UKZN STUDENT WINS MOST COVETED PRIZE IN SA YOUTH AWARDS

UKZN STUDENT WINS MOST COVETED PRIZE IN SA YOUTH AWARDS

Miss Nolwazi Pinkie Madlala, a disabled clinical psychology Master’s student on UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus, won the special Presidential Award at the inaugural South African Youth Awards held recently at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg.

In addition to winning the most sought-after award at the ceremony, Madlala also claimed the top prize in the Extraordinary Champions category.

Hosted by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the Youth Awards are the first ever national awards to recognise the outstanding achievements of young South Africans.

With a central theme “Against All Odds,” NYDA CEO Dr Steven Ngubeni said: ‘With the SA Youth Awards we seek to provide a platform to showcase the exceptional work and contribution that young people are making in their communities and to the world and tell inspiring stories of young people who make extra ordinary achievements despite odds and the challenges.’

A total of 1018 nominations were received for the awards which were divided into eight different categories including: academic excellence; arts and entertainment; entrepreneurship; extra-ordinary champions; health and wellbeing; science and technology; social cohesion; and the environment.

Madlala, who stood out from the rest of the competition across all eight categories, was described by the NYDA as an inspiration to others ‘to soar beyond the sky’.

Nominated for the awards by a fellow psychology student, Madlala said she was totally overwhelmed and excited when she heard she had won the top award. ‘My first reaction was “Wow” and one of disbelief…I was not prepared for it,’ she said.

Madlala grew up in Mpophomeni near Howick in the KZN Midlands. In 1998 she was involved in a car accident which left her disabled and confined to a wheel-chair.

Despite the many challenges, Madlala registered for a Social Science degree at UKZN in 2006 and attained a bachelors and honours degree. She is currently completing her Masters internship as a clinical psychologist at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria. She plans to finish her thesis by the end of the year and will start her year’s community service in 2013.

Madlala walked away with R50 00 for winning the Extraordinary Champions category and R100 000 for the Presidential award, including an Educor-sponsored bursary valued at R100 000 for 3 years’ of study at Damelin. She also received a BlackBerry smart phone which was given to each category winner.

Madlala plans to spend her winnings on a new, lighter and more advanced wheelchair which will make her more productive and enable her to better access the workplace.


author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za

SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS TO THE EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD

SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS TO THE EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD

In a wide-sweeping lecture titled “Burning Dung and Baking Pots:  Visions of South Africa’s Past with Geowizards and Archaeowitches”, UKZN’s Professor Mike Watkeys provided a fascinating insight into the world of geological science, archeology and everything in between.

Watkeys defined Geology as the science which investigates the successive changes that have taken place in the organic and inorganic kingdoms of nature; and which enquires into the causes of those changes.

Watkeys address to a full house of interested students, staff and members of the public, marked the third and final public lecture in celebration of National Science Week.  The lecture was hosted by UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science and funded by the National Department of Science and Technology.

Watkeys started his lecture by quoting the Welsh poet, Hedd Wyn (Elllis Humphrey Evans):  ‘We have no right to anything / But the old and withered earth / That is all in chaos.’

Watkeys, an eminent and well-respected structural geologist, shared insights into one of his particular earth-related research interests, namely, the evolution of the Earth’s magnetic field.  

Watkeys explained how this research project conducted in conjunction with the Natal Museum, the University of the Witwatersrand and Rochester University in the USA, was examining the palaeointensity of the Earth’s magnetic field through time.

Planet Earth was formed four and a half billion years ago.  Watkeys explained that the Earth’s magnetic field was fundamental to the survival of life on the planet, as it generated a magnetosphere which provided protection against harmful solar particles.

Watkeys said that South Africa was an area particularly rich in geological data.  Archaean fossils 3 300 million years old were first discovered in the 1950s and 1960s in the Barbeton mountain land in Mpumalanga, an area he called a “geological wonderland”.  It was here that Watkeys and his team focused their search for clues to understanding changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.

‘To accurately record the palaeointensity of the Earth’s magnetic field, rock samples should contain magnetic grains having single domain, or single domain like (so-called pseudo-single domain) characteristics,’ he said. ‘The magnetic mineralogy should also be stable upon laboratory heating.’  Data was collected using an Alternating Gradient Force Magnetometer.

‘Results revealed that 3 500 million years ago the Earth had a magnetic field with a strength that was at least 50 percent of the present field,’ Watkeys said.  ‘This indicates that a magnetosphere was already shielding the earth from solar radiation at that time.  This magnetic field was critical in allowing life to start on this planet.’

