ.
The incorporation and merger was part of a series of major programmes which restructured higher education in South Africa; a result of the National Plan for Higher Education (2001). Consequently, this meant there was a reduction from 36 universities and technikons to 22 higher education institutions. South Africa now has 11 traditional universities, 5 universities of technology and 6 comprehensive institutions.
Logo and brand identity
University of Johannesburg distinguishes itself from its previous institutions as a new, adaptable and progressive institution. Early on it was decided that UJ did not want a coat of arms and motto, as are custom with other tertiary educational institutions in South Africa. The administration decided rather to opt for a logo and brand identity. An internal competition was held where current students could put forward their proposals. In the interim, the previous motto of the Rand Afrikaans University “Diens Deur Kennis” (Afrikaans for Service Through Knowledge) was maintained
The design by Joey Hifi was chosen as the official logo of the university. Present in the design are two hoopoos upupa africana. The hoopoo is the official mascot of the UJ Sports Bureau. The hoopoos are reflective of the “coming together” of two respective institutions (originally) and they form the outline or frame of a book, symbolic of education. The hoopoo is also symbolic of freedom, at various levels; personal and social, adaptability and change. The crowned feathers are symbolic of Africa