DIGITISING ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTS

DIGITISING ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTS

Postgraduate  students reading for the Diploma in  Information Studies and Diploma in Records and Archives Management are working on a digitising project as part of their Digital Libraries module presented by Ms Joyce Myeza of UKZN’s Special Collections Division and Ms Pat Liebetrau of Digital Innovation South Africa (DISA).

This project is based at the Centre for African Literary Studies (CALS) and the students are digitising archival documents on the Ghanaian writer Ayi Kwei Armah from the Bernth Lindfors Collection. Armah is well-known for his 1968 debut novel: The Beautiful Ones are not yet Born.


author email : Holtz@ukzn.ac.za

PROFESSOR JOHN MUBANGIZI APPOINTED COUNCIL ADVISOR TO ASSAF COUNCIL

PROFESSOR JOHN MUBANGIZI APPOINTED COUNCIL ADVISOR TO ASSAF COUNCIL

The DVC and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor John C Mubangizi, has been appointed Council Advisor on the Council of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) for the 2012-2016 cycle.

ASSAf is an organisation with a membership of active scholars in all academic fields who aim at generating evidence-based solutions to national problems.

Mubangizi’s appointment is in terms of Regulation 8 of the ASSAf Constitution which governs the appointment of Council Advisors.  The Council must ensure that the Academy’s objectives, including its key object to promote and apply scientific thinking in the service of society are actively pursued and must exercise general control over the performance of the functions of the Academy.

‘It is a pleasure to accept the honour and I look forward to serving ASSAf Council in particular and the Academy in general,’ said Mubangizi.

In the invitation letter, Professor Daya Reddy, the President of ASSAf, said Mubangizi’s knowledge and expertise would be an invaluable contribution to promoting the Academy’s mission of using science for the benefit of society.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

ACADEMICS SCOOP TOP AWARD AT MARKETING CONFERENCE IN THE USA

ACADEMICS SCOOP TOP AWARD AT MARKETING CONFERENCE IN THE USA

UKZN’s Professor Debbie Vigar-Ellis and her colleague Mr Daniel Hall were awarded the Jane K. Fenyo Best Paper Award for Student Research for their doctoral research at the 2013 Academy of Marketing Science Conference held in California.

Vigar-Ellis and Hall, both attached to the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, are doing their doctoral studies through the Royal Institute of Technology’s PhD programme in Stockholm, Sweden.

This prize is awarded to the best paper written and presented by PhD students at the annual conference which is attended by marketing experts from all over the world.

‘There were over 400 papers presented at the Conference and I think at least half of those included PhD students,’ said Vigar-Ellis. ‘The AMS conference is one of the top Marketing conferences in the world and many of the leading academics in the discipline were there, so it really is a great honour.’  

Vigar-Ellis and Hall submitted the research paper titled: “Ambush Marketing of the London Olympics: A Content Analysis”, which they did for the Qualitative Methods module.

As detailed in the abstract, the paper looks at how effective legislation was in practice given the strong social media presence.  Research for this was done by undertaking a content analysis on text extracted from Google using the key word search term “London Olympics ambush marketing”. A search was done every day for a month before the games as well as during the event.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

NEW TECHNOLOGY CENTRE OPENED

NEW TECHNOLOGY CENTRE OPENED

UKZN’s Information & Communication Services Division (ICS), in partnership with Hewlett Packard (HP), recently unveiled an innovative Technology Centre on the Howard College campus.

According to HP, their new Centre - the first such initiative in South Africa - showcases mobile devices, multi-seats and high end workstations, including the new HP Z1.

ICS is responsible for introducing leading edge technology to the University community.

Mr Ray Mahadeo, the ICS Shared Services Manager, said, ‘We engaged with one of our business partners, Hewlett Packard [HP], to take this initiative to another level. We immediately received support from Mr Brendon Naidoo, HP’s Education Business Manager, and Mr Mahomed Ramathulla, Corporate Enterprise and Public Sector Sales Manager. They were happy to invest in education.’

This Centre will also be useful to academics travelling abroad on conferences and research as it has mobile devices which are both powerful and light. 

The Centre will serve as a demo room to ensure that academics make informed decisions when purchasing computer equipment.

‘Staff will now be afforded the “touch and feel” effect of technology and be able to make informed choices. Software testing is now possible to ensure that hardware with the correct specifications is purchased,’ said Mahadeo.

Specialised software is also available for teaching and learning, including AutoCAD, a resource intensive programme used by Engineering students.

Mahadeo supported by UKZN Chief Information Officer, Mr Richard Jansen, and UKZN Registrar, Professor Jane Meyerowitz, pioneered the Technology Centre initiative.

Jansen thanked HP for the partnership and highlighted that the HP room was ‘an indication of what business partnership is’.

Use of facilities at the Centre can now be booked at ICS Reception on extension 2129.


author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

SIFE REBRANDED AS ENACTUS

SIFE REBRANDED AS ENACTUS

Entrepreneurial global student organisation Students in Free Entrerprise (SIFE) has undergone a rebranding exercise and been renamed Entrepreneurial Action Us (Enactus).

