Academics, legal professionals and students from universities and legal institutions within the Commonwealth are expected to add their voices to the 2013 Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) Conference to be hosted by UKZN’s School of Law in Durban from Friday, 12 April to Sunday, 14 April.

The three-day conference, under the theme ‘Legal Education and Regional Cooperation in the Commonwealth and Other Common Law Jurisdictions’, will see over 50 presentations focusing on a range of issues that pose a challenge to legal education and the globalisation of legal education. 

The CLEA strives to promote and foster high standards of legal education at Higher Education Institutions in Commonwealth countries by ensuring that such education is ‘socially relevant and professionally useful’. Its mission is driven by a series of activities including: the ongoing development of teaching and learning methods and curricula at law schools in member states; support of continual professional development programmes on legal education; and assisting schools of law prepare law students for the profession.

President of CLEA and Professor of Law in the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at UKZN, Professor David McQuoid-Mason, said: ‘Challenges in globalising legal education and legal practice are coming more frequently under the spotlight, but no consensus has been reached, particularly in respect of how lawyers qualified in developing countries might have easier access to practice in the developed world.’

Day one will be dedicated to a day-long Street Law Workshop in the Howard College Building and a CLEA Law Student Conference taking place at the UKZN Innovation Centre on the Howard College Campus from 13h30 to 17h30. Several presentations will be made by UKZN law students and others from legal educational institutions in India, the United Kingdom, Australia and Nigeria. The day culminates with a cocktail party hosted by the School of Law at the Howard College Building.

Days two and three of the conference move to the School of Law’s lecture venues in the Howard College Building starting at 09h00. Over two days academics and legal professionals are set to make presentations based on nine streams which areLegal Education and Regional Cooperation in the Commonwealth and other Common Law Countries; Legal Education in the Commonwealth and other Common Law Countries; Clinical Legal Education in the Commonwealth and other Common Law Countries; Human Rights in the Commonwealth and other Common Law Countries; Preventing Corruption and the Misuse of Public Office: How Can Law Teachers Assist in Fighting the Scourge of Corruption in the Commonwealth and other Common Law Countries?; Access to Justice; Islamic Law in the Curricula of Commonwealth and other Common Law Country Law Schools; and two general streams.

The highlight of day two (Saturday, 13 April) is an opening address by South African Constitutional Court Judge, the Honourable Mr Justice R M M Zondo, followed by a panel discussion on Globalisation of Legal Education.

The highlight of day three (Sunday, 14 April) is a Commonwealth Lecture titled “The Role of Law Teachers in Combating Corruption and the Misuse of Public Office: A Commonwealth Perspective”, to be presented by the Secretary of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT) in London, Professor Richard Nzerem. Concurrent panel discussions on the day will focus on selected streams based on the conference theme.

McQuoid-Mason said he hoped to see papers presented at the conference published in CLEA’s official journal, the Journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education.

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Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at UKZN, Dr Shahidul Islam, has become the only person from Africa to be appointed a member of the editorial board for the international Biochemistry and Pharmacology journal, Journal of Biochemical and Pharmacological Research (JBPR).

Published in the US, the JBPR is an open access, peer-reviewed international journal devoted to the publication of basic and translational research articles as well as review articles on all areas of biochemistry and pharmacology. The journal is particularly interested in topics relevant to cellular stress and molecular responses and also publishes perspective and reflection papers. For original research, the journal places less emphasis on novelty as long as the submitted manuscript constitutes a solid contribution to the fields of biochemistry and pharmacology.

Islam said he received an e-mail recently from the editor-in-chief of the journal in which the editor indicated that they were looking for new members of the editorial board. ‘By this time, he had visited my UKZN profile which seemed to meet their needs. He requested my consent in that e-mail to appoint me as a member of the editorial board. Finally, I agreed and have been appointed,’ said Islam.

In addition to this achievement, Islam is working as a Review Editor of a Swiss journal titled Frontiers in Experimental Pharmacology and Drug Discovery and as a Lead Guest Editor of American journal Experimental Diabetes Research. He is also a member of the editorial board of the World Journal of Diabetes published in China.

Based at UKZN’s School of Life Sciences, Islam’s current research focus is Diabetes Mellitus, particularly type 2 diabetes. ‘We are not only developing novel and alternative animal models of type 2 diabetes but are also conducting intervention trials and examining underlying mechanisms of actions of several functional and medicinal foods, natural and artificial sugar substitutes, and medicinal plant extracts, which have no or fewer side effects compared to chemically originated drugs’.

