DEVELOPMENT STUDIES PROFESSOR TO LEAD E-DISCUSSION ON ADDRESSING POVERTY

DEVELOPMENT STUDIES PROFESSOR TO LEAD E-DISCUSSION ON ADDRESSING POVERTY

The School of Development Studies’ Professor Julian May, the NRF South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chair in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment, will lead an e-discussion on Addressing Poverty issues through Education from March 2-8. The e-discussion will be conducted on the United Nations (UN) Academic Initiative Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ImpactUN. The UKZN community is encouraged to participate in the discussion which will cover issues such as whether there should there be free access to tertiary education, what kinds of education incentives ought to be available from government (including vocational training), strategies to reverse brain drain and how to ensure local talent is utilised.

 

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs is partnering with the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) initiative to host an e-discussion series on the theme Building a Future for Today’s Youth: Improving Access to Education. For a period of one month, from February to March, there will be four e-discussions in total. Each e-discussion will be moderated by a UNAI member and will last for a week. Details of how to participate in the e-discussion can be accessed through the following link: http://www.ukzn.ac.za/news.aspx?id=132.

 

The outcome of the e-discussion will be reported back to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at its Global Preparatory Meeting on April 5, and policy recommendations will be included in the report of the UN Secretary-General to be presented during the High-level segment of ECOSOC in July 2011.
 
The UNAI was officially launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on November 18 2010, at the UN Headquarters in New York. The main objective of the initiative is to align Higher Education Institutions with the UN in actively supporting the following 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, literacy, sustainability and conflict resolution: 

 

1)   Commitment to the United Nations Charter; 2) Human Rights; 3) Educational opportunity for all; 4) Higher Education opportunities for every interested individual; 5) Capacity-building in Higher Education systems; 6) Global citizenship; 7) Peace and conflict resolution; 8) Addressing poverty; 9) Sustainability; 10) Inte
author email : online@ukzn.ac.za

UMTHOLAMPILO OMUSHA UZOSIZA AMAZWE NGAMAZWE NGOCWANINGO LESICHENENE

UMTHOLAMPILO OMUSHA UZOSIZA AMAZWE NGAMAZWE NGOCWANINGO LESICHENENE

Inyuvesi yaKwaZulu-Natal (i-UKZN) kanye nezikhungo eziyiskhombisa zazwelonke zisungule umtholampilo, iVIBE Youth Clinic, engowukuqala e-Africa ukucwaninga ngesifo, isichenene esithikameza isitho sangasese kubantu besifazane. Lo mtholampilo uvulwe oGwini endaweni yasePort Shepstone ngoFebruary 18.

 

Ukusungulwa kweVIBE Youth Clinic kugqugquzelwe wucwaningo olujulile olwenziwa yizikhungo i-UKZN, Oslo University Hospital (eseNorway), University of Agder (eseNorway), Sorlandet Hospital (eseNorway), University of Antwerp (eseBelgium), Imperial College (ese-UK), Leiden University Medical Centre (yaseNetherlands), kanye neDanish Bilharziosis Lab, yase-University of Copenhagen, eDenmark. Isiqubulo salolucwaningo sithi: Prevention and Improved Diagnosis of Female Genital Schistosomiasis in the Ugu District, KwaZulu-Natal.

 

U-VIBE umele ukuthi: Vikela Izintombi kwi-Bilharzia Ezweni. Lesi sifo esitholakala kubantu besifazane abahlala ezindaweni ezisemaphandleni sinezimpawu ezibonakala esithweni sangasese ngomopho, imithambo ehluzekayo, ukuvuvukala, kanye nokuntengantenga kwesimo sempilo uma sikuphethe.

 

Isinambuzane sesichenene, iSchistosoma, yisinambuzane esivelele kubantu silandela isifo somaskito, iMalaria. Isichenene sitholakala emanzini angahloliwe kanti sihlukumeza izigidi zabantu ezimbili umhlaba wonkana. Abantu abasebenzisa amanzi akhiwa emifuleni nasemadanyini ezindaweni zasemaphandleni yibona abasengozini enkulu yokuthola lesi sifo. Indawo yasogwini inamapesenti angu-84 abantu abahlala emaphandleni. Izingane ezibhukuda nezisebenzisa lawa manzi yizona ezithinte laba bacwaningi.