Watkeys said that historical observations from Cape Town and Hermanus  Observatories reveal that the Earth’s magnetic field is currently 30 percent weaker over the southern Atlantic than it was 150 years ago, which causes problems with satellites over the southern Atlantic.  ‘The question to answer is how long has this been going on?’

To answer this question Watkeys and his team turned to pottery.  By employing the novel method of investigating archaeological sites, they examined changes in the magnetic field over southern Africa during the past 1 800 years. 

Focusing on the Mapungubwe Ruins in northern Limpopo, the magnetic intensity of South African Iron Age pottery was measured.  ‘Results revealed that around 1 350 AD the Earth’s magnetic field was extremely weak in the Limpopo Valley,’ said Watkeys.  ‘This coincided closely with the abandonment of Mapungubwe due to droughts.’

Watkeys posed the question: ‘Were the droughts due to El Nino cycles, the onset of the Little Ice Age, or a lack of cloud cover due to a weak magnetic field?’

Watkeys ended his lecture with a quotation from Leigh Hunt:  ‘There are two worlds, the world that we can measure with line and rule, and the world that we feel with our hearts and imagination.’  Inspired Science, said Watkeys, requires both.


author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

TAIWAN’S VISIT TO UKZN ENCOURAGES INTER-CULTURAL AND ACADEMIC EXCHANGE

TAIWAN’S VISIT TO UKZN ENCOURAGES INTER-CULTURAL AND ACADEMIC EXCHANGE

UKZN’s International Relations team hosted postgraduate students on a Project of Youth Ambassadors from the National Defence University of Taiwan during the week of 30 July – 3 August.

The purpose of the visit was to share and encourage inter-cultural exchange between Taiwan and UKZN. This now opens opportunities for potential collaborations and academic partnerships, research, staff and student exchanges and imminent visits to Taiwan and UKZN. 

The Taiwanese team was led by Professor Terry Hsieh YiH Shiwn accompanied by Altus Du, Chang-Ching; Lawrence Lin, Chih-Lung; Edison An,Yung-Tang; David Lee, Hao-Wei; Geoff Cheng, Ting-Mou and Lynn Yeh, Li-Hsuan.

They visited all UKZN campuses throughout the week teaching staff and students about different aspects of their culture. A theme was set aside for each day on each campus.

Starting on the Pietermaritzburg (PMB) campus, the visitors were welcomed by Dr Nicola Jones – Academic Leader of Media and Cultural Studies. The themes for the day were “Taking a stroll in Taiwan” and “I Can Speak Chinese” which gave the audience an introduction to speaking Chinese. They also took them on a tour of their country through pictures and song.  UKZN’s Marie-Anna Marais, Head: International Relations on the Pietermaritzburg campus said, ‘The “I can speak Chinese” session was amusing and thoroughly enjoyed by the students. The highlight was the “Taking a stroll in Taiwan” where the geographic diversity of their country was astoundingly beautiful. The terrain ranged from lakes and mountains that looked like Switzerland and eastern rugged coast reminiscent of the wild Irish coast, golden beaches, as well as colourful flora and fauna. Their architecture and suburbs are a mixture of traditional and modern Chinese.’

The excited crowd at Edgewood campus enjoyed learning about “Chinese Calligraphy” and the Chinese “Happy New Year”. The visitors were welcomed by Professor Gregory Kamwendo – Dean of Education. The audience were told about the culture, showed how to do paper cutting and learned to write in Chinese. For most of the staff it was like going back to school as it was so different from their day to day activities. They thoroughly enjoyed their day and hoped that there were more cultural initiatives similar to this. Most of the audience said it was a great time to bond with staff and students at all levels.

At the Westville campus the team was welcomed by Dr Sibusiso Chalufu – Executive Director of Student Services and Professor Kantilal Bhowan - Associate Professor of Marketing. The audience were given a taste of the themes which included “Happy Autumn Festival” and “Kung Fu”. There was great participation by students and staff as they were put through their paces by the Taiwanese on the different styles of Kung fu. The theme “The Evolution of Chinese Music” had everybody on the dance floor and the “Night Market” theme showcased how local Taiwanese get together for supper and drinks with “Chinese Cuisine” comprising a variety of healthy foods.