While the name has changed, the mandate of the organisation remains the same. ‘We are a group of students who don’t want to just complete university with a piece of paper showing our degree. Rather we want to actively give back to communities by means of sustainable projects as well as groom socially responsible individuals,’ said ENACTUS-UKZN President, Mr Sethu Sidzamba.

‘Our organisation aims for environmental sustainability, economic empowerment and social improvements. We actively engage in community outreach projects to help communities be self-sustainable through the power of business,’ said Sidzamba, a third-year BAdmin Supply Chain Management student.

‘Our Projects range from helping senior citizens with agriculture and crafting to assisting the youth in prison through the development of business concepts that will one day reintegrate them as active participants in the economy.’

As part of a larger strategic review, it was decided to change the name of the organisation.  Said Sidzamba: ‘We want to tell a story that better serves students so they can better serve the world. We believe the new title offers more potential to reflect on the organisation’s purpose and values as well as on what makes the organisation so unique.  We think it will motivate students and attract more members and partners.’

Unpacking the new name Sidzama said:

Entrepreneurial represented the perspective to see an opportunity and the talent to create value from that opportunity;

Action – the willingness to do something and the commitment to see it through even when the outcome is not guaranteed;

Us – a group of people who see themselves connected in some important way, individuals who are part of a greater whole.

The team is due to defend its championship at the annual ENACTUS-SA national’s championship on 10 and 11 July at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

ENACTUS-UKZN was crowned the 2012 Champions in South Africa and represented the country at the ENACTUS World Cup in Washington D.C. It is ranked in the top 16 out of 1 500 teams around the world.

Established in 1975 in the USA, ENACTUS brings together a community of students, academics and business leaders who are committed to harnessing entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world.


author email : captainr@ukzn.ac.za

ISIKOLE SIFUKULA OSOMABHIZINISI ABASATHUTHUKA

ISIKOLE SIFUKULA OSOMABHIZINISI ABASATHUTHUKA

Isikole seziqu zezamaBhizinisi kanye nobuHoli siyazigqaja kakhulu ukumemezela okokuqala-ngqa ngalokhu abakubiza phecelezi nge- Startup-Weekend eThekwini ezoba ngoMandulo.

Osomabhizinisi abasathuthuka bazonikezwa inkundla yokuthi baveze amakhono abo kanye nemibono yabo kuleli thuba elizovulwa nelizothulwa ngokusemthethweni ngoNhlangulana.

Isihloko noma ingqikithi okuzobe kuhanjelwa phezu kwayo ithi: “Indumezulu yomcimbi wosomabhizinisi abasathuthuka engakaze ibonwe”, osomabhizinisi abasathuthuka abazobe besemcimbini wempelasonto yonke nokulapho bezobe becobelelana ngolwazi kwezamabhizinisi, besungula ubuhlobo, bakhe baqinise ubudlelwano kanye nokuqala ukufukulana.

Kuzovulwa ngamazwibela nje ngoLwesihlanu, nokulapho abangeneli bezoletha khona imibono yabo bagqugquzele nabanye ukuthi bajoyine amaqembu abo.  Kuyobe sekuthi ngoMgqibelo kanye neSonto bagxile ekuthuthukiseni phambili amakhasimende, babaqinisekise ngemibono yabo besebenzisa izindlela abazibize bathi phecelezi LEAN Startup Methodologies kanye nokwakha okungenani umkhiqizo okuzosebenzeka ngawo.

NgeSonto ntambama amathimu ayobe esedlala lokho abakuqophile ebese bethola imibono eyehlukene evela kwithimba lochwepheshe.

USolwazi Shahida Cassim oyingqwele kwezamabhizinisi kulesi sikole esingenhla, nakhu akuphawulile mayelana nomcimbi: ‘Kunezizathu eziningi ezenza lo mcimbi ube ngobalulekile, kakhulu ngoba umayelana nokufunda, ukusungula amasu ngobuchule. Sifuna ukususa abantu kulokhu abakujwayele abahleli kukho benethezekile, sikhuthaze isiko lokuqalisa izinto siphinde sinyakazise abant’abasha emicabangweni yabo emihle siyenze ibe impumelelo yeziqalo zezinto. Lokhu kubucayi kuzwe lonke kanye neKwaZulu-Natali’.

Umcimbi uzovumela futhi ukuthi osomabhizinisi abasathuthuka bazimbandakanye nabanikazi bamabhizinisi, ochwepheshe abazobachushisa ngezindlela zokuqala kanye nokubabonis’indlela  kanye namajaji aqhamuka kuwo umkhakha ofanayo asebemkantshu-bomvu. Lo mcimbi uvumela bonke labo abazobe beyingxenye yawo bahlanganyele kanye nomphakathi womhlaba-wonke ongaphezu  kwama-45 000 abaqhamuka umhlaba wonke ngenhloso yokushintsha umhlaba -    abathatha umsebenzi owodwa ngesikhathi.

