University of Johannesburg


Our university is seen as the premier 4th Industrial Revolution university in Africa. We are ranked by the Times Higher Education Ranking (THE) as first in South Africa in impact and pursuing Sustainable Development Goals, and second overall in Africa.

One of our mantras is the promotion of conversation. Conversation among various stakeholders helps create a ‘buy-in’ effect that pools all efforts and minds together.

SATURDAY PROFILE | UJ needs a med school, says new VC Letlhokwa Mpedi – and must embrace ChatGPT | News24

We back this up with resources to ensure that our vision stands on solid ground. Through conversation, we can define various community challenges and come up with targeted research that can be accessed and tweaked to solve arising issues.

Read the AfricaLive interview with Prof. Mpedi >>


Research and Innovation at The University of Johannesburg


UJ Researcher Pursues Alternative Energy By Converting Biomass Material into Biofuels

A Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Limpopo, Dr Mulisa Maumela believes that investing in biomass energy  (renewable energy from plants and animal) can help sustain the country’s petroleum industry as it provides low-cost biofuels while saving the environment

Through his research project themed the “Conversion of Biomass Material into Biofuels”, Dr Maumela says there are prospects of finding an alternative, cheaper, sustainable, environmentally friendly methods for the production of transportation fuels and other important chemicals such as fuel additives.


UJ Solving South Africa’s Housing Gap By Building One House a Day With 3D Printing

In 2021, research from the Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) indicated that the backlog in urban housing is more than 2.4 million houses, with many families living in informal settlements.

In response to the South African housing crisis, in 2022 UJ invested in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, to address SA’s social housing backlog. This was done alongside the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), which has extensively researched the impact of this project.

Stakeholders such as the Mampeule Foundation, a non-profit organisation aimed at improving the quality of life and access to opportunities for marginalised communities across South Africa, have provided R5-million grants spanning over five years to postgraduate students studying engineering and the built environment. The cement supplier AfriSam offers all the cement products needed for the 3D printing project. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements has committed to providing serviced sites for constructing houses in Ethekwini Municipality.


UJ launches Neurodiversity Centre

Statistics show that 1 in 20 people are living with disabilities. The aim of the Centre is to address the neurodevelopmental learning needs of children and youth through a multi-pronged approach, including but not limited to:

  • Training teachers and other stakeholders on neurodivergent learning needs
  • Therapeutic and learning needs intervention for learners and youth
  • Parent support and development
  • Community engagement and empowerment


South Africa’s Power Generation Plans are Out of Date: An Urgent Rethink is Needed

The national power utility Eskom has been unable to provide a steady power supply due to ageing infrastructure and an abnormally high number of breakdowns. This has led to periodic electricity blackouts at times when demand has exceeded supply.

To alleviate power shortages in the interim, the Ministry of Mining and Energy launched an initiative to solicit 2,000 MW of emergency power from private developers.

But the plans aren’t panning out very well.

South Africa needs a detailed and thoroughly researched set of scenarios mapped out to inform a new electricity plan.


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