INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES TO BE SCRUTINISED BY ACTIVISTS IN DURBAN

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES TO BE SCRUTINISED BY ACTIVISTS IN DURBAN

International Human Rights Activists, Education Experts and Practitioners from across the globe will convene at the 2nd International Conference on Human Rights Education (IHRE) to scrutinise international human rights education issues. The conference will be hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Faculty of Law from November 14 to 16 at the Royal Hotel, Durban.

“Celebrating Diversity and Achieving Social Justice through Human Rights Education,” is the theme of the 2nd IHRE Conference.  The 1st IHRE conference was hosted by the University of Western Sydney in 2010.

Officials and experts from governments and international/regional institutions with a focus on human rights, as well as judges, scholars, lawyers, students and human rights activists are amongst the delegates that will attend the conference.

The main aims of the Conference are to support and promote the United Nations (UN) objectives on Human Rights Education (HRE) which include: the promotion of the role of HRE in the advancement of good governance; to foster HRE across the African continent and to build networks amongst stakeholders; the exploration of the role of HRE in advancement of the rights of vulnerable groups; and the interrogation of the role of HRE in promoting cultural diversity and accommodating traditional value systems.

The plenary session on November 14 will be addressed by prominent human rights education experts and practitioners including Professor Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria who will deliver a paper titled: “Human Rights Education from a Multi-disciplinary Perspective.” Viljoen has published extensively on human rights issues and he is the editor of the African Human Rights Law Reports and the African Human Rights Law Journal.

“Educating Everyone? Prejudice, Terror and the Reservoirs of Hate,” is the title of a keynote address by Professor Malcolm La
author email : langah@ukzn.ac.za

POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH DAY REWARDS ACHIEVEMENTS IN SCIENCE AND AGRICULTURE

POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH DAY REWARDS ACHIEVEMENTS IN SCIENCE AND AGRICULTURE

The Faculty of Science and Agriculture’s Postgraduate Research Day is a delight for anybody who heads research at UKZN, says Professor Nelson Ijumba, Deputy Vice-
Chancellor for Research,

 

Ijumba was speaking at the Faculty’s Postgraduate Research Day on the Westville campus on 31 October.

 

The annual Postgraduate Research Day is seen as a highlight for the Faculty as it provides an invaluable platform for its postgraduate candidates to present their research to the wider University community, potential employers and a strict panel of judges.

 

At the end of the day judges announce the winners at a prize-giving ceremony.

 

Ms Nokwazi Mbili of the School of Agricultural Sciences and Agribusiness scooped the first prize in the poster presentation category for her study titled: “Isolation and In Vivo Screening of Yeast Antagonists for the Control of Botyrtis Cinerea and Penicillium Expansum Of Pome Fruit.”

 

 Her poster discussed the benefits of using a yeast antagonist as a measure to reduce the use of agrochemicals on post-harvest fruit diseases.

 

 Mr Yibeltal Bayleyegn from the School Mathematical Sciences won second prize and Mr Reginald Abdul from the School of Physics third prize.

 author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

HOWARD COLLEGE LIBRARY PROMOTES OPEN ACCESS

HOWARD COLLEGE LIBRARY PROMOTES OPEN ACCESS

Literature fused with new technology has created the advancement of freely publishing research articles and journals online, a process known as: Open Access.

Howard College Library celebrated Open Access Week recently in collaboration with the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Division.

 

The week was occupied by talks on various issues encompassing digital open access and research. These talks included presentations on the South African state of open access and why researchers are reluctant to share.

 

The UKZN community was invited to participate in discussions on the topic and academics were introduced to the software technologies at their disposal for information sharing.

 

Open Access  means the free availability on the internet of scholarly publications,  and increasingly of  data sets, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to these resources without financial, legal, or technical barriers.  The only constraint on reproduction and distribution is applied in a Creative Commons license, to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. This process is entirely compatible with peer review with literature being easily and quickly disseminated to a wider readership.