In light of the rapidly changing pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, they have a plan to develop several models, the first of which was published in international pharmacology journal Pharmacological Reports in 2012. ‘The development of another couple of models of type 2 diabetes is currently underway in our laboratory,’ said Islam.

Islam’s dedication is not only evident in the laboratory and through his participation in journals. He is also an active member of a number of local professional organisations such as Diabetes South Africa, Nutrition Society South Africa and he recently joined the Society for the Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes South Africa.

Islam offers complementary consultation to people with diabetes in South Africa and to the members of Diabetes South Africa. He can be contacted by e-mail at and by phone at 031 260 8717 or 079 574 8178.

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Professor Ambrose Adebayo of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies recently showcased his new book, Architecture and the City: Mega Events, Spatial Interventions and Housing Policies, on the Howard College campus.

According to Adebayo, the aim of the book is to appraise the socio- economic spatial legacy left by the architecture and urban design for the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.

It includes affiliated parallel socio-economic and spatial development projects in host and non-host cities. It also takes cognisance of architecture, urban design, housing, and town and regional planning based on local and international perspectives.

‘It is my hope that students and academics will find the book instructive in theoretical and policy debates on architecture, urban design and housing interventions in cities,’ said Adebayo.

The book can be purchased from Adams and R&L bookshops on Howard College campus, UKZN.

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UKZN surgery students took the first, second and third prizes for their research presentations at the 28th Biennial Congress recently held by the Association of Surgeons of South Africa (ASSA) in East London.

The winners were announced at a prestigious gala dinner where UKZN’s Dr Morgie Govender impressed the audience with her first prize-winning presentation on ‘The shocking timeline to diagnosis and definitive management’ of oesophageal cancer patients in Pietermaritzburg.

Govender highlighted the unacceptably long delays in the presentation, diagnosis and management of oesophageal cancer and put forward suggestions for improvement. Her central thesis is that an important way to improve outcomes, whether attempted cure or successful palliations, would be through reducing delays in the system.

The second prize went to Dr Nikki Allorto, also from UKZN’s School of Clinical Medicine, for her work with the dietician, Ms Sprague Winckwort. They established that the current fasting criteria for surgery which are applied to burns patients are inappropriate. They said burns patients on this regimen are starved for periods longer than are necessary, which may have implications for recovery.

Their cross-disciplinary research suggests that peri-operative starvation protocols specific to burns patients need to be developed which are safe and in keeping with recent literature on peri-operative starvation. They said it was important to continue collaborating in order to improve burns services in KwaZulu-Natal that still has a high rate of burns patients from veld fires and shack dwellings.

Dr Grant Laing received third prize for his paper, co-authored by Dr David Skinner of Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital’s Trauma Unit, looking at crush syndrome and renal failure amongst trauma patients admitted within the PMB Metropolitan Trauma Service.

Laing’s research on crush syndrome – the serious medical condition characterised by major shock and renal failure following a crushing injury to the skeletal muscle - is deemed topical in a country like South Africa where violence is rife, often resulting in soft tissue damage among victims, ultimately, making them susceptible to kidney failure as internal injury may release massive quantities of toxins into the bloodstream. These toxins have the potential to affect the kidneys if left untreated.

Using the RIFLE criteria for acute kidney injury, Laing confirmed findings from research that was done in the early 90s by Professor David Muckart at UKZN - that admission venous bicarbonate levels effectively predict the risk of acute kidney injury in patients with extensive soft tissue trauma. Continuing this work with a patient cohort that is big enough may result in the development of a model which will help doctors to predict which patient is likely to go into kidney failure. Extending the research could also enable Laing to provide guidelines which can be used by the United Nations, the World Health Organization or disaster relief organisations.

The students were co-supervised by Dr Colleen Aldous from the School of Clinical Medicine and Mr Damion Clarke, Academic Head of Trauma Surgery at Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Complex, who said the ultimate goal was for their research to come together, improve the healthcare system and help patients.

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A strategic partnership between the Discipline of Public Governance in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance (SMIG) at UKZN and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) is on the cards in a bid to address skills shortages in disaster risk management (DRM) across the country.

This emerged out of a series of meetings convened by COGTA’s National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) and Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) over six months and a recent two-day curriculum development workshop hosted by the Discipline which saw role-players from academia, NDMC, PDMC and local municipalities gather to develop a reciprocal partnership based upon capacity-building in DRM and SMIG student eligibility for COGTA-funded bursaries.

The workshop created a platform for academics and public sector officials to interact and explore approaches to incorporating DRM into the Public Governance curriculum, establish the training needs of personnel associated with DRM and identify research and publication opportunities in this area.