The visitors were introduced to the UKZN SIFE – Student in Free Enterprise – team, a student initiative in partnership with UKZN promoting community engagement, outreach and entrepreneurship led by Mr Mandla Ndaba from Student Governance Leadership and Development. The SIFE President – Mr Thembalethu Mkhize introduced the SIFE team and played a video on their winning the South African Championships. They are presently seeking funding to go abroad to represent South Africa in Washington DC in the United States of America. 

At Howard College the themes included “Chinese Valentines Day” and the “Evil Go away, Dragon Boat Festival Viva”. The team was welcomed by Professor Sihawu Ngubane – Deputy Dean of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences. The performances by the Taiwanese team intrigued staff and students alike as they showed how they were attracted to the opposite sex by playing games and checking how compatible potential lovers suited each other. The Taiwanese were truly enlightened by the Zulu Dancers and their beadwork.

The visitors, on each day, visited many tourist attractions and went on campus tours. They visited both the PMB and the Durban city centre. In Durban they went on the Rickshaw Bus, visited Phezulu Farm, toured Moses Mabhida Stadium, including the Skywalk, and then to UKZN Community Outreach Sites, visiting the Gandhi Settlement and Bambhayi in Inanda.

Professor Terry Hsieh YiH Shiwn thanked the UKZN staff and students for their participation during their visit, particularly the UKZN staff for their hospitality in arranging events on all campuses.

According to Dr Prem Ramlachan, Head of International Relations on the Westville campus, the intercultural exchange between Taiwan and UKZN has exposed UKZN to the Eastern world, more particularly in this case Taiwan. Professor Bhowan said it opens opportunities for various academic collaborations and linkages, research, staff and student exchanges and possible visits to Taiwan and UKZN. Corporate Relations would be connecting with the University community in exploring some of these initiatives.
author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

BUILDING EFFECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH SCHOOLS

BUILDING EFFECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH SCHOOLS

UKZN recently hosted Port Elizabeth’s top matric learners, their Principals and Guidance Counsellors at a plush breakfast seminar held at the City’s acclaimed Radisson Blu Hotel. This was one of a series of seminars hosted by Schools Liaison this year. These seminars are aimed at allowing top performing learners and their teachers to interact with UKZN staff on a range of subjects from entrance requirements, scholarships, selection procedures, accommodation, degree programmes and choice of campuses.

Beyond the obvious perks of getting a quality education while enjoying The Sharks matches, the Midlands meander, the warm beaches and the other offerings in the Zulu Kingdom, Director of University Relations and Marketing, Mr Len Mzimela, urged students to make a concerted effort in researching the various options available at UKZN by reading through the prospectus and the College handbook that their schools receive from the Schools Liaison Unit.

Addressing career planning choices first, Mzimela said, ‘Students can avoid the pitfall of wrong degree choices by simply directing questions to UKZN staff through the study at UKZN Facebook page where they can get answers on a range of questions. For instance, a student who wants to pursue a future in Marketing and Management will have to research the various options offered through BCom and BSoc Sc degrees. Simply put, what you put in is always what you get out; so plan, plan and plan!’

The focus then moved to how UKZN rewards academic excellence through the various Scholarships; entrance requirements, selection procedures in various colleges and how to apply.

The PE breakfast followed the Pietermaritzburg Educators’ Seminar held at the tranquil Ascot Inn Conference Centre. A similar event was recently held in Durban at the Moses Mabhida Stadium which explored innovative approaches to teaching career guidance. The seminar, which hosted principals and guidance counsellors of various schools, was facilitated by Mr Nicholas Munro (Lecturer at the School of Education, Higher Education Training and Development).


author email : Sibran@ukzn.ac.za

DURBAN COMMUNITIES RECEIVE FREE PRIMARY HEALTHCARE SERVICES

DURBAN COMMUNITIES RECEIVE FREE PRIMARY HEALTHCARE SERVICES

From senior citizens to the very young, members of Durban’s Mayville community and its neighbouring regions turned out in their masses for this year’s primary health intervention of Operation Hope, a growing success which is co-ordinated and also held in Phoenix by UKZN’s Department of Family Medicine and the Durban Christian Centre (DCC).

‘For communities that cannot afford regular medical examination this intervention pays necessary regard for the health and livelihood of all citizens. It is also essential for early diagnosis and preventing common illnesses,’ said Project Manager, Dr Rochelle Adams.

Adams reported that 2 200 families in the Mayville community registered for the event of which 700 had medical examinations, including children.