Acting Deputy Head of the School for Sociology and Social Studies, Dr Ruth Hoskins, addressed the current debate on how open access is achieved in academic institutions. ‘Librarians should make a concerted effort to facilitate access to local research by way of administering and maintaining institutional repositories and free content available via a green open access.

‘University librarians should lobby their institutions to formulate a policy that mandates scholars and researchers to submit  to their institutional repositories their peer reviewed articles that have
author email : nyikana@ukzn.ac.za

THOLA ULWAZI NGEZINCWADI ZESIMANJEMANJE ENINGIZIMU AFRIKA

THOLA ULWAZI NGEZINCWADI ZESIMANJEMANJE ENINGIZIMU AFRIKA

Isiqubulo sencwadi entsha ehlelwe e-UKZN nguSolwazi Michael Chapman ebambisene noSolwazi Margaret Lenta sithi “SA Lit: Beyond 2000”. Lencwadi iligugukazi kwi-UKZN Press nomphakathi obuhambele kwa-Ike's Books & Collectables eThekwini lapho iqale ukudayisa khona.

UChapman unguSolwazi wesingisi nogxile kucwaningo, kanti uLenta unguSolwazi osemkatshubomvu kwezocwaningo osebenzela e-UKZN. Lencwadi yabo ihlola izincwadi zesimanjemanje eNingizimu Afrika ezilotshwe emuva koanyaka ka-2010.

I-SA Lit: Beyond 2000 iphenya kabanzi ngezincwadi eziqanjiwe, imidlalo ebhaliwe nehumushwayo, izinkondlo, umlando, izincwadi ezikhuluma ngezihloko ebezingakodingidwa kuqala esintwini, umbhalo olotshwe ngamaNdiya akuleli, kanye nobhalwe ngezinye izilimi ekubalwa kuzo isiZulu nesibhunu.

‘Lencwadi iyindida. Lapho amazinga emfundo ehlukahlukene kwizakhamuzi zaseNingizimu Afrika, akupheli ukulotshwa kwezincwadi,’ kusho uChapman. ‘Izindaba eziqukethwe yilencwadi zilandela umbhalo ojulile otholakala ezincwadini ezifana no“Disgrace” emuva kwezikhathi zobandlululo kuleli.’

Abafundisi base-UKZN, uSolwazI Nhlanhla Mathonsi kanye noDkt Gugu Mazibuko, ababhale isahluko esiqanjwe ngokuthi Zulu Literature: New Beginnings kulencwadi, bakubone kubalulekile ukulanda umlando wezincwadi zesintu kusukela enyakeni ka-1996. Bathe lukhulu ushintsho abalutholile ezincwadini zesintu. Abalobi sebekwazi ukubhala ngezihloko ezifana nesifo senculazi, isimo semisebenzi enqabile kuleli, kanye nokuthandana kwabantu ababulili bunye.

‘Siyathemba lencwadi izoba nomthelela omuhle kwizakhamuzi zaseNingizimu Afrika, kakhulukazi ezithanda ukufunda izincwadi zakuleli,’ kusho uLenta.

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author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UTLO HOSTS 5TH TEACHING AND LEARNING CONFERENCE

UTLO HOSTS 5TH TEACHING AND LEARNING CONFERENCE

Postgraduate teaching and learning, African scholarship and curriculum transformation were the focus of attention at the 5th Teaching and Learning Conference held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus.

The conference, hosted by the UKZN’s Teaching and Learning Office, provided a platform to enable academics and researchers within and outside the university to reflect on their practices, their curriculum, their teaching and learning strategies and approaches, and to respond to the wealth of available resources within contemporary and indigenous knowledge systems.

Delegates were urged to interrogate the way they constructed and implemented the curricula in a university classroom in the context of a student population which demonstrated significantly different learning attributes.

In her welcome address, UKZN’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Professor Renuka Vithal, asked whether university curricula were keeping pace with a rapidly changing student body, changing knowledge domains, changing South African society in a changing continent and global world of the 21st century.

