Message from the President
In January 2021 Professor Zeblon Vilakazi was installed as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand as he took over the reins from Professor Adam Habib.
Prof Vilakazi continued to successfully navigate the turbulent environment provoked by the Covid pandemic as Wits continued its uninterrupted teaching; and clenched the title of Top University in Africa in the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Ranking 2022. We also continued to retain our ranking in the top 1% of universities globally (out of about 25 000 universities).
Our university teaches approximately 41 000 students per annum (of which 39% are post-grad students), and our current estimates place Wits as alma mater to some 200 000 graduates worldwide since our inception in 1922. These graduates have helped Wits to be ranked 98th in the world in terms of alumni employability.
As we approach our centenary year in 2022, Wits has identified eight strategic priority areas, namely:
- Driving digital transformation
- Catalysing innovation and entrepreneurship
- Ensuring better health for all
- Solving global challenges and crises
- Advancing society, governance, and justice
- Future proofing our national treasures
- Developing the next generation of leaders
- Energising broad-based alumni support (R300 million target)
It is imperative that in ‘changing-times’ we recognise the need to innovate and change. As such, in support of the strategic priorities of the University, the directive of the Executive Committee of Convocation, representing graduates of the University, has evolved to include a ‘Partnership and Collaboration’ drive. This has seen the awakening of efforts, working-relations and explorations between the likes of heavy-hitting industry players such as Discovery Health, the IDC and the Human Rights Commission of South Africa; as well as partnerships between individual Exco members to leverage networks and tackle, for example, startup commercialisation, gig-economy and student employment, and ‘Green Economy’ initiatives.
If you are a Wits graduate wanting to contribute to the ‘Partnership and Collaboration’ ecosystem to assist in supporting Wits’ strategic priority area’s please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to chat!