Free screening and testing was provided by health professionals as well as staff and medical students from UKZN for TB, Diabetes, Pregnancy and Hypertension whilst patients with minor ailments also received treatment.

‘A total of 350 eye tests were performed and 100 reading glasses issued. We tested 145 people for HIV and 11 pap smears were done.’

Adams thanked all donors whose contributions made it possible to distribute a total of 720 blankets, 400 food parcels, and 4 000 people were fed including during the intervention.

The project has grown over three years with extensive planning and collaborative efforts between project co-ordinators and volunteering members of the community who ensured the day was a success.

The event is supported by the provincial Departments of Health and Social Development, eThekwini’s District Office, UKZN and a host of pharmaceutical companies and health professionals who lent a helping hand to the communities.

‘It feels incredible to be able to give back to the community,’ said Mr Qiniso Mlita, former President of UKZN’s Medical Student Representative Council (MSRC), and Ms Nombuso Shazi, current member of the MSRC.

‘We’re also encouraging especially the youth to lead healthy lifestyles and have regular check-ups,’ said Mlita who checked the blood pressure of community members attending.

Professor Soornarain Subramoney (Cyril) Naidoo, Chief Specialist and Servier Head of the Department of Family Medicine said he was overwhelmed by the community hospitality and attendance.

‘Through NGO participation we can only get stronger and stronger.’

Music and live entertainment ensured the day was a spirited and enjoyable one.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

POLITICAL NOVELS DEBATE: NEW LITERATURE FOR A CHANGED WORLD?

POLITICAL NOVELS DEBATE: NEW LITERATURE FOR A CHANGED WORLD?

Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Associate at UKZN, Margaret Lenta contributed to the Sunday Independent‘s Political Novel Debate with the following article, entitled “New Literature for a Changed World?”. In this piece, Lenta examines the development of an exciting new South African literature following the publication of JM Coetzee’s Disgrace in 1999. She looks at four novels which, for her, represent “new approaches to tradition and history” – Coconut by Kopano Matlwa, A Man Who is Not a Man by Thando Mgqolozana, David’s Story by Zoë Wicomb and Unconfessed by Yvette Christiansë.

Until the first democratic elections in 1994, writers were under pressure to restrict their subject matter to the struggles to abolish apartheid and allow all adult citizens to vote. Until these aims were achieved, it was felt, no other human rights issues should receive attention. Assertions that the law disadvantaged women, that religions other than Christianity were unfairly treated, that many subjects, political and social, should not be mentioned in print, went unchallenged.


Arguments about this exclusive focus became irrelevant in 1996, when a constitution was accepted which defined broad principles relating to personal liberty and a just state. The ways in which these principles could be implemented needed to be taken up in written and spoken debates across the land, but writers needed time to think, and euphoria is not the best stimulant of creativity.


Literary discussion was delayed by ambivalence: the 1996 constitution proclaimed the equal rights of men and women, of racial minorities, of all kinds of sexual orientation and all religions, but did Mr or Ms Average agree with this? All the established societies of SA were – and most remain – patriarchal: if equality between men and women and religious tolerance are both constitutional principles, how for example do we deal with the fact that many religious groups exclude women from their ministry?
Eleven languages were recognised – but what does recognition mean? Can we, or should we, make a language spoken by a small group of people “equal” to one spoken by millions? Should economic interests decide debates when the poor face starvation?


All these debates were material for literature, but writers took time to think them over – there was a falling-off in literary production between 1990 and 1999. In that year JM Coetzee’s Disgrace appeared, making the “Afro-pessimist” point strongly: if reconciliation were to take place, it would, the book suggested, demand huge sacrifices by whites and the acceptance of radical changes in power dynamics.

Disgrace was immensely and perhaps deliberately controversial. Since then there has been a flowering of South African fiction, the more exciting because people from previously silent groups, or groups which had written only about the agonies of oppression, have begun to write other kinds of fiction.


To write for publication generally means that you are, or have now become, a member of the middle class: you are highly literate. This need not mean that you are remote from the problems of the poor, because the new millennium has been a time of rapid individual movement between classes.


The great question of what the legacies of apartheid are and how we deal with them needs to be divided into many subject areas before there can be usable answers. In the early 2000s many of us encountered the “tradition” argument: an action or opinion must be accepted because that’s the way the ancestors behaved or thought. It’s an argument often advanced by a man wearing jeans with a cellphone in his hand. But it may not be entirely hypocritical: he may genuinely fear the changing world.


Out of the hundreds of novels which have appeared in this country since 2000, four can stand as examples of new approaches to tradition and history.