Vithal argued that University curricula had so far escaped the intense public scrutiny that school curricula had undergone. She added that ironically even though academics enjoyed considerable freedom to teach and research, university curricula remained resistant to transformation, even though the context, in its broadest sense, had changed dramatically. 

Keynote speaker, Professor Noel Gough from La Trobe University in Australia, delivered a stimulating presentation on what it means to understand curricula in an age of complexity.

“Managerial Issues Associated with Service Quality - The Case of the University of KwaZulu-Natal,” was the title of a research paper which scooped the Best Paper Award at an international conference for School of Management academic Ms Vannie Naidoo.

Naidoo presented her paper at the 2011 International Conference on Business and Economic Research (ICBER) in Cairo, Egypt, recently. The conference was hosted by the International Economics Development and Research Centre (IEDRC), an independent, non-profit research and development organisation.   

Her paper focused on the importance of quality within universities and also highlighted key managerial issues associated with quality at UKZN such as developing a culture of service quality, ethics, identifying and building stakeholder relationships, and developing a customer relationship management system.

 It also identified how high levels of service quality can be used by management as a competitive advantage to increase student patronage at a campus. ‘This is important as many universities compete for students locally and internationally and service quality can be a major competitive advantage tool in the tertiary education service industry,’ said Naidoo.

Naidoo has produced four research papers which she presented at local and international conferences this year. ‘I feel that all my hard work has paid off… I’m now motivated to complete my PhD since my paper was so well received in the international community. This award has made me aware of my potential to do research.’ 

Over 110 academic papers were presented at the conference from delegates from countries including India, Mexico, Norway, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and Thailand.

The aim of the conference was to bring together researchers, scientists, engineers, and students to exchange and share their experiences, new ideas, and research results about all aspects of business and economic research, and discuss practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted.


author email : langah@ukzn.ac.za

UTLO SEMINAR TURNS THE SPOTLIGHT ON INTERNATIONALISATION

UTLO SEMINAR TURNS THE SPOTLIGHT ON INTERNATIONALISATION

UKZN continues to host a compelling series of seminars which encourage and promote the scholarship of Teaching and Learning and Institutional Research.

 

This was reiterated at a seminar on internationalisation presented on the Westville campus by Dr Damtew Teferra, Founding Director of the International Network for Higher Education in Africa.

 

Teferra hails from Boston College’s Centre for International Higher Education in the United States and is the former Director for Africa and the Middle East’s Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program based at the Institute of International Education in New York.

 

Teferra said Africa faced internationalisation not from a position of strength but rather in a situation of weakness emanating from the confluence of historical, economic, educational, financial, and paradigmatic contexts. He argued that this scenario made it ‘more imperative—and also more arduous and more complex—to actively track the challenges, address the threats, and maximise the opportunities offered by the internationalisation of Higher Education in Africa.’

 

‘Internationalisation means so many things to so many people,’ Teferra remarked. His presentation titled, “International Dimension of Higher Education in Africa: National Needs and Global Competitiveness,” attracted a host of academics to the seminar.

 

He mentioned several forces fostering internationalisation in institutions of higher learning including, proliferation of new internet (virtual) networks and consortia; growth in academic mobility of students, professors and researchers; an increase in the number of courses, programmes, and qualifications on comparative and international theory; a growing number of academic programmes being delivered across the board; and an increase in campus-based curricular activity with an international or multicultural component.

 

‘Knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN ACADEMIC PRESENTS RESEARCH FINDINGS AT SEMINAR SERIES IN THE US

UKZN ACADEMIC PRESENTS RESEARCH FINDINGS AT SEMINAR SERIES IN THE US

The South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment, Professor Julian May, recently visited New York and Washington to present his research on the Vanilla Value Chain of Madagascar and Uganda at the International Seminar Series at Marymount Manhattan College (MMC).

