What our graduates think

The University of Johannesburg has a number of fully online programmes and this month, we see candidates from the first cohort of the Master of Public Health graduating.

We caught up with some of our graduates to hear about their experiences and successes.

Mbuso Mdluli

Programme: Master of Public Health

Research Topic: The relationship between cigarette smoking and occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among employees working at a Sugar Company in Swaziland, 2018 to 2019

Graduation: October 2020

“I was among one of the first cohorts for this programme (Master of Public Health). I enjoyed the programme because I could do my studies while still working, I completed my degree without having to go to campus. The online learning platform was user friendly and I could easily receive my learning materials and submit my work/assignments, and I could interact with my facilitators and fellow students.

“Most importantly, the payment terms are flexible, I could pay per the module and if I wished to take a break, I was free to do so and register again for the next registration date. This was a journey worth taking and I’m looking forward to furthering my studies with UJ.”

Mojabeng Dorcas Senekal-Ndebele

Programme: Master of Public Health

Research Topic: Factors associated with Tuberculosis amongst textile workers in Maseru, Lesotho

Graduation: October 2020

“To me, a university degree has always meant liberation from a lack of innovation, a drive for change and reaching for our dreams. As a civic leader from a community that has been incapable of freedom from poverty for years, a lack of universal health coverage, and lack of progressive leadership, this was key.

“I needed a platform for informed stewardship in public health global citizenship and community development, and that is exactly what this Masters programme gave me. It was not a walk in the park, but it was worth every tear, headache, heartache, and sleepless night.”

Stanslaus Madende

Programme: Master of Public Health

Research Topic: The management of hospital pharmaceutical waste in a typical low- to medium-income country

Graduation: October 2020

“How much disease can be prevented through healthier environments?” Since my early days of professional practice as a pharmacist, this question has been at the centre of my heart after realising how much disease disrupts human life.

“As a health programme manager in my 40s, in 2017 I resolved to enrol for a Master of Public Health (MPH) that focusses on preventive health. As someone who is extremely busy with job responsibilities, family and social life, I needed a good quality programme that would fit my schedule and my aspirations. Just on time, at the beginning of 2018, the University of Johannesburg introduced an online MPH program.

“I applied and was enrolled. Initially, I was unsure of how smoothly a completely online MPH program would run but the lectures and the online student support staff made the transition very smooth and were there any time I had a question or needed help. After completing the first module, I felt very confident about the programme. My commitment to the online MPH actually “doubled” as I felt very accommodated.

“The lecturers took just as much time to attend to my concerns and showed the same concern they would for an on-campus student. Although there are unique challenges with an online curriculum such as additional time spent studying, susceptibility to falling behind easily, and limited access to other students, the UJ lecturers understand these issues and they did their best to accommodate me. The UJ MPH online programme provides the perfect learning opportunity for anyone with a need for distance learning. The programme provides high-quality education without interrupting your work, personal and family schedules. Through the use of internet technology, lecturers provide a rich learning experience for every student at the convenience of the student.

“The course availability is outstanding, the interactive tools are easy to use, and there is always some sort of help available at the click of a mouse or the other end of a phone line. I found the online programme interesting, challenging, and rewarding. Assignments were marked quickly, with lots of positive feedback from the tutors and lecturers.

“Thank you for getting my assignments back to me as promptly as you have, and thank you for making the online program so enjoyable. The feedback on assignments was constructive and to the point, and always positive and motivating. As for the assistance and general help from all the online services and staff, I found them excellent. For those who had to choose a career over going to school, UJ has answered those needs and have gone beyond expectations. You can conveniently work and study at the same time.

“The key to online programmes, I believe is to plan your time wisely, study a bit each day and try not to get behind. I am a proud graduate of the UJ MPH online programme.”

Brenda van Wyk

Programme: Master of Education in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Graduation: October 2020

“I realised that having only discipline-specific qualifications was simply no longer adequate to meet the demands in the changing world of education. I needed to upskill my knowledge of digital learning to function optimally in a tertiary ecosystem. I set out looking for a qualification that would offer what I needed. I approached several universities, but it was at UJ (my Alma mater) that I found a programme fit for purpose.

“Registering for the carousel approach helped me to schedule and align my studies according to my available time, making my learning much more focused, meaningful, and effective.

“The themes that the programme covers opened new and exciting worlds. These included educational ICT policy development, current and emerging issues in digital learning, contemporary learning design theories and frameworks, and framing assessment within 21st-century contexts.

“The programme appealed to me as I already completed Learning Management System training for instructional and learning design. I found the Community of Inquiry approach exhilarating and collaborative. I loved how the practical application of new digital skills could be applied in learning outcomes.

“As the programme did not require campus visits, travel or face-to-face sessions, I was able to attend sessions and keep up even whilst travelling abroad. With the excellent design and online support received, I was able to complete the programme in the minimum two years.”