Coconut, by Kopano Matlwa (2007), presents the experiences of two young, urban, black women, one from a newly rich family, the other poor. One is unhappy at her Joburg private school; the other works as a waitress in an upmarket coffee shop, despises the traditional and longs to enter the world depicted in glossy magazines.
The rich girl regrets that she cannot play a traditional role in her extended family; the poor girl’s family, apart from one unhappy uncle, has disappeared. Tradition, Matlwa shows, is problematic: the world has changed and we must change too – but what should we strive to retain?


Thando Mgqolozana’s A Man Who Is Not a Man (2009) deals with the difficulties of the circumcision rite as an entry into adult life for Xhosa men. Tradition, he shows, continues to demand that young men undergo it, but the equally traditional guidance offered by a male guardian to the initiate is often absent. Pressure in the name of tradition can kill or maim young men.


History is a construct, not a revealed truth – yes, but the history we were taught tends to retain its hold on us and shape our attitudes and actions. So novels which re-investigate the past have been important in the 2000s: Zoë Wicomb’s David’s Story (2000) looks at the Griqua people, and at the fact that they silenced their women and were defrauded of their land by the government. Wicomb also presents the horrors which took place among the ANC in exile, as well as under the National Party government.


Yvette Christiansë’s Unconfessed (2007), which imagines the appalling life of a slave woman in the early 19th century, also re-envisages history. People whose ancestors were enslaved often feel shame, whereas people whose ancestors were slave-owners tend to feel proud of their family’s ghastly past. So the invitation is to understand better what happened and who was responsible.


In the last 12 years, many fictionalised investigations have been offered in novels: what relationships are possible between people of different racial groups? Are gay people a new presence in our society, and what roles should they play? What challenges do previously rural residents face in today’s city? How should South Africans relate to street children and resident foreigners? How is HIV/AIDS affecting urban and rural societies?


Without the many novels which have reached publication since 2000, most of us would be less aware of these crucial and newly debatable issues. Let’s read the books and join in the arguments.

 

SA LIT: Beyond 2000 edited by Professors Michael Chapman and Margaret Lenta (UKZN Press, 2011) is available at Adams Books and other reputable bookstores).
author email : brancha@ukzn.ac.za

UNITE HOSTS SUCCESSFUL POWER BREAKFAST

UNITE HOSTS SUCCESSFUL POWER BREAKFAST

Over 100 key stakeholders from government, business and the UKZN community braved the chilly winter morning to attend this semester’s edition of the Power Breakfast series hosted by the UNITE programme. Deputy Head of UNITE, Mr Rudi Kimmie, said that the Power Breakfast series aims to “promote collegiality, expose the latest trends in society and provide a platform for stimulating conversation”.


The keynote speaker at the event was Mr Andrew Layman, Chairman of the Durban Chamber of Commerce. Layman’s talk focused on the creation of synergy between government and business, and the role of the University as a facilitator in this partnership. Layman spoke of the need to eliminate the “silo” mentality and embrace broader cross-cutting styles of management. He cited the eThekwini Municipality’s priority zone as an example of how effective this approach could be.

Layman, a UKZN graduate, recently completed his Masters in Local Economic Development through the Graduate School of Business and Leadership. He went further to say that real local economic development and advancement can only be achieved through public private consultation. He also emphasised that the distrust between government and business could only be dealt with through meaningful interaction that facilitated understanding between the two groups. He said that this could help to build trust, with UKZN and academia adopting the role of neutral facilitators.
author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

13TH INTERNATIONAL EMASA CONFERENCE 2012 HOSTED BY UKZN

13TH INTERNATIONAL EMASA CONFERENCE 2012 HOSTED BY UKZN

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) recently hosted the 13th International Education Management Association of South Africa (EMASA) conference on the Edgewood campus.

This conference saw humanitarian, activist and academic, Dr Mamphela Ramphele as one of the keynote speakers with both UKZN staff and selected students also presenting their research.    

This year’s conference theme centred on the Benefits of Education Leadership and Student Success beyond the learning institutions.

UKZN’s Education Lecturer Mr Niel Avery discussed The Principals Management Development Programme (PMDP) and evaluated if it really works.

It’s fine to expect accountability from principals, but it is imperative to train them properly.  The key message in my paper is that there is significant evidence that the PMDP is contributing successfully to meeting this need,’ said Avery.