 

Ukusungulwa kweVIBE Youth Clinic bekuyisigaba sesibili kulo cwaningo leVIBE Project. Esokuqala kube ukuvakashela izikole zamabanga aphansi kuxwayiswa abafundi, othisha kanye nomphakahi ngesichenene. Abacwaningi bahlose ukuveza ukuthi ukwelapha isichenene ngokuzimisela kuzonciphisa ukubhebhetheka kweSandulela Ngculaza kanye nezinye izifo zangasese kubantu besifazane.

 

Sekuvakashelwe izikole ezingu-18 seloku kuqale ucwaningo “lapho amantombazanyana aneminyaka eyishumi kuya eshumini nambili aseyatshengisa izimpawo,” kusho uDkt Eyrun Kjetland wase-Oslo University Hospital ongunqa-phambili kulolu cwaningo.

 

IVIBE Youth Clinic ihlola cishe amantombazanyana angamashumi amahlanu zinsukuzonke. “Siyazi ukuthi ucwaningo lethu lubanzi lokho sizoqinisekisa ukuthi abafundi esibahlolayo bakh
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

DEAN OF EDUCATION RECEIVES UBUNTU AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTION TO EDUCATION

DEAN OF EDUCATION RECEIVES UBUNTU AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTION TO EDUCATION

Dean of Education, Professor Michael Samuel, received the Ubuntu Award for his contribution to the field of Education from the Turquoise Harmony Institute at the Ubuntu Lecture and Awards ceremony held in Cape Town recently.

 

The institute, which organises the annual ceremony, is part of an international movement promoting mutual respect of all religions, cultures and peoples. The non-evangelical movement recognises individuals who make a selfless contribution in their chosen field aiming to bring about a deep commitment and build the quality of society in general 

 

Professor Samuel said he felt his award was an affirmation of the commitment of the four generations of his family who had contributed to the development of quality education and schooling in South Africa. He was inspired by the new influence of a group of Turkish students and teachers who had left their home countries to dedicate their lives to the service of education in South Africa.

 

 “These devoted teachers choose to interpret education as service to the greater good of the global world and are making an indelible mark by producing top results in Science, Mathematics, Computer Science and Technology Education. They could easily have chosen careers which yield financial reward, but chose instead to inspire learners into these perceived difficult subjects. Their values of volunteer service are a hallmark of Ubuntu in action,” said Professor Samuel

 

In accepting the Annual Ubuntu Peace Award at the function, former UKZN Chancellor, Dr Frene Ginwala, stressed that like Ubuntu, peace was not the absence of action; but instead a war against injustice and against poverty.

 

Delivering the keynote address, the Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, said Ubuntu was not just an abstract concept which valued respect, dialogue and tolerance of all human beings, aiming to grow with, in and through others. “Rather, Ubuntu is a call to action to realise a better quality of life for all those whom we meet, through our deeds, words and actions.

 

Minister Pandor stressed that Ubuntu called each individual to the service of others, without the expectation of reward or favour.
author email : online@ukzn.ac.za

“EVERYTHING IS LINKED TO CLIMATE CHANGE” SAYS LEWIS PUGH

“EVERYTHING IS LINKED TO CLIMATE CHANGE” SAYS LEWIS PUGH

The School of Bioresources Engineering and Environmental Hydrology (BEEH) recently treated their 2011 hydrology honours class and members of the Hydrology Research Group to a breakfast function at which endurance swimmer and environmentalist, Mr Lewis Pugh, was the guest speaker. 

 

Held at the Golden Horse Casino in Pietermaritzburg, Pugh’s motivational talk focused on climate change and the environment, highlighting his quest to raise awareness about the fragility of our planet.  According to Pugh, “Everything is linked to climate change.”  He said, “We have now learnt to accept there is a global economic climate, that what happens on Wall Street affects London, Paris and the world. We have to relate the same way to climate change and realise that when something happens in the Antarctic or to a glacier in the Himalayas, it affects all of us.”