Click here for English version



author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

AFRICA CENTRE EMPOWERS KZN ARTISTS

AFRICA CENTRE EMPOWERS KZN ARTISTS

The work of nine KwaZulu-Natal artists, trained by the well-known South African photographer Zwelethu Mthethwa, was featured in an art exhibition at the Siyabonga Gallery in St Lucia. The artists were trained through the Art in Global Health project, organised by the Wellcome Collection, which is part of the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom.

The project aimed to tease out some of the more personal, philosophical, cultural and political dimensions of health research. In this project, six artist-in-residences were set up in six international research centres funded by the Wellcome Trust in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Kingdom.

In South Africa, Mthethwa was based at UKZN’s Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, an international research facility in Somkhele, 230km north of Durban, where he explored the role communities play in health research.

The Africa Centre lies at the heart of a poor and rural region of South Africa severely affected by HIV. The principal aims of research conducted in the area are to investigate the dynamics of the HIV epidemic, to identify the key factors driving it and ultimately to develop and test interventions to lessen its impact.

Over the past five years, the Centre’s work has generated multiple insights into the HIV epidemic and the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Its success to date has been based on its excellent relationship with the local community and other local stakeholders, whose support and engagement are essential to its work. Importantly, the Africa Centre contributes to and helps shape the delivery of healthcare in the region.

Mthethwa is best known for his stunning, large-scale photographic portraits which powerfully frame Black South Africans as dignified and defiant people, even under the duress of social and economic hardship.

The training programme comprised a photographic workshop hosted by the Africa Centre in June 2012. There was no charge for attending the workshop and each participant received a digital camera of their own, courtesy of the Wellcome Trust, ORM and Nikon.

The visual topic of the workshop was “Good Health” with students being asked to explore this theme through their photography. The resultant artwork reflects a diversity of approaches, angles and subject matter and provides a rich, real-life interpretation of health in this rural community.

The inaugural exhibition was hosted by the prestigious Brundyn + Gonsalves gallery in Cape Town from 27th March to 1st May this year. Any proceeds from the sale of the students’ artwork will be given directly to the individual concerned.

Participating artists included Zwelethu Mthethwa, Lungani Ndwandwe, Portia Mnyeni, Sebenzile Nkwanyana, Nothando Sabela, Sanele Mbokazi, Siboniso Bhekumusa Sibiya, Sizwe Magcaba, Sinethemba Khumalo and Mpumelelo Mkhwanazi.


author email : francism@ukzn.ac.za

AFRICA DAY SEES FORMER ROBBEN ISLAND INMATES REUNITE

AFRICA DAY SEES FORMER ROBBEN ISLAND INMATES REUNITE

Three Activists who hadn’t seen each other since sharing a cell on Robben Island sat together on a panel at the annual Strini Moodley Memorial Lecture and Strini Moodley Peace Activists Awards in Durban on Sunday.

Organised by UKZN in partnership with the Umtapo Centre, the events were held at the Westville campus in celebration of Africa Day.

The lecture was titled: One People, One Nation: Futile Dream or Possible Reality?

The three activists were National Chairperson of the Azanian People’s Organisation, Mr Zithulele Cindi; Chairperson of Isibaya Development Trust, former Member of National Parliament and the Pan African Parliament, Mr Pandelani Nefolovhodwe; and Chairperson of the Bat Centre in Durban, Dr Aubrey Mokoape.

They were Moodley’s co-accused in the 1976 SASO/BCP Trial and were sentenced together with him to imprisonment on Robben Island.

In his welcome address, UKZN’s Professor Nelson Ijumba said the nostalgic event celebrated all those who had fought for South Africa.  Ijumba acknowledged the presence of Moodley’s wife, mother and sister sitting among the audience. ‘We are deeply honoured by your presence,’ he said.

As part of the panel debates, Cindi looked at the topic of whether Black Consciousness (BC) has evolved since the time of the SASO/BPC Trial and whether it was still relevant for creating a unified country where there is peace and justice for all?

Cindi said now was the time South Africa needed BC more than ever as there was still inequality in societies.  He called RDP houses “glorified shacks” and added that people didn’t necessarily need the best constitution in the world but an improvement in the quality of life.

A former SRC member in the University of Limpopo, Nefolovhodwe’s topic was titled: “South Africa/Azania! What’s in a name? The Search for a national identity (One People One Nation)”.  

He said the idea of a rainbow nation did not deal with the fundamentals of nation building.  A bird should not be praised for flying or a fish praised for swimming - similarly service delivery was a responsibility of Government and must happen. He added that instruments for job creation in South Africa were non-existent as even the employed remained poor.

Makoape spoke on: “Ultra-individualism and self centredness in the era of neoliberal capitalism: What does the future hold”?