Other UKZN Education lecturers who presented at the conference were Mr Siphiwe Mthiyane, Mr Sibusiso Bayeni and Dr Thamsanqa Bhengu. Their study explored school decline in selected Black South African secondary schools that were formerly known for high academic and sporting performance.

‘Insight into the relationship between leadership and management and school decline and the causes may assist policy makers to prevent schools from ever developing into chronically low-performing schools, rather than attempting costly and unreliably school turnaround techniques and thus better sustain school improvements when they fully understand how decline affects schools,’ said Bhengu.

Other UKZN staff members included: Dr Inbanathan Naicker; Professor Vitallis Chikoko; Mr Bongani Dlungwane, Mr Sekitla Makhasane with UKZN postgraduate students Mr Themba Mthembu; Mr Sibonelo Blose and Ms Sarasvathy Moodley.
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

ALUMNI MEET IN RICHARDS BAY

ALUMNI MEET IN RICHARDS BAY

UKZN alumni residing on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal enjoyed an opportunity to re-connect with their alma mater and fellow alumni at a lunch on 4 August. Held at the Protea Hotel Waterfront in Richards Bay, the function was organised by UKZN’s Alumni Relations Office, Corporate Relations Division (CRD), for alumni and friends of the University as a reunion, networking and information sharing opportunity. It also provided the ideal opportunity for alumni to meet some of the recently elected Convocation Executive members – including the President and Chair of Convocation, Mr Fanle Sibisi.

 

Promoting the University’s ongoing interventions, developments and achievements, Director of University Relations and Marketing Support, Mr Len Mzimela updated the attendees on the latest developments taking place at the University and the many activities/projects undertaken to promote relationships and highlighted the numerous achievements of the University.

 

Mr Sifiso Mncube – a Convocation Executive member – provided the special address and further highlighted the achievements of the University and the role all alumni can play in promoting and supporting the University and in contributing to history. The main address was provided by the Dean and Head of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership, Professor Stephen Migiro. Professor Migiro gave a comprehensive overview of the new programmes available at the Graduate School of Business and Leadership and emphasised his willingness to engage with business and students to make studying at the University more accessible to those from outside the Durban area and who have very busy schedules.

 

The three-course buffet lunch with guest speakers and the distribution of UKZN marketing material was well received by the 54 alumni who attended and will continue to be an annual event on the Alumni Relations calendar.
author email : christensenf@ukzn.ac.za

ACCOUNTING STUDENTS EXCEL AT UKZN ACCOUNTS 300 EVENT

ACCOUNTING STUDENTS EXCEL AT UKZN ACCOUNTS 300 EVENT

In an effort to combat the shortage of African Chartered Accountants the UKZN Accounts 300 event held on the Pietermaritzburg campus recently offered young aspiring chartered accountants insight into the profession.

The annual event arranged by Accounts 300 Lecturer, Mrs Navitha Sewpersadh, a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (UK) member and sponsored by Ernst & Young, offers career guidance to high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in commerce and exposes them to all the opportunities available at UKZN.

At the event final year Bachelor of Commerce Accounting students took the opportunity to deliver their project presentations.

Mrs Sewpersadh said that she was impressed by the quality of presentations delivered by her accounting students.

‘The skills that were exhibited using various media presentations software and tools were encouraging and promised a very bright future for our UKZN students. The hard work we put in class came across in the students’ well-presented work and their intensive research conducted was demonstrated in their presentations.  I was also impressed by the high school pupils’ level of questioning as it exhibited their intellectual maturity and interest in the accounting profession,’ said Mrs Sewpersadh.

Ernst & Young Director, Ms Jane Oliva said their continual sponsorship for  the event  symbolises what the company believes in which is quality presentation skills, creativity, integrity, respect and demonstrating team work to build relationships based on doing the right thing.

Pupils who attended the event from top performing schools such as St Charles College, Maritzburg College, Howick High School and Carter High School said they appreciated that they got to interact with UKZN lecturers and the Ernst & Young Human Resources Department and received useful information about bursaries that the company offers.

‘We found the information presented on the day very useful and interesting especially because we have JSE competitions at school at the moment and this information will help with that,’  said Gareth Jeary from Maritzburg College.

Chantal Hartley, a pupil from Carter High School added that the presentations really sparked her interest in the field of accounting.