 May also gave a presentation titled: “Information as a Poverty Trap:  Research in East Africa” at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.  This research, based on the Poverty and Information and Communication Technologies in Urban and Rural East Africa project, was further published in the recent United Nations Chronicle (Vol. XLVIII, No 3 2011)  URL: http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/chronicle/cache/bypass/home/archive/thedigitaldividend/ictpovertynexus?print=1. 

The School of Development Studies graduate students Ms Germaine Barnard, Mr Nyiko Mabunda, and Ms Kathleen Diga, under the SARChI support, had the opportunity to attend graduate classes at the New School and Princeton University.  The lectures provided the students a chance to interact with renowned academics about research on agriculture, educational outcomes, and poverty especially with case studies from South Africa.  Finally, the UKZN team also took advantage of seeing UKZN Alumni such as Dr Mandisa Mbali at MMC  in New York, and Mr Will Girardo and Ms Leanne Sedowski in Washington which reinforces relationships with the larger UKZN community outside of South Africa. 

The purpose of the trip was to meet with United Nations and World Bank staff working on poverty, monitoring and evaluation who would help the SARChI group better understand the research trends in these fields as well as recommend potential participants for a forthcoming 2012 poverty assessment workshop.


author email : DigaK@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN HOSTS ANNUAL KZN MICROBIOLOGY SYMPOSIUM

UKZN HOSTS ANNUAL KZN MICROBIOLOGY SYMPOSIUM

About 130 delegates attended the South African Society of Microbiology’s (SASM) KwaZulu-Natal 23rd Annual symposium hosted by UKZN.

Fifty presentations were made by honours and B. Tech students from the Durban University of Technology, University of Zululand and UKZN’s Westville and Pietermaritzburg campuses.

The research presentations were held in parallel at two venues at the Innovation Centre at the Howard College campus, based on the eight different research themes which allowed students to focus on different fields of microbiology such as medical, wastewater, veterinary food, and industrial microbiology. They also focused on bio-conservation, biological control, and virology, among other aspects.

UKZN microbiologist and Head of School of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, Professor Bala Pillay, opened the research symposium reminding delegates that SASM was a forum for peer evaluation which continued to recognise and motivate junior scientists.

‘The symposium served to provide a unique forum to showcase the diversity of research projects undertaken by Honours students within various tertiary institutions in KwaZulu-Natal and also promotes interdisciplinary and inter-institutional; synergy and collaboration among our researchers,’ said Pillay.

The Director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH), Dr William Bishai, gave the plenary lecture on the day. He presented an update on the TB pandemic and questioned what type of generation the scientists of today would be known as regarding TB treatment.

Bishai concurred with Pillay’s statement on how students needed to further their studies, pursue postgraduate degrees and fill the shortage of skilled microbiologists. With this in mind, Bishai highlighted K-RITH’s program to enrol junior scientists in their new building at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine.

UKZN's Emeritus Professor Suleman Dangor was the co-editor of a book, The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims by the late Achmat Davids, launched at Cape Town's Timbuktu Books earlier this year. 

Shop proprietor, Saliegh Salaam, said he was extremely honoured to host the community and delighted to introduce the speakers. What followed was an erudite discussion with the book's editors, Hein Willemse and Dangor, who were joined by Professor Muhammed Haron of the University of Botswana.  

Davids wrote The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims after coming across ancient Arabic scrolls he could not decipher until working out that the writing was in Afrikaans. This led him to research the establishment of Arabic-Afrikaans texts and the emergence of Cape Muslim Afrikaans. 

Davids found that at the time when Dutch was still being spoken in the Cape, the Malay people were already speaking and writing Afrikaans. Davids (59) passed away in 1998 shortly after completing the text but with the help of Editors Willemse and Dangor the book was launched.


author email : dangors@ukzn.ac.za

KZN’S PROMISE OF PREVENTION

KZN’S PROMISE OF PREVENTION

Audiences on UKZN campuses recently heard the latest news on HIV/AIDS prevention and scientific breakthroughs in the fight against the disease during talks presented by the Director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (Caprisa), Professor Salim Abdool Karim, and his wife, infectious disease epidemiologist, Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim.