-Mokoape said the majority of African people were still poor, jobless and destitute. He said young people were made to believe that joining a certain political party “is a way to success”.

Peace Activists Awards were given to Mr Rendani Manenzhe, an Educator at Mushaathoni Secondary School in Limpopo who joined the Umtapo family in 2005, and to Ms Ntombekhaya Bungane, an Educator at Nosizwe Secondary School in the Eastern Cape. Bungane is the Peace Club Liaison Educator at her school.

The awards are aimed at acknowledging Moodley’s life as well as to honour the contributions made by different people involved in peace education. 

Manenzhe said he had been won over by Umtapo and their programmes today and forever. ‘It’s good to be part of this family,’ he added.

Bungane said the experience had been an honour and she thanked Umtapo and the Moodley family.

Moodley was one of the founders of Umtapo Centre established in 1986 in response to the rise of internecine violence within the black community and the resultant division and intolerance that become a way of life among oppressed people in South Africa.


author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

HONORARY MUT FELLOWSHIP FOR UKZN IMMUNOLOGIST

HONORARY MUT FELLOWSHIP FOR UKZN IMMUNOLOGIST

Dr Zilungile Kwitshana, an Immunologist at UKZN and alumnus of Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), recently received an Honorary Fellowship during MUT’s graduation ceremonies in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of medical microbiology.

Kwitshana has distinguished herself in mentoring masters and PhD emerging researchers while ensuring their research projects address problems facing South African communities.

Kwitshana told ukznonline that immunology was an evolving field with very few medical technologists of her day moving to academia. The Honorary Fellowship recognised her progression from medical technology to medical science; transcending barriers and stereotypes.

The Dean of MUT’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, Professor Nokwethemba Ndlazi, said she was proud of Kwitshana who has ‘raised herself to be among the very few prolific academics in the field of medical science with both national and international presence’.

According to Kwitshana, South Africa needs more professionals trained in immunology – the study of the immune system – as the field is the “cornerstone” for every disease process.

In 2011, Kwitshana published one of South Africa’s first papers in the medical journal: BMC Infectious Diseases looking at immunological interactions between HIV and neglected parasitic/tropical diseases (NTD), particularly intestinal worms. This was followed by another commentary publication on the topic published in the world's leading scientific journal: The Lancet.

Kwitshana argued that HIV, malaria and TB had taken centre-stage in medical research. This resulted in parasitic diseases being neglected which happened at a hefty cost as the diseases had an impact in the pathogenesis of “bigger” diseases.  ‘NTDs affect a large number of people at any one point with long term consequences, therefore the cumulative economic and health impact are astronomical.’

Not only were they considered as diseases of the poor, but Kwitshana said NTDs contributed significantly to the morbidity and possibly mortality caused by the other high priority diseases. ‘They are neglected because their disease symptoms are very subtle.’

Kwitshana said in areas where there was poor sanitation and lack of clean water supplies, the environment was conducive for the development of tropical diseases because infected people excrete the eggs into the environment.

‘These eggs contaminate the river or dam water and contaminate the vegetation. If there is a lack of clean water people use the available water sources and are not likely to be able to wash fruit and vegetables to rid the eggs of faecal contamination. One female roundworm can lay more than 200 000 eggs per day, and in under resourced environments, high transmission is inevitable. It ends up becoming a vicious cycle.’

As a result, Kwitshana and the Deputy Director for Communicable Diseases Control formed a task team which is assisting the National Department of Health (DoH) in developing a strategic plan to control parasitic diseases in the country.

Kwitshana said mass treatment for schools, especially in rural areas, was one way of addressing the problem according to guidelines set by the World Health Organization. The task team is advocating the down-scheduling of some of the drugs used to treat parasitic infections as the commonly used Schedule IV drugs need to be administered by a health professional.

Kwitshana is currently supervising two PhD and three Masters Candidates in immunology and co-infection.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

MOU WITH THE HSRC

MOU WITH THE HSRC

UKZN has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Nelson Ijumba, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research at UKZN, said: ‘It is natural that we have an MOU with the HSRC as we are dealing with issues in the same space. It makes sense that a partnership should be able to advance our cause in the work of social sciences.’

Dr Olive Shisana, Chief Executive Officer of the HSRC, said the plan was to leverage existing resources to the benefit of both institutions.

The HSRC is presently involved with research programmes involving:
·        HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB
·        Democracy, Governance and Service Deliver
·        Education and Skills Development
·        Economic Performance and Development
·       Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation

HIV, population studies, and issues relating to gender are areas of collaboration the institutions may consider exploring in the near future.


author email : captainr@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN ACADEMICS SPEAK AT NAMIBIAN MATHEMATICS CONGRESS

UKZN ACADEMICS SPEAK AT NAMIBIAN MATHEMATICS CONGRESS

Dr Sudan Hansraj and Professor Poobhalan Pillay of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Sciences were plenary speakers at the Namibian Mathematics Congress in Namibia recently.