‘I really liked the fact that I got to learn about the bursaries that were available. I realised that the University does provide a very strong support system for their students and I was interested mainly in science, but I am now considering accounting as well,’ she said.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

SAARMSTE RESEARCH SCHOOL 2012

SAARMSTE RESEARCH SCHOOL 2012

Sunday June 17th was the starting date for the annual Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (SAARMSTE) Research School. The occasion marked the 10th annual Research School that aims to assist PhD students in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education.

This year, 42 PhD and post-doctoral students joined the school, which was held at Hebron Haven Hotel in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. They were supported by nine South African and international academics, who gave their time to facilitate workshops on specific topics, and to discuss work in progress with the students. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg campus) was the host institution in 2012.

The Research School was opened on Sunday by Professor Gregory Kamwendo, the newly-appointed Dean of the School of Education at UKZN. He welcomed the participants and wished them well during the five days of intensive work. The programme got underway immediately and continued well into the evening, despite the winter chill of the Midlands. Students displayed posters showing their current stage of work, some still at proposal stage, and others showing almost completed research. The diversity of research was striking.

Workshops covered the main processes of research in science and mathematics education: identifying a theoretical framework, selecting suitable methodology and methods of data collection, analysing the data, and writing in an appropriate academic style. Sessions were highly interactive, with students engaged in debate or practising new-found skills, such as using End-Note. Every evening was devoted to one-on-one meetings between a facilitator and a student to discuss work in progress. Facilitators were kept busy reading and commenting on draft work submitted by students, and providing advice on methods and data analysis. Each day ended with dinner and a review of the day’s proceedings by the facilitators.

Wednesday 20th June was the final evening of the workshop, and provided an opportunity for everyone to relax and enjoy traditional food, song and dance around a blazing fire. Thursday morning’s wrapping-up session provided an opportunity for students to evaluate the Research School and to provide useful feedback to the organisers of the 2013 event.

This annual Research School provides an opportunity for PhD students from across the country to connect with each other, and to benefit from the specialist expertise of local and international researchers.
author email : DempsterE@ukzn.ac.za

OWEPUBLIC ADMINISTRATION E-UKZN UHAMBELE IKOMFA YE- IASIA ETHAILAND

OWEPUBLIC ADMINISTRATION E-UKZN UHAMBELE IKOMFA YE- IASIA ETHAILAND

Ungcweti kwezombuso wezifundazwe uSolwazi Purshottama Reddy ovela esikoleni sakwaManagement, Information Technology neGovernance e-UKZN ubehambele ikomfa yaminyaka yonke i-2012 Annual Conference of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) eBangkok, eThailand.

UReddy onguMqondisi wezamaprojekthi kuthimba elibizwa ngeWorking Group on Local Governance and Development of IASIA, bekunguyena obebika ngalekomfa ebinesisho esithi “Challenges for Local Government in the 21st Century” bebambisene noSolwazi Michiel de Vries waseRadboud University eHolland.

UReddy uphinde wathula ucwaningo lwakhe olubizwa ngokuthi: The Role Of Small, Medium And Microenteprises (SMMEs), Co Operatives and Procurement In Local Economic Development: A Critique of the South African Experience alibhale ebambisene noSolwazi M A H Wallis osebenzisana neDurban University of Technology.

Lolucwaningo belibheka indlela yokusetshenziswa kwempahla njengendlela yokugqugquzela ukuthuthuka kwesimo sezimali, amaSMME nezinkampani ezithintekayo kuloluhlelo.  Kulolucwaningo kukhona neziphakamiso ezibheke ukuba zibe negalelo ekuthuthukiseni isimo samaSMME, izinkampani nokuthuthukisa isimo sezimali.

‘Senze ucwaningo komasipala abahlukene nomasipala oyedwa wangaphakathi. Kubalulekile kakhulu ukuthuthukisa isimo sezimali sasekhaya ukuze sivule amathuba emisebenzi. Lezi zinhlangano zinezinselelo eziningi yikho kufanele thina njengabacwaningi sikwazi ukuzisiza ukuze ziqhamuke namasu ezingathuthukisa ngazo lezizinselelo,’ kuchaza uReddy.

UReddy uphinde abe sebhodini labaphathi abamele iAfrika yonkana, asebenze naku-United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) okuyithimba elibheka ukuphathwa kahle kwe-Public Administration ezingeni lwezifundazwe ukuze kufinyelelwe kumaMillennium Development Goals (amaMDGs). Lelithimba lifaka nesandla ekuthuthukiseni iPublic Administration nokuphatha emazingeni aphansi ekuqhubeni umgomo wezwe nomhlaba wonke kufakwa namaMDG.