According to Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Public Governance, Dr Fayth Ruffin, who facilitated the workshop and is responsible for steering the partnership along with Lecturer Mr Bongani Qwabe, DRM is a burgeoning field in South Africa that requires further development.

‘DRM is among essential trends in regional and global public administration and its interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary nature require collaboration amongst Disciplines, Schools and Colleges at UKZN as well as between other universities, government and civil society.  The curriculum development workshop provided a forum for interactive exchange to ensure students are equipped as critical thinkers with leadership and management skills and abilities that shape DRM initiatives in accordance with societal demands,’ said Ruffin.

A salient need identified by public sector officials present was building the capacity of councillors and practitioners in communities across South Africa. With this in mind, the Discipline of Public Governance is in the process of formulating short courses through the University Extended Learning (UEL) Programme that encourage community awareness and participation in disaster risk management focusing on prevention, recovery and rehabilitation.

Research in the area of disaster risk management is underway among postgraduate public administration students with a number of Honours and Masters students exploring this field.

Qwabe indicated that DRM is one of the most neglected fields of service delivery, and that capacitating students and communities will help in addressing much-needed DRM strategies while meeting national legislative mandates. Research on DRM will not only build knowledge in the field but especially assist local legislators and policy-makers with designing integrated development plans inclusive of DRM risk reduction strategies, he explained.

According to Ruffin, UKZN and the Durban University of Technology are the only Higher Educational Institutions in the province actively engaging with the public sector to address the DRM skills shortage. Ruffin said the Discipline planned on encouraging partnerships with other Higher Education Institutions and civil society organisations to develop skills in disaster risk management.

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Ama-Dini ayisithupha ase-UKZN, kamuva nje abe nethuba lokuyo cijiswa amakhono abo kwezokuphatha ezindaweni  ezinamasiko ahlukene kanye nokucobelelana ngolwazi kwezobuholi abanalo ngesikhathi bethamele uqeqesho lwaminyaka yonke, lolu obekungolwesithathu olubizwa phecelezi Visionary Higher Education Leaders obelubanjelwe le phesheya kwezilwandle eCarlifornia i-Premier Executive Leadership Academy (ELA).

Bebambisene neNyuvesi yase Carlifornia (Berkeley) Isikhungo seZifundo eziphakeme zemfundo kanye ne-American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Inc, uhlelo beludidiyelwe ngaphansi kwesihloko esithi: “iminyaka eyishumi kusukela manje: Sihol’ indaw’ emasiko ahlukene.”  

Ababethamele ingqungquthela abavela e-UKZN bekungo Solwazi Moses John Chimbari, iDini yoCwaningo kwiKolishi leSayensi yezeMpilo, uSolwazi Sabiha Essack, iDini kanye neNhloko yeSikole seSayensi yezeMpilo, uSolwazi Kesh Govender, iDini kanye neNhloko yeSikole seSayensi yeZibalo, izibalo zokulinganisa kanye neKhompyutha, uSolwazi Richard Hift; iDini kanye neNhloko yesikole semiThi yemiTholampilo, uSolwazi Busisiswe Ncama, iDini kanye neNhloko isikole sobuhlengikazi kanye neMpilo yoMphakathi kanye noSolwazi Cristina Trois, iDini kanye neNhloko isikole sezobuNjiniyela.

iThimba lase UKZN lethule inkulumo – ‘Ukubuswa kweNyuvesi kanye nobuholi bezazimfundo e-UKZN 2005 -2013’ – njengocwaningo oluyisifundo oluveza ukuthi iNyuvesi ibuswa kanjani ekuthuthikisweni maqondana nokuhlelwa kweminxa, izikhundla zamakomidi kanye nobuholi kusukela kwahlanganiswa iNyuvesi yaba isikhungo esisodwa kuze kube imanje. Inkulumo igqamise kakhulu izinguquko ezibe nomthelela kubuholi obuhle, ukuqeqesheka, kanye nempumelelo. Kube ibona kuphela abanikezwe ithuba lokuthi bethule inkulumo.

Inhloso ye-ELA kwakungusiza ukuhlela noma ukulungisa onobhalo balabo abayizikhulu eziphezulu ukubacijela izinga elisha lezemfundo ephakeme – ‘imanje kanye neminyaka yekusasa elizayo’. Isihloko sakhethwa ukuze siveze lokhu okuqavile kanye noshintsho ngesivinini olwenzeka emazingeni aphakeme ezemfundo okungumphumela wokudlondlobala kolwazi kwezobuchwepheshe kanye nobuxhakaxhaka kwezokuxhumana, iglobalisation, ukushabalala koxhaso lomphakathi kwimfund’ephakeme, kanye noguquko ikakhulukazi ezindaweni ezinamasik’amaningi ahlukene kanye nobuzw’ obuhlukene .