Hansraj delivered a lecture titled: “The Universe Speaks Mathematics”, which encouraged delegates to view the teaching of mathematics in a serious light because strong science potentially had a positive effect on economic prosperity.

He delivered several examples which demonstrated the type of creative thinking skills teachers should develop in students to enhance their appreciation for mathematics and also to inspire them to seek novel solutions to outstanding problems plaguing mankind in the fields of medicine, engineering and commerce.

Teachers were encouraged to harness technology in presenting meaningful mathematical instruction.

Hansraj told delegates about the many developments taking place in South Africa in the area of gravity research including SKA, MeerKAT and programmes such as AIMS and NASSP for talented African students.

Pillay spoke on: Problem Solving and Mathematics, illustrating the application of unusual methods to solve apparently difficult problems.

The audience was bewildered by his imaginative approaches and said later they were determined to apply them in regular classroom teaching.

Besides the plenary lectures, the two academics spent three days training Namibian teachers to handle non-standard problem solving in mathematics.


author email : supermathsmail@gmail.com

UKZN SRC SUPPORTS THE FLAME OF HOPE

UKZN SRC SUPPORTS THE FLAME OF HOPE

The UKZN HIV/AIDS Programme together with the SRC and clubs and societies commemorated the Flame of Hope day – an annual event celebrated internationally - in memory of those who have passed on because of AIDS.

The event, held at Westville campus, also showed support for all those affected and infected by the pandemic.

The day began with a walk from the Varsity Drive Boom Gate to T-Block, followed by a candlelight ceremony with staff and students coming out in full support of the occasion. Pupils from a variety of schools joined in the march.

In his welcome, Executive Director: Student Services, Dr Sibusiso Chalufu, thanked peer educators for their work at the University.

Chalufu said the country should not still be talking about using condoms in 2013.

He said, according to recent reports, there was an increasing number of young girls in relationships with older men while also having boyfriends. At UKZN, 128 students had unplanned pregnancies in 2012.

Chalufu said young people needed to be assisted with the challenges and pressures they faced. ‘We need to give them the necessary tools to deal with all this.’

Students were encouraged to fight against stigmatisation, speak out against discrimination, to know their status so as to get the necessary support, and to respect the rights of those whose sexual orientation was different to theirs.

Motivational Speaker Ms Monica Nyawo encouraged students to know their HIV status so they could get the proper care if necessary. ‘If you hide something it kills you, but also don’t disclose if you are not ready,’ said Nyawo.

Central SRC President, Mr Nelson Mabusela said it was the responsibility of everyone to champion the battle and to lead in terms of lifestyle and behaviour.

A thought provoking performance from UKZN’s group, Ubuciko, poetry, a drama performance and music kept the audience entertained and highlighted the struggles the country faced because of HIV/AIDS.

AIDS activist, Mr Oziel Mdletshe from the Durban University of Technology conducted the candlelight ceremony which included prayers and a moment of silence.

In her vote of thanks, Head of the HIV/AIDS programme Ms Nomonde Magantolo said some students didn’t pay attention to awareness campaigns. ‘They think they know everything.

‘Hence sometimes we feel like we are fighting a losing battle but we are not going to give up,’ she said. 

Magantolo added that more than 60 percent of SRC members had undergone medical male circumcision.


author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

NEW BOOK ON WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

NEW BOOK ON WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

Criminology Senior Lecturer in the School of Applied Human Sciences Dr Jéan Steyn recently published a book titled Assignment Writing aimed at assisting students to produce assignments at the standard required by tertiary institutions.

‘A large amount of my lecturing time is used every year in explaining to students how to write an assignment according to Higher Education standards,’ said Steyn.

‘This, as well as the absence of an easily accessible assignment writing “one-stop-shop” that is concise, simplistic, step-by-step, up-to-date, with practical examples, prompted me to write the book which is published in English, isiZulu and isiXhosa.’

In the publication, students are given practical examples of what an assignment should look like. ‘By implication, the scientific report writing skills of students should improve along with submitted assignment standards and pass rates,’ said Steyn.

The book covers the process of assessing, planning, writing, editing and handing in an assignment; technical requirements, such as the use of scientific language, abbreviations, tables and figures; neatness and binding; referencing techniques; the compilation of a list of sources and formatting the document.

Steyn said challenges he faced included addressing the needs of the various sciences and disciplines, obtaining and clarifying the latest all-dimensional referencing techniques, and getting the book translated into isiZulu and isiXhosa.

The book, which sells for R99, is published by Van Schaik (contact 012 342-2765; vanschaik@vanschaiknet.com) but is also available at most academic bookstores, Kalahari.com, or from On the Dot at phone 0861 668 368.

Steyn is currently writing another book on advanced assignment writing.


author email : Mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

NEW DEGREE IN RECREATIONAL THERAPY BEING DEVELOPED

NEW DEGREE IN RECREATIONAL THERAPY BEING DEVELOPED

UKZN’s School of Health Sciences is developing the curriculum for a new degree in Recreational Therapy – a first of its kind in South Africa – which will be offered by its Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences (BELS). 

