4IR –

it’s here

The fourth industrial revolution – commonly referred to as 4IR – is here, and whether you realise it or not, it’s transforming your life in subtle and powerful ways all the time.

But what exactly is 4IR? What does it mean for South Africa? What does it mean for its people, for its politics and economics, and for its future? In this, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) brand-new, entirely 4IR-focused digital magazine, “Beyond Imagining”, we explore the ins and outs of this phenomenon and try to answer some of the many questions it raises.

The words in these pages are a small sampling of the huge amount of research that UJ’s educators and students are undertaking in the 4IR space. The  university is proud to be initiating the kind of in-depth academic analysis and investigation that 4IR demands, and to be shouldering the responsibility of exploring, debating and acting on the best responses to it.

This edition and those that follow will examine this exciting and unpredictable era, and the way it is affecting everything from how we work and how we interact with our surroundings, to what we think and what we create. In this edition specifically, we’ll be looking at education and what 4IR means for South Africa’s schools and tertiary institutions. One thing’s for sure: 4IR is disrupting everything – and the time to learn about it is now.

Welcome to a world beyond imagining…

Contents

The intersection of 4IR and education.

We thought it best to begin at home – at the intersection between 4IR and education.
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The driving force behind 4IR at UJ

UJ’s investment in 4IR is driven from its most senior position, from its Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala.
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Teaching and learning in AR, VR and XR

Many of the students walking through the gates of universities across the country today form part of Generation Z
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4IR galvanises change in university curricula

UJ’s approach is to integrate disciplines as much as possible.
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Hey Siri! Do you understand me?

UJ is currently working on a speech recognition tool similar to Apple’s Siri or Google Assist..
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4IR Defined

4IR is full of acronyms, and getting your head around them can be confusing.
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It’s never too early: what 4IR means for schools.

Schools can do three things when it comes to 4IR
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Musing on the modern-day Mashinini.

In June 1976, 19-year-old Tsietsi Mashinini led his fellow students in the Soweto Uprising.
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Pint of Science brings science to the people.

Scientific research that universities and other institutions produce can often be difficult to understand if you’re not a scientist yourself.
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What is generation z?

Millenials, believe it or not, are a thing of the past.
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The jobs of South Africa’s future

Between 2018 and 2022, more than 50% of jobs will need employees to be reskilled.
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Reskilling: it’s a thing.

Between 2018 and 2022, more than 50% of jobs will need employees to be reskilled.
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Studying at UJ as easy as one, two, click

UJ students who aren’t able to study on campus full time now have the option of completing their studies virtually.
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UJ Cloudebate™ answers (some of) 4IR’s questions.

4IR is an area rich with questions – in fact, at this stage, there are undoubtedly more questions than answers.
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