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About us

The Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) is an institute based at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Although only launched in May 2015 as the first fully-fledged institute for advanced learning in Gauteng, South Africa’s economic and political heartland, JIAS has grown to be one of the leading institutes of its kind based in the African continent. Its purpose is to promote advanced research in the humanities and natural sciences, beyond the regular teaching and research activities at institutions of higher learning.

JIAS aims to create the conditions in which scholars can deliver cutting-edge interdisciplinary thought and research at the highest academic level. This is done by reaching beyond the regular teaching and research routines of contemporary higher education, and by encouraging collaborative scholarly cooperation in both the humanities and natural sciences.

Governance

JIAS is UJ’s institute for advanced study. The director of JIAS reports to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Internationalisation) at UJ, and through this office to the University structures. As such, JIAS is a university-based institute for advanced study as opposed to free standing institutes for advanced study.

JIAS facility

JIAS is based in a dedicated facility in the Johannesburg suburb of Westdene, near the University of Johannesburg. It offers accommodation for fellows and other visiting scholars, as well conference and workshop facilities. For more information, please contact us on +27 11 559 1220 or jias@uj.ac.za.  Alternatively, please use the contact form.

About other
Institutes for
Advanced Study

Institutes for Advanced Study are at the apex of the research and higher education ladder. They are designed to afford top quality researchers with an opportunity to focus entirely on their central calling in their respective fields, either individually or in collaborative enterprise.

JIAS Team

Dr Bongani Ngqulunga, Director of JIAS

Dr Bongani Ngqulunga is an academic, public sector administrator and author. Prior to joining JIAS, he worked in the South African Presidency for more than a decade. He holds a PhD in Sociology from Brown University in the United States, and three degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His appointment at JIAS became effective in June 2018. In the same month, Dr Ngqulunga won the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction for his book The Man Who Founded the ANC: A Biography of Pixley ka Isaka Seme (Penguin, 2018).

Reshmi Singh, Academic Manager

Reshmi Singh has taken up the post of Academic Manager. She holds an MA in Critical Diversity Literacy from Wits University, a BA Honours in Industrial Psychology from UNISA, and a BA from the University of Natal with majors in Industrial Psychology and Law. She previously worked as an administrator at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA) at Wits University, and then at the South African Research Chair in Industrial Development at UJ.

Emelia Kamena, Administrator

Emelia Kamena is an Administrator at JIAS, who coordinates research initiatives. She completed her honors degree at the University of Johannesburg and studying towards her master’s degree.

Linda Mbongwa, Marketing Manager

Linda Mbongwa studied Journalism as well as stakeholder relations. She has combined experience of over 12 years in the media industry - having started as a journalist and later moving into the corporate communications space where she has held different positions in editorial, media relations and marketing.

Ronald Witte, Operations Manager

Ronald has taken up the post of Operations Manager. He holds an BCom Honours in Business Management, and a BBA from Milpark Business School. He is currently completing his MBA at Henley Business School.

Operations Support Team

Left to right: Maria Matla, Johannah Menyoko, Lilian Shibambo.

Operations Support Team

Left to right: Maria Matla, Johannah Menyoko, Lilian Shibambo.

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Facilities

Outreach

The Johannesburg Institute for Advanced is involved in various community outreach projects in the city of Johannesburg and in other parts of South Africa. Through the Bertil Andersson Enrichment Fund, which was established after a generous donation from the previous President of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), JIAS assists learners from socially disadvantaged communities in Soweto to improve their math and science literacy. JIAS uses the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Science Centre as an implementing partner of the project. Through the programme additional tutoring in math and science is provided to Grade 12 learners from Soweto schools.