According to the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), recreational therapy practice is the use of recreation and related activities to improve the functioning, health and quality of life of patients by reducing impairments of body function and structure, activity limitations, participation restrictions and environmental barriers.

‘The ultimate goal of recreational therapy is to facilitate full and optimal involvement in the life of the community,’ said ATRA’s past President and founding member, Professor Thomas Skalko, who was recently appointed as Honorary Professor in the Discipline of BELS at UKZN.

Skalko is a licensed recreational therapist and certified therapeutic recreation specialist in the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of East Carolina in the United States.

During a two-week visit to UKZN, Skalko devoted his time to lecturing students undertaking a recently established disability module in the leisure stream within the Discipline as well as delivering a public lecture focusing on the evolution of therapeutic recreation and its application in health sciences.

Skalko said the US, followed by Canada, had made headway in promoting recreational therapy using the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) which is the framework for measuring health and disability at both individual and population levels.

The ICF places the notions of “health” and “disability” in a new light by acknowledging that every human being can experience some degree of disability in their life time. 

Skalko explained that the ICF uses “health condition” as an umbrella term for disease – chronic or acute - disorder, injury or trauma and may also include other circumstances such as pregnancy, aging, and congenital anomalies.

‘What we know is that recreation and leisure experiences are rejuvenating, can transform individuals and societies,  are important for the holistic treatment of patients simultaneously with medicine, can be used as active treatment to improve functioning, and ultimately enable people to engage meaningfully in their community.’

Skalko emphasised the importance of developing the professional qualifications of recreational therapy internationally.

It is envisaged that the new qualification will unite health scientists from biokinetics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, public health and related fields to jointly address the global need for recreation therapy.

Mrs Maliga Naidoo, a Lecturer of Leisure Sciences at UKZN and President of the Leisure and Recreation Association of South Africa (LARASA), said the Discipline looked forward to working with Skalko on the new curriculum and acknowledged the College of Health Sciences for funding part of his visit to UKZN.

‘Recreational Therapy is currently not offered by any university in South Africa. As innovative leaders, we would like to be the first; however, this comes with several challenges.’

Naidoo said the Discipline was currently considering introducing another two non-clinical recreation therapy modules into the Leisure stream. ‘The vision is to have a new qualification in Recreation Therapy within the next two years.’


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

INTERNATIONAL POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS AT UKZN

INTERNATIONAL POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS AT UKZN

The School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics is hosting two international postdoctoral Fellows - Dr Alan Ross of the United Kingdom and Dr Francesco Lupi of Italy.

Both Fellows are lecturing at the School as well as doing research to facilitate their postdoctoral careers.

‘Having studied for all my degrees in the UK, I felt I would benefit from broadening my experiences at the beginning of my academic career by taking up a post in a different part of the world,’ said Ross.

The Head of Classics here at UKZN, Professor John Hilton, is a specialist in my field - the literature of the 4th century AD - and it has been a great pleasure to work with him, as well as being very beneficial for my research.’

Ross’s research focuses on the literature and history of the Late Roman Empire with a particular interest in the works of pagan authors writing in the wake of the establishment of Christianity as the state religion, and the decline of the empire in the West. His main project is the preparation of his doctoral thesis for publication by Oxford University Press.

Lupi said he heard about the opportunity to work at UKZN from an Italian researcher, who strongly recommended the well-established tradition of South African classical scholarship.

‘There’s nothing as beneficial to the development of a solid research profile as working in new places and exposing oneself to different research approaches, interests, and methodologies. Being Italian, I also thought that to act as a postdoctoral fellow in a non-Italian speaking area would affect my research profile positively, facilitating my access to a diverse scholarly tradition.’

His research topics relate to Greek tragic drama, mainly in the field of fragmentary texts and the history of both classical tradition and philological scholarship applied to them. ‘My on-going research projects also tie in with my PhD thesis, centred on Greek tragedian Sophocles, which I plan to prepare for publication. This also ties in happily with my supervisor’s interest in the reception of Greek drama in modern and contemporary literary culture,’ said Lupi.

Both postdoctoral fellows say UKZN and its staff have been warm and welcoming and they looked forward to the remaining period of their fellowships at the University.


author email : Mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

CLINICAL LECTURER PRESENTS AT BRUSSELS CONFERENCE

CLINICAL LECTURER PRESENTS AT BRUSSELS CONFERENCE

Honorary Clinical Lecturer at UKZN, Dr Robert Wise, recently attended the 33rd International Symposium of Intensive care and Emergency Medicine (ISICEM) in Brussels supported by funding from the College of Health Science’s Mary Weston Fund.

Wise, who is also acting Head of the Department of Anaesthetics at Greys Hospital, a specialist anaesthesiologist and subspecialist in critical care medicine, said a snow storm provided a chilly welcome for the nearly 6 000 participants at the Symposium which is aimed at providing an up-to-date review of the most clinically important research and developments in the field of critical care and emergency medicine.