 

Pugh, who has completed long-distance swims in every ocean, was in town for the 2011 Midmar Mile.  He was part of the Eight Mile Club which consisted of swimmers who participated in all eight races which comprised the event in an effort to raise money for charity.  Pugh chose to support Dr Ian Player and the Wilderness Leadership School, a non-profit organisation aimed at developing leaders and preserving wilderness.  

 

BEEH’s Hydrology Research Group, along with other scientific partners, has been at the forefront of climate change research in South Africa for the past 20 years. A changing climate manifests itself in shifting rainfall patterns over the subcontinent, as well as changes in temperatures and extreme events. These shifts affect the amount of water flowing in our rivers and the water available for society, the environment and agriculture.   Hydrology researcher, Mr Mark Horan said, “In a semi-arid, already water-stressed country, a small change in rainfall can have a marked impact on the availability of water and thus on the people or industries reliant on the resource.”

The focus of the BEEH research is to look to the future, to understand the likely impacts of a changing climate to 2050 and beyond. Armed with this knowledge, policy makers and stakeholders will be better equipped to take decisions now; to mitigate against potential risks for the future. Much of the group's current research is funded by the Water Research Commission and the Department of Water Affairs.
author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za

HIGH-ACHIEVING SIBLINGS BOTH OPT FOR LAW AT UKZN

HIGH-ACHIEVING SIBLINGS BOTH OPT FOR LAW AT UKZN

Both came second in the KwaZulu-Natal IEB matric exam in 2009 and 2010 respectively and both have decided to study Law at UKZN. But brother and sister, Mr Darren and Ms Kirsty Frances say that they are very different from one another.

Hailing from Umhlanga, the siblings said their parents never pushed for them to be academically excellent, but gave them the tools to develop. 

Kirsty said that there has never been competition between them and being on the same level is a new experience. Even though they are both in Law, they have chosen different electives and won’t be in classes together all the time. Darren is very interested in politics, while Kirsty would like to practice Law and be an attorney.

Darren and three other students received the Dean’s Merit Scholarship while Kirsty and one other student were awarded the Faculty of Law Named Scholarship. 

Asked what it took for them to get where they are today, Darren said that it takes hard work. He added that he does not study as much as his sister, but tries to get as much as he can from listening in the classroom. They added that they would like follow a balanced lifestyle, and engage in extracurricular activities as well as academic studies.

After completing his Matric in 2009, Darren decided to take a year off and he was part of the Rotary Student Exchange Programme in Australia. He was also a member of the cast of the movie Spud.


author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

ACCESS PROGRAMME STUDENTS BUILD INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

ACCESS PROGRAMME STUDENTS BUILD INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

Students enrolled in the Access Programme at UKZN’s Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences (HDSS) were left inspired after sharing stories of perseverance with friends from the Bronx Community College (BCC) at the City University of New York.

 

At a research seminar on the Howard College campus, hosted by the School of Language, Literature and Linguistics, students witnessed the benefits of the work and research done by Associate Professor, Andrea Parmegiani from the BCC and Dr Veena Lutchman of UKZN, which afforded them the opportunity to build international partnerships with like students and share experiences of their transition into tertiary institutions, having come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

           

The seminar was titled Empowering Lives in the Access Programme and at Bronx Community College. Both Parmegiani and Lutchman presented at the seminar and were impressed by the turnout of current and previous-year students who attended.

 

Parmegiani, who was a visiting lecturer at UKZN’s Linguistics Discipline in 2007, said he observed students in the Access Programme for his PhD dissertation. He added that he believes that students who go through the Programme are champions of empowerment.

 

In 2010, students in the Access Programme were given an opportunity to write short stories about their personal moments of empowerment which ended up fulfilling their dreams of becoming university students. These were evaluated by students in a similar programme at the BCC. The result of this project was an anthology of stories, six of which were authored by students from UKZN.

 

Excited to have been one of the six authors from UKZN whose stories got chosen, Ms Noxolo Mnguni who completed the Programme last year, said the entire experience has been a stepping stone to proving herself to the world. “Don’t give up on yourself as I did not… The fact that we did not easily get into university does not mean that we are not good enough,” she said. Her story was also published in The Communicator, a BCC publication. Each student from UKZN who participated in the project received a flashcard from the Centre for Teaching Excellence at the BCC.  author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

MEC FOR FINANCE DISCUSSES THE PROVINCIAL BUDGET WITH UKZN

MEC FOR FINANCE DISCUSSES THE PROVINCIAL BUDGET WITH UKZN

The MEC for Finance in KwaZulu-Natal, Ms Ina Cronjé visited UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus on February 10 to give a presentation on the preparation of the 2011/2012 Provincial Budget which will be tabled in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature on March 8. This is the first time such a presentation has been made at the University.