The world renowned couple have dedicated their research efforts to the HIV epidemic and have won numerous awards for their work.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim’s presentation to an audience comprising the UKZN community and Westville Girls’ High students was titled: “The Promise of Prevention.”  He explained how the virus had transferred to human hosts from African green monkeys and how it entered human cells using the DNA machinery to make billions of new progeny viruses to ensure its existence in the bloodstream.

‘HIV is undoubtedly one of the most frail viruses to infect the human race as it is maladapted to its host since a successful parasite does not kill the host. Nevertheless this virus has caused grave suffering in humans since it was first found three decades ago. By far the most affected in the African HIV epidemic are young women,’ noted Abdool Karim.

He stressed the importance of prevention rather than treatment or the possibility of a cure ‘The real telling story of HIV lies within women and girls. Girls in their sexual debut at the ages of 15-19 years are nearing their most infectious age, whilst men at 25-29 years are at their peak. This is unique to Southern Africa, and tells of how girls are having sex with older men.’

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim told an audience at the Pietermaritzburg campus that KwaZulu-Natal was at the epicentre of the epidemic with the Mgungundlovu district being one of the most infected populations in the world. ‘South Africa hosts 0.7 percent of the world’s population and carries 10 percent of HIV infections,’ she informed.

‘About one in three pregnant women in our country population is HIV positive; 39.5 percent in KwaZulu-Natal and 40.9 percent in the uMgungundlovu district. As South Africans, it is important to be aware of our epidemic and find ways to customise this information to deal with the epidemic appropriately.

EThekwini Municipality’s Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE) and its academic partners - UKZN, the Durban University of Technology (DUT), and the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) - presented the second Built Environment Seminar recently.

The Built Environment Seminar Series (BESS) is an initiative which aims to enhance the sharing of expertise, knowledge and resources between academia and municipal officials.

DUT took the lead in hosting the seminar with the support of MILE, MUT and UKZN. The aim of the seminar was to deepen the understanding of the science of climate change and its implications for the built environment. The session facilitated a significant channel of communication between academics and practitioners on responses towards managing the changes in the environment.

The seminar opened with a joint welcome by Mr Derek Naidoo, Deputy City Manager of Procurement and Infrastructure at eThekwini Municipality, and Professor Ahmed Cassim Bawa, DUT’s Vice-Chancellor.

Naidoo acknowledged the importance of the collaborative partnership both for the city and its academic institutions while Bawa said universities were a vital component for the progression of our society, emphasizing that the seminar was a further step towards strengthening the link between the city and Higher Education.

Professor Theo Andrew, UKZN’s Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, delivered the purpose of session, reflecting on the importance of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the city and its institutions. He added that this was an opportunity for Higher Education and the city to explore ways of addressing issues affecting Durban.

Senior officials from the municipality, university lecturers and students also attended the seminar.

The Community Development Association (CDA) is now up and running on the Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses.

The CDA is a student-run, voluntary community outreach programme established in 2002 on the Edgewood campus by lecturer, Dr Thabo Msibi. Its main goal is to mobilize and develop student leaders around social issues, while uplifting learners from disadvantaged schools in rural and urban townships.  It does this by running a range of projects as diverse as Masakhane (Let’s build each other), public speaking and debating, HIV/AIDS education, bursaries, arts, culture and sports as well as a maths tutoring project.

‘These projects are run each year to help create a society that is literate, uplifted and striving towards excellence,’ explained CDA executive member, Mr SD Nzimande.

The CDA established itself on the Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses this year with the object of addressing the imbalances of the past by providing disadvantaged schools in the areas with resources not previously at their disposal.