Ukuvuma ukuthi amanyuvesi emhlabeni jikelele ayakhula ngokuba masiko-maningi ahlukene kanye nobuzw’obuhlukene, isikhungo siqaphele lokhu: ‘Lo mkhuba kumhlaba wonke ungufakazi kuyo yonke imikhakha yempilo yezazimfundo okuhlanganisa ucwaningo, izindaba zabafundi, ubudlelwano nomphakathi, abagijimi, kanye neminye imikhakha. Noma uma ubani onogqozi lokuhola kule ndima entsha kumele abe nolwazi kanye nekhono lokukwazi ukusebenzisana nabantu abahlukene abavele kumasiko ahlukene’.

Isikhungo sihlonze ukuthi abaholi bemfund’ephakeme eminyakeni ezayo kuzomele baqonde, babonisise futhi babonisane mayelana nemiphumela yalezi zinguquko ezenzakalayo.

Labo abakade bebambe iqhaza kulezi ngxoxo-mpikiswano babheke amasu adingekayo okuhlela izinguquko kanye nenqubekela phambili, ukuthuthukiswa kwezinhlelo zabagijimi kanye nokubusa, ubudlelwano nomphakathi, ubudlelwano nabamaphephandaba, amasu aphakeme okubheka ezemisebenzi, kanye nobuchwepheshe bokuthuthukisa uguquko kwimfund’ephakeme.

Ama-Dini ase-UKZN, athe angakujabulela ukuqalisa uhlelo olufuze lolu e-UKZN, ngeso lokuheha iNingizimu Afrika kanye nabaholi e-Afrika kwimfund’ephakeme, sebeqalile njalo ukufakan’imilomo maqondana nalolu daba noDkt Mojaki Mosia, oyisikhulu esiphezulu kwezabasebenzi.

Oka-Essack uthe ukuhambela isikhungo kube ithuba elihle kakhulu elimkhulisile nelingandele bani lokukhombisa  uguquko kwezemfundo emazingen’aphakeme eNingizimu Afrika, ikakhulukazi e-UKZN njengomholi kule ndima.

Ngokuka Govinder, amakhono kanye nokuthuthikiswa-ngqo komuntu okutholakalile njengoba bebehambele lesi sikhungo kuzomsebenzela kahle kanye ne-UKZN kuleminyaka ezayo.

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The University of KwaZulu-Natal recently hosted an Africa UNESCO Worldview Preparatory meeting with a view to developing an African convention on environmental ethics. The meeting, held at Westville campus and attended by national and international stakeholders including senior national government officials, was in preparation for an African conference to be held in Durban in mid-October on African Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Environmental Ethics for Sustainable Livelihood.

UKZN’s African Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIKS) Research Leader, Professor Hassan Kaya, provided participants with the background, rationale and objectives of the initiative. He emphasised the need for Africa to use its rich indigenous knowledge systems to break the Western cultural hegemony on environmental conservation by ensuring environmental ethics were culturally specific and followed a holistic approach.

The  objectives of the Africa Conference are: to deepen consultation on developing an African Convention on Environmental Ethics for Sustainable Livelihood; to draw out African Indigenous cultural perspectives on environmental ethics; and develop strategies of mobilising consensus and social movements for the initiative of developing the convention.

Dr Jasdev Rai from the UNESCO Repository of Worldviews indicated that the environment, which has seen many changes over the past two centuries, was too important to be left solely in the hands of an international community dominated by western values and reiterated the need for conservation to be informed by culture and a more holistic strategy.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Nelson Ijumba, who opened the meeting, highlighted some of the positive developments and steps taken by UKZN to promote the role of AIKS for sustainable livelihood, including its contribution to a global pool of knowledge. ‘The future is very bright for IKS,’ said Ijumba.

AIKS is one of the signature projects of UKZN and the University has recently been selected to be the national hub of the Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation IKS Centre of Excellence.

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The Partnership Programme in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics (SRPC), UKZN in collaboration with Humboldt University, Germany and the University of Stellenbosch hosted a three-day international conference (Summer School) recently on both the Howard and Pietermarizburg campuses.

The Conference brought together scholars across the disciplines at different levels (Masters, PhDs, PostDocs, Lecturers and Professors) from South Africa, Germany and Norway to present their latest research on issues of religion and ethics in the context of globalisation, with special focus on religious pluralism and a common responsibility for the world.