This Pre-Budget Information Session was hosted by the Faculty of Management Studies in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury in order to expose commerce academics and students to the complex budget process. It was the first in a series of community-based consultative sessions to be hosted by the Provincial Treasury leading up to Provincial Budget Day.

Cronjé presented an informative talk and explained that the provincial budget is crafted in order to address the needs of the people of the province, taking its cue from priorities identified at national level. “With the year 2011 having been declared as a year of job creation, the Provincial Treasury is planning appropriate programmes to respond to this theme and other key priorities such as health and education,” said Cronjé.

She highlighted the key socio-economic circumstances that are taken into account when a provincial budget is constructed. These include: the impact of the global recession, the structure of KwaZulu-Natal’s economy, the province’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP), the provincial labour market and human development.

According to Cronjé, KwaZulu-Natal is a strong player in the South African economy, contributing 16 percent of the National GDP. Gauteng is the leader, accounting for 34 percent of the National GDP, while the Western Cape is in third place at 14 percent.

In terms of the province’s three main sources of revenue: approximately 80 percent comes from the National Treasury in the form of equitable share; approximately 17 percent comes from the National Treasury in the form of conditional grants and about 2.5 percent is generated by the province through traffic fines, motor vehicle licenses, casino taxes and health patient fees.

Forty two percent of KwaZulu-Natal’s budget is spent on the labour intensive Department of Basic Education, 31 percent goes to the Department of Health, Transport gets eight percent of the share and other provincial government departments share the balance of approximately 19 percent.

author email : langah@ukzn.ac.za

SCHOOL OF PHARMACY RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP GRANT

SCHOOL OF PHARMACY RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP GRANT

The UKZN-based organisation, Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD), has co-ordinated the transfer of a substantial grant from The Merck Company Foundation to the University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology to provide scholarships for up to seven students for a new Masters programme called Pharmaeconomics.

 

‘HEARD was awarded this grant which essentially had two components; research and capacity building, and the Merck scholarship to students is part of the capacity building arm of the grant,’ said senior researcher at HEARD, Mr Gavin George. ‘We identified HEARD, a research company that embraces research and health solutions,’ said Ms Dorothy Mwangu who represented the The Merck Company Foundation.

 

‘We at HEARD underwent a process of identifying what relevant courses were not available in South Africa and we realised that no pharmaeconomics course existed, although it is very much needed,’ said George. When HEARD discovered that the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology were already in the process of accrediting the online Masters programme in Pharmaeconomics, they began the process of transferring the funding to the School.

 

Head of School, Professor Fatima Suleman, who led the development of the programme, indicated that students who wish to pursue Masters Degrees in Pharmacy and come from disadvantaged backgrounds will benefit from the grant.  

 

Recent health sector reform has centred on the pricing structure of medicines in South Africa. Section 22G of the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act 101 of 1997 provides for the Minister of Health to appoint members of the Pricing Committee that shall be responsible for the formulation of a transparent pricing system for medicines in South Africa amongst other things. As yet, no module exists in South Africa that teaches these skills for economic evaluation.

The purpose of the programme is to provide Masters students with the knowledge, skills and expertise to evaluate literature for evidence that can be used in pharmaeconomic submissions and evaluations. Students will also be equipped to conduct and appraise pharmaeconomic evaluations for assessment of submissions to the Pricing Committee (National Department of Health).

The Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) and UKZN have reached an agreement to provide employment internship opportunities to unemployed graduates.  ETDP SETA, through a discretionary grant (a government intervention), will also be providing 1 200 bursaries to students that are financially disadvantaged.

As announced by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, ETDP SETA has been re-established for the period 2011-2016 to promote and facilitate the delivery of education, training and development in order to enhance the skills profile of the ETD (Education, Training and Development) sector and contribute to the creation of employment opportunities especially for those previously disadvantaged.