This year the Pietermaritzburg branch was able to reach out to 13 schools.   All projects were facilitated by volunteer UKZN students, who visited the schools.  Learners also came onto campus for various project events.

CDA’s Mathematics Tutoring Project (MTP), which is funded in the main by UKZN’s Faculty of Science and Agriculture and supported by the Faculty’s School of Mathematics, was initiated with the broad vision of eradicating mathematical illiteracy.  The MTP project targets Grade 11 learners from secondary schools around Pietermaritzburg.  Tutors are UKZN students.

The School of Development Studies (SDS) Poverty and Inequality Masters participated in a project titled, “Social Networking for Academic Purposes - otherwise known as the SNAP pilot” - which explored the opportunities of using new online web tools for teaching and learning. 

The results were recently presented by Professor Julian May of SDS at the University Teaching and Learning conference in Westville. The findings showed that when Skype and Moodle are used effectively, students indicated that these social networking tools helped to complement their learning. 

During the term, the class discussed issues of inequality, conditional social grants and poverty indicators through virtual means of Skype with Professors from University of Bath, the New School in New York and Berkeley University. The videos of the class discussion can be found at:  http://www.youtube.com/user/povertyUKZN. Class notes and interaction also took place using the UKZN Moodle platform and a UKZN Poverty and Inequality Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/PovertyUKZN).  

This project was supported by the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) Applied Poverty Reduction Assessment and the Teaching and Learning (TIQEG) grant. 


author email : DigaK@ukzn.ac.za

UNITE(ING) AGAINST LITTER!

UNITE(ING) AGAINST LITTER!

Gloomy weather didn’t deter 28 participants in the University Intensive Tuition for Engineers (UNITE) Programme as they enthusiastically swept through the Howard College campus armed with brightly coloured rubber gloves and garbage bags.

This was all part of an anti-litter drive to reduce students’ lifestyle footprint on the environment, and educate learners on more effective waste management.

As part of a generic i-Care initiative which aims to raise students’ awareness of environmental and social issues, the anti-litter campaign, besides beautifying the campus, is also part of the build up to the all important United Nations Conference of Parties (COP 17) climate change conference taking place in Durban later this year.


author email : shabangus@ukzn.ac.za

23RD ANNUAL UKZN JAZZ JOL IMPRESSES

23RD ANNUAL UKZN JAZZ JOL IMPRESSES

The Centre of Jazz and Popular Music (CJPM) presented the 23rd Annual UKZN Jazz Jol featuring winners from the 2010 and 2011 Standard Bank Young Artists in Jazz.

The purpose of the Jol was to raise funds for the Ronnie Madonsela Scholarship, which funds various needs of disadvantaged jazz students at UKZN. The Jol also exposes the artistic talents of students from the School of Music while celebrating jazz. It is also an opportunity to host renowned South African and international artists and have them grace the Durban music scene at CJPM.

The 17-piece UKZN Big Band conducted by Head of School, Dr Mageshan Naidoo, performed on the night. The band featured Durban artists, Jeff Judge and Martin Sigamoney. Ms Susan Berry’s and Mr Demi Fernandez’s ensembles delighted audiences, making the Jol a memorable event.

As anticipated, the Standard Bank Young Artists in Jazz gave impressive performances for the crowd, performing pieces from their newly-released albums. The 2010 winner was vocalist Melanie Scholtz, and Bokani Dyer was the 2011 winner. Lecturer, Mr Neil Gonsalves said: ‘They both provided wonderful and inspiring performances and were a pleasure to work with.’

Dyer is an acclaimed pianist with creative and technical artistry in most genres of jazz. His performance at the Jol further proved his talent is a lasting gem in South Africa’s music industry.

Scholtz is a multi-talented vocalist who composes, writes, directs, and is a lyricist. She has performed on stages abroad and with top South African Jazz artists. She has won a variety of awards including the Old Mutual Best Jazz Encounters Vocalist in 2002. Scholtz graduated cum laude from the University of Cape Town for her Performers Diploma in Opera.

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