According to the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics Manager, Mr Calvin Thomas, the Conference provided a forum for critical engagement on current issues in religion and ethics.

‘It engendered new ways of seeing, ways of thinking, ways of knowing and ways of utilising various perspectives and approaches to knowledge creation in the context of religious pluralism and human responsibility in promoting life and healing the wounded world. By connecting the global and local, the conference sought fresh perspectives on such questions of global concern,’ he said. 

Keynote speakers included Professor Trygve E Wyller, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo; Professor Wilhelm Grab, Professor of Practical Theology and Director of the Institute of Sociology and Religion, Humboldt University, Berlin; Professor Ulrike Auga, Assistant Professor Theology and Gender Studies in the Faculty of Theology, Humboldt University, Berlin and Dr Raymond Kumalo, Academic Leader of Research and Postgraduate Studies, School of Religion Philosophy and Classics, UKZN. Dr Kumalo organised the conference.

The conference challenged the delegates with two critical questions: ‘What kind of ethical epistemology (ies) that transcends local is needed for a globalised world to promote life?’ and ‘What is the emerging view of the future episteme for a life-affirming globalised world?’

Some of the highlights included redefining classical Christian concepts such as compassion and other topics such as becoming human, developing a universal religion of human rights, privileging the post-colonial discourse, religious pluralism in governance in South Africa, and ‘Multitudiness of the 99 per cent and the social imaginary in a globalised world’.

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New Readers Publishers (NRP) based at the Centre for Adult Education at UKZN attended the recent launch of the Usethubeni Youth School at Westville’s Correctional Services facility where it was announced that Adult Education and Training would shortly become compulsory for inmates without a Grade 9 pass.

NRP was invited to display the books that it publishes for newly literate adults, share information with stakeholders and identify linkages between NRP and the Adult Education and Training programme within the prison.

‘The participation of the NRP in this event and the support it will give to these initiatives is an example of the ways in which UKZN can contribute to the development of the broader community,’ said Ms Sonya Keyser, Project Manager at NRP.

The event was an important celebration of the achievements of the Usethubeni Youth School, which achieved a 81,48 percent pass rate in the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations and, has achieved a 91,79 percent average pass rate in the NSC exams since 2004.

At the launch Minister of Correctional Services Mr Sibusiso Ndebele announced that Adult Education and Training will be compulsory for offenders without a Grade 9 from April 2013.

‘The constitutional imperative for schooling is not a right that is curtailed by incarceration, and between the Departments of Education and Correctional Services, literacy, schooling and basic adult education are priorities.’

‘To this end, from the new financial year (which commences on 1 April 2013), it will be compulsory for every inmate who does not have a qualification equivalent to Grade 9 to complete Adult Education and Training  level 1 to 4. We are working towards turning our prisons into learning centres, and we want offenders to read, study and work,’ he said. 

Keyser indicated that the event also marked the roll-out of the Reading for Redemption programme, which uses books to instil a culture of reading and learning in offenders and prepare them for reintegration into society.

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Members of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership visited J G Zuma High School, north of Durban last month to talk to Grade 10-12 learners about Maritime Economics and South Africa’s ports, and to highlight opportunities to pursue maritime studies after matric. The school officially launched Maritime Economics as a subject in January 2013. 

Maritime research student Mr Sanele Gumede and the School’s Academic Leader for Teaching and Learning Dr Mihalis Chasomeris have published journal articles on port governance and pricing in South Africa. Their collaborative presentation to the learners gave an overview of Maritime Economics, South Africa’s position in the global market and discussed the demarcation, uniqueness and importance of South Africa’s ports and the services that they offer. 

The enthusiasm and interest expressed by the learners was so encouraging that Gumede and Chasomeris gave an extra hour and a half of their time than originally planned. They showed the scholars a DVD on the Port of Durban and explained the infrastructure, as well as how to view the port via Google Earth. A powerpoint presentation explained port structures, cargo throughput and governance.

Gumede said: ‘It was a great experience to be able to expose scholars in high school to a topic (Maritime Economics) that I believe has great potential to grow the country at large.’ 

Chasomeris suggested that the school arrange to take their Maritime Economics scholars on a boat tour of Durban’s port and was very pleased to hear only days after their presentation that such an excursion has been arranged.

J G Zuma High School is very proud of its new subject as it is only the third Durban high school to offer Maritime Economics. The school draws its enrolment from KwaBester, as well as Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu. It hopes that such initiatives at high school level will contribute to improving South Africa’s skills shortages in the Maritime Sector. 

Gumede added: ‘I strongly encourage high schools in South Africa, especially coastal schools, to consider offering Maritime Economics to their scholars.’

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