The congress was first held in 1980 and has become one of the most, if not the most, important meetings in the field of Critical Care Medicine. Wise says the majority of delegates were from Europe, however, as the field of critical care continues to grow in the developing world; representation from other parts of the world will no doubt grow.

‘More than 200 speakers from around the world participated in a variety of meetings including lectures, workshops, pro-con debates, round table discussions, tutorials and demonstrations. The symsposium is supported by the medical industry which brings the most recent developments in medical technology, pharmacology and literature to the 4000m2 scientific exhibition area,’ said Wise.

‘Our collaborative project with researchers in Belgium and Spain was accepted for presentation at the congress. The presentation was titled: “Varying models of intra-abdominal hypertension and their effect on renal function in a porcine model”, and I was able to present our findings to some of the leading experts in the field.

‘Close on 550 abstracts are evaluated in various categories. This year was different as for the first time the posters were displayed as ePosters on multiple touchscreen displays. This system worked very well although the noise during the presentation session was understandably quite loud.

‘The 33rd ISICEM Congress was especially interesting as the latest research and developments on several controversial subjects were presented. These included the findings from several large studies looking at intravenous fluid therapy and resuscitation of the critically ill, various studies researching acute kidney injury and early identification of those at risk, and determining goals for resuscitation with a particular focus on the microcirculation.

‘The day before the commencement of the congress I was also able to attend the “Update on Gastrointestinal Problems Workshop” which also proved to be particularly stimulating with world-renowned speakers presenting in their field of interest.’

Wise said the experience of the congress was extremely interesting and motivating. ‘The opportunity afforded by the Mary Weston Fund has enabled exposure to information and researchers not usually possible. It has also allowed for the possibility of continued collaborative research made through the work we presented at the congress.  For all of this I am very grateful.’


author email : francism@ukzn.ac.za

HEALTH SCIENCES CAREERS POPULAR AT OPEN DAY

HEALTH SCIENCES CAREERS POPULAR AT OPEN DAY

The College of Health Sciences (CHS) on the Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses enjoyed an excellent turnout of parents and prospective students during this year’s UKZN Open Day.

The well supported event was an indication of the overwhelming number of applications received from prospective students hoping to pursue careers in health sciences at UKZN.

A total of 75 000 first-year applications were received via the Central Applications Office for degree programmes in the four Colleges of UKZN for 2013 - 48 679 of these were for programmes in the CHS, of which 250 were accepted for the MBChB Programme, 61 for Nursing and 512 for other health sciences programmes.

College leadership emphasised that the University could only accommodate specific numbers of first-years entering each programme thus students were selected purely on merit – ie how well they performed in their Grade 12 final examinations.

Flagged as a centre of excellence in health sciences teaching and learning and research, UKZN is an institution of choice for students from diverse backgrounds, as well as highly competent academic and professional services staff who were represented by College leadership at Open Day.

The audience listened to a host of presentations which reassured them that the College prepares students for exciting and rewarding careers. Health sciences students are trained through experiential learning in rural and urban health settings, and students can look forward to the prestigious awards and oath-taking ceremonies held in their final year of undergraduate study, in addition to the unique opportunity for presenting research at the local and National Pfizer Research Symposia held annually at UKZN.

Professor Sabiha Essack, Dean and Head of the School of Health Sciences, said cutting edge research informed teaching and evidence-based learning in the health sciences and the College was home to excellent laboratory facilities and state-of-the-art technology.

‘The Department of Higher Education and Training has provided clinical training grants that have enabled the College to meet its goals in achieving world-class research and excellent teaching and learning facilities,’ said Essack.

She said although the competition to be accepted was intense, parents and hardworking matriculants could rest assured they had made the right decision by choosing health sciences at UKZN.

Professor William Daniels, Dean and Head of the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, presented an overview of UKZN’s MBChB Programme, emphasising that the University’s objective was not merely to train doctors who could treat and heal patients, but they also need to be able to go out into society and function as agents of change, advocating health promotion.

Daniels said although South Africa had an extensive and changing burden of disease, part of the problem was human behaviour.

Daniels said the county’s health services should provide for a wide spectrum of conditions by offering innovative primary health care approaches in communities. He emphasised the challenges experienced by medical professionals having to manage lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular and diabetes. Daniels said it was essential to strengthen public health services and that addressing social determinants and inequalities needed to be high on the agenda when considerations were made about the country’s health system and the training of doctors.

The College’s Student Funding Officers, Mr Jainendra Maharaj and Mr Paseka Nkhoesa, said “excellence will be rewarded” when addressing prospective students about the various scholarships and bursaries offered by the University on academic merit. They highlighted various funding options for tuition and student accommodation, also mentioning that external funding could be sourced though bursaries and loans offered by organisations other than the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).