 

KwaZulu-Natal’s ETDP SETA Provincial Co-ordinator, Ms Zandile Ntshangase said the purpose of the internship programme for graduates is to facilitate training, ensure that people are empowered with the required skills, and enhance employability, having been given an opportunity to be in a workplace to gain practical experience.

 

Executive Director: Human Resources Division, Dr Mojaki Mosia said that UKZN will provide a platform for those graduates who don’t have experiential training and the necessary skills as they will be exposed to different, meaningful jobs and tasks. He added that some of the interns might be absorbed by the University at the end of their training. Ten interns have been taken in by different departments at the University.

 

The students that will be awarded bursaries will be notified by the end of February 2011 if they have qualified. Each student will be granted R20 000 to cover tuition fees.

 

Executive Director of the Corporate Relations Division, Ms Nomonde Mbadi told the interns to make the most of this opportunity. She added that having interns brings a breath of fresh air in any department and assured the interns that UKZN will give them the experience they require. “This opportunity gives you a stepping stone and the rest is up to you,” said Mbadi. The internship programme commences on March 1 and is co-ordinated by the Human Resources Development Department.


author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

CLIMATE CHANGE IS NO LONGER JUST A THEORY

CLIMATE CHANGE IS NO LONGER JUST A THEORY

UKZN’s Centre for Research in Environmental, Coastal and Hydrological Engineering (CRECHE) held the first in a series of high profile seminars on Climate Change on February 14.  The speaker was Professor Lord Julian Hunt, Emeritus Professor of Climate Modelling in the Department of Earth Sciences and Honorary Professor of Mathematics at University College London.

Lord Hunt noted that most countries worldwide are taking the issue of climate change seriously. He added that climate change has long been a theory but there is now strong scientific evidence to support it.

In his presentation, Lord Hunt reviewed recent developments concerning the scientific understanding of the relationship between natural climate variability and the changing patterns in weather and climate caused by human activities, particularly emissions of green house gases and drastic changes to the land surface, with deforestation and desertification.

Lord Hunt said that there are things that can be done to mitigate the effects of climate change. One example is finding ways of pushing carbon dioxide produced by coal-burning back into the ground. The effects he mentioned included a rise in sea levels, accelerated ice melting, and average temperatures increasing by four degrees by the end of this century. He added that there are challenging questions concerning what can be done to help societies adapt to climate change.  Countries like Holland and London have already built coastal barriers to mitigate the effects of sea level rise, and this practice will need to be used elsewhere.

He said some countries would be more seriously impacted than others, like the recent floods in Pakistan. In South Africa, increases in temperature might make some crops impossible to grow. Some parts of China have become a desert which has caused people to relocate to the east. He added that science has to predict and explain these effects, find technological and agricultural solutions, and research new policies to address these great challenges.


author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

CCMS STUDENTS MAP THE FUTURE

CCMS STUDENTS MAP THE FUTURE

The Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) recently hosted a participatory workshop aimed at getting postgraduate students into gear for the new academic year. 

The workshop opened with an exercise in which students were asked to stand in a circle, and introduce themselves one by one whilst clapping their hands to a beat.

Other fun exercises followed, all of which were geared towards enabling students to identify some of the problems they may experience during the course of their studies, especially within the context of group work.

“I soon realised that these simple tasks could be interpreted into real life situations that were related to us as students,” said Honours student Ms Zakia Kajee.  “Clapping to a rhythm and talking at the same time was challenging!”

The highlight of the day was a body mapping exercise which saw students creating a colourful paper version of themselves which reflected their personal attributes. 

“Overall, this was a therapeutic exercise that not only helped us to get to know our colleagues better, but also in our understanding as students, [it] aided us in placing our priorities into perspective,” said Kajee.

Ms Wandile Sibisi, a Masters student, said the bodymapping exercise allowed her to have a much-needed conversation with herself. 

“During the course of the day we discovered that some of us had some serious anxieties about the year ahead. Whilst some of the students were fresh out of third year, others had taken a break from the academic arena, having worked for several years. Somehow the body mapping exercise helped both groups of students to really focus their thoughts, allowing them to merge these thoughts into solid career paths.               &
author email : memelala@ukzn.ac.za