Click here for English version

author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

INTERNAL REVIEW OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING AND HOUSING PROGRAMMES A SUCCESS

INTERNAL REVIEW OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING AND HOUSING PROGRAMMES A SUCCESS

The Disciplines of Architecture, Planning and Housing within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (SBEDS) recently had the internal review of their programmes. This review was conducted by a seven member panel that included professional industry experts.

According to Acting Academic Co-ordinator for Architecture Mr Juan Solis, the purpose of the review once findings have been finalised, is to prepare for accreditation of the programmes.

Solis explained that the panel of experts, both from UKZN and external consultants, interview all members of staff, administrators and students where pertinent questions are asked to gather information from each point of view.

‘All programmes go through this process every four to six years. In Architecture, it is to prepare our programmes for accreditation with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), the national regulatory authority that approves whether or not the programme offered is performing,’ said Solis.

An exhibit showcasing selected works by both undergraduate and postgraduate architecture students was displayed and material from all the courses was presented to the review panel.

Postgraduate student Ms Marjorie Blom stated that questions were asked based on students’ personal experiences through undergraduate and current postgraduate years at UKZN. General questions were also asked to all, relating to how efficiently UKZN is running the Architectural Degree.

‘I think it’s the best way to find out what the students think of the course and Department as a whole. After all we are the ones studying here, our voices should count most,’ said Blom.

She added that more students should realise that the UKZN Architecture Department is one of the best in the country. ‘I am proud of what I can achieve in the pressured time span given to build these models at UKZN. It’s a work of art and everyone that views it should be impressed. Designs done at university are a collection of your personal achievements and future portfolio.’
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

TRAINING SKILLED MEDICAL CONSULTANTS IN THE SCHOOL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE

TRAINING SKILLED MEDICAL CONSULTANTS IN THE SCHOOL OF CLINICAL MEDICINE

The School of Clinical Medicine continues to hold stimulating Grand Rounds every Wednesday from 12h15 to 13h15 at the Medical campus. The Grand Rounds are not only an opportunity for registrars and consultants to present cases of interesting conditions they find in patients during their training in designated hospitals within the province; it also prepares them for their final Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) examinations – a milestone for any doctor who trains in South Africa once they pass.

CMSA is the custodian of the quality of medical care in the country and is unique in the world in that it embraces 28 constituent colleges representing all the disciplines of medicine and dentistry.

The entire spectrum of Professors, Doctors, Consultants, Interns, Registrars and even undergraduates on the Medical campus attend the Grand Rounds.

Grand Rounds Chairperson, Dr Kennedy Nyamande said, ‘We’re encouraging interns to participate in the Grand Rounds as part of their training. We’re also generating their interest to specialise in medicine.’

After each presentation, the auditorium participates in a discussion focused mainly on the complexities that may have risen in diagnosing and treating the patient.

A Tale of Two Tumours was the most recent presentation delivered by Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital-based Registrar, Dr Ntando Duze from UKZN’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Department.

An intern at King Edward VIII Hospital, Dr Eugene Bosman, presented an HIV positive patient’s near-fatal experience. The patient was saved soon after a collapse from pulmonary embolism (PE) - a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has travelled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream.

Nyamande said Grand Rounds is one of the major highlights on the academic calendar of the School.

He said six of the year’s best presentations will compete for a prize at the end of the year.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN STUDENT HELPS OUT UMLAZI COMMUNITY

UKZN STUDENT HELPS OUT UMLAZI COMMUNITY

Community development student within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (SBEDS) Ms Happiness Khawula recently completed her internship at the Department of Social Development’s Umlazi service office, where she undertook the challenges of the community and tried to assist as best she could.

This internship programme was co-ordinated by Community Development Lecturer, Ms Phindile Shangase.

‘This is my first time doing community work and it has been great and I will continue to help out the residents of Umlazi even after my internship,’ said Khawula.

She helped in registering Non-Profit Organisations (NPO’s) and thus also monitored their progress. She assisted in the process of households profiling by identifying disadvantaged families that can benefit from government food vouchers.

‘I chose Umlazi because there are many people who are poor especially in informal settlements and assisting them and showing them the way forward in terms of using their skills to help feed their families was both a joy and learning experience for me.’

Khawula also believes that community work shows people how important they are and helps bridge the gap between government and communities.

She also pointed out that all she had learnt from her courses at UKZN was put into its full use. Khawula plans on becoming an active manager in community participation in the future.
author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za