UKZN’s student-centred approach was highlighted by Dr Saloschini Pillay, College Manager for Student Support Services, who said the College’s Professional Services staff believed in supporting the development of students holistically.

‘University students frequently experience considerable stress emanating from academic, social, emotional or financial issues. Whilst some cope adequately with these pressures and demands, many become overwhelmed and without constructive help, their creative output and academic performance may be threatened.’

Pillay and her team play a critical role in helping students regain the emotional balance necessary to cope with the demands of university life. She said UKZN had excellent facilities for indoor and outdoor sports among other extramural activities.

The closing date for applications to the MBChB Programme is 30 June and for other health sciences programmes 30 September.

Professor Moses Chimbari, College Dean of Research, said isiZulu was part of the core curriculum for every health sciences programme at UKZN. Parents generally agreed that it was necessary for students to learn the language as it was useful when communicating with patients and clients, especially in rural communities.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

TEACHING AND LEARNING UNIT USES LIVE STREAMING TO BENEFIT STAFF

TEACHING AND LEARNING UNIT USES LIVE STREAMING TO BENEFIT STAFF

Staff in the College of Law and Management Studies will now view teaching and learning forums through live streaming on the web - a first for the College.

The office of the Dean of Teaching and Learning recently held its second presentation for 2013 led by Dr Shaun Ruggunan, a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Human Resources Management.  The subject was: “From Object to Subject: Towards a critical pedagogy of Human Resources Management”.

The College Dean of Teaching and Learning, Professor Kriben Pillay, said through live streaming those staff members unable to attend the talks still had the opportunity to benefit from the forum presentations.

‘This presentation will help us to critically think about our curriculum and how we teach,’ said Pillay. ‘As teachers we seem to assimilate knowledge under our own assumptions which is worrying in terms of business education in general. As the Premier University of African Scholarship we need to bring about change.’

As part of his doctoral work, Ruggunan examined the ways in which labour markets were shaped for Filipino, South African and British seafarers in the merchant navy. His current area of interest is in critical management studies (CMS) and the implications of CMS for teaching and learning in the Discipline of Human Resources Management.

The presentation explored the context of Critical Management Studies in articulating the pedagogical frameworks that can inform the design of curricula, teaching, learning and assessment strategies that encourage critical thinking and social engagement. 

‘We want to create critical workers and the global economic crisis is an opportunity to reflect as it forces us to look at the curriculum, values and historiography of the disciplines we teach. We need cognitive dissonance in the class and to use our research to point out the contradictions,’ said Ruggunan.

Staff who attended the presentation said they found it very informative and were looking forward to similar events in future.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN STUDENT TO ATTEND CLIMATE PROJECT IN TURKEY

UKZN STUDENT TO ATTEND CLIMATE PROJECT IN TURKEY

Mr Kamleshan Pillay, a prospective doctoral student in the Discipline of Geography in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been accepted to attend the Climate Reality Leadership Corps in Istanbul, Turkey, from June 14-16.

A subsidiary of the Climate Reality Project, founded and chaired by former Vice-President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, the Climate Reality Corps is dedicated to unleashing a global cultural movement demanding action on the climate crisis.  

Pillay said despite overwhelming international scientific consensus on climate change, the global community still lacked the resolve to implement meaningful solutions. ‘The Climate Reality Project employs cutting-edge communications and grassroots engagement tools to break the dam of inaction and raise the profile of the climate crisis to its proper state of urgency,’ he said.

This unique three-day training programme with former Vice-President Al Gore will see Kamleshan join a select group of diverse, passionate, and talented volunteers from around the world.

During the training he will learn about the latest science of climate change, best practices in public speaking and connect with audiences, communication strategies, social media, leadership skills and community outreach and organising.

With a global movement boasting a more than two million strong following and a grassroots network of climate leaders trained by Gore, Pillay will join the commitment to take a leadership role in global climate solutions.


author email : pillay.kamleshan@gmail.com

HUMANITIES OPEN DAY

HUMANITIES OPEN DAY

Large numbers of prospective students were at the UKZN Westville campus for the 2013 Information Open Day recently to learn more about the degrees and programmes on offer within the College of Humanities.

The youngsters, some accompanied by their parents, were keen to make informed decisions about their future academic career choices.

Our Lady of the Rosary Secondary School learner Ms Ayanda Maphumulo was ecstatic. ‘I want to study for a degree in the Arts and I think UKZN is the best place to help me make it in the media industry,’ she said.

Maphumulo says she plans to study hard during her matric year to get the sort of results that will ensure entry to the University.

Representatives from Humanities and its six schools answered questions from the visitors and offered brochures, pamphlets and information booklets about study choices.

Dean and Head of the School of Arts Professor Nogwaja Zulu encouraged students to become part of the College of Humanities and to follow their dreams.

Within the information sessions, students were informed about the admission criteria for entry into the various degree programmes and were made aware of all the available academic opportunities, student funding criteria and student support services.


author email : Mungroo@ukzn.ac.za