The Alan Paton Centre and Struggle Archives, based on UKZN's Pietermaritzburg campus, recently celebrated the opening of a new paper conservation studio which has been a work in progress for the past four years. ‘It is the fulfilment of a long-held dream,’ said Senior Library Officer for the Alan Paton Centre (APC), Dr Estelle Liebenberg-Barkhuizen. 

The APC is one of only a handful of small archives in the country to boast its own conservation studio. 

Fondly referred to as the ‘shoestring studio’ because it was constructed with limited resources, the paper conservation studio was necessary to cope with the increase in work from the Campbell Collections and other UKZN special collections.  It was constructed predominantly from recycled materials including ancient ceramic basins from agriculture laboratories, a table, a plan chest, a drying rack from an old conservation studio at Howard College, and units from an old food laboratory on Pietermaritzburg’s Life Sciences campus. 

The studio was constructed on a side verandah, the last possible space in the APC which could be enclosed.  Manuscript Librarian, Mrs Jewel Koopman explained that permission had to be sought from Amafa, the provincial heritage agency for KwaZulu-Natal, before any renovations could take place as the APC is a protected building. 

Paper conservation is a delicate art which involves the restoration, preservation and long-term conservation of valuable documents to ensure their continued existence and to prevent further degradation. 

Paper conservation work started on a part-time basis at the APC in 2007 when Liebenberg-Barkhuizen embarked on restoring a box of Liberal Party papers, which had been severely damaged by water while being kept in storage during the apartheid years.  It is envisaged that in the long-term, she will devote all her time to this important work.

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UKZN's School of Life Sciences student Ms Jessica Escobar-Porras has been making waves with her doctoral research on the population structure of certain shark species, primarily based on their reproductive strategy. The results of the research will hopefully lead to an improvement in the conservation strategies employed to protect these marine creatures.

Escobar-Porras has been in South Africa just six years but already boasts a very diverse academic profile. She completed her undergraduate degree at Hawaii Pacific University in the United States and studied for her Master's degree at Rhodes University. Currently registered for her doctoral degree at UKZN, she is being supervised and mentored by Angus MacDonald.

The research involves an examination of the relationship between population structures and reproductive strategies present in sharks inhabiting temperate and subtropical waters. She hopes to make inferences based on the variance between ovoviparous, oviparous and viviparous shark populations. The three species that are being used in her study are ragged-tooth, black tip and catsharks.

While her study focuses primarily on the KZN coastal region, samples and information will also be drawn from Madagascar, Reunion, Mozambique and the South African West Coast.  Escobar-Porras has been assisted in her study by a team of specialist free divers from Ocean Encounters, who have been conducting sample collection through the use of a non-lethal biopsy gun. In addition, Mark Addison, a local shark-spotting expert from Blue Wilderness, has aided her by facilitating trips to Aliwal Shoal near Umkomaas.

An interesting element of this research project is the level of international involvement from various stakeholders in the exploration of an innovative conservation strategy. In addition, information obtained from field trips involves the use of free diving techniques – essentially, divers do not use any breathing apparatus or cages popularly associated with shark diving.

Escobar-Porras, who hails from Medellin in Colombia, says she chose to study in South Africa because of its amazing biodiversity. She came to South Africa to learn techniques and obtain specialist knowledge in a country very fortunate in terms of its shark population and hopes to set up her own institute for marine studies and conservation in Colombia, in partnership with her South African colleagues.

Second year Social Science student, Ms Melissa Naude, who is diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder, is taking part in the Big Autism Walk to raise funds and awareness for autism, a neuro-developmental disability which impairs social interaction and communication.

The walk started on the Durban beachfront on 31 March and ends on 9 June in Muizenberg in the Western Cape. Eight walkers will cover a distance of more than 2000km in about two months.

The walk coincides with World Autism Awareness Month in April. ‘Apart from raising funds and creating awareness, I am walking to give hope to those affected by Autism and their families. I really hope this walk will help create a more empathetic, supportive and inclusive society for those with Autism. People affected by autism and their families need to be able to live without fear of being marginalised and ridiculed,’ said Naude.

Despite her condition, Naude has excelled academically obtaining four distinctions in matric and she recently completed the Midmar Mile for the fourth time. In preparation for the event, Naude walked about 20km a day on the road. She also swam and exercised in a gym with the assistance of a personal trainer.  She also increased her intake of fruits and vegetables.

‘My mom is a bit concerned about me doing the walk, because it will be a physical and emotional challenge. Some people react with utter disbelief or shock when I tell them about the walk but most of my friends and family are really supportive. I will miss my family and friends and my dogs. The one thing I will definitely miss about home is my mom’s cooking,’ she said.

UKZN Lecturer in Food Security, Dr Joyce Chitja, has initiated an exciting research partnership with Cornell University in the United States.

Chitja, who is attached to the School of Agriculture, Earth and Environmental Sciences on the Pietermaritzburg campus, explained how the partnership came about:  ‘In July last year I was afforded a year-long sabbatical and welcomed it as an opportunity to establish a link with an international mentor in my area of interest, which is market access for small farmers involved in vegetable production.

‘I spent close to three months at Cornell University in New York working on innovations for market access for the smallholder farming sector.’

Chitja chose Cornell as it is the home of the renowned International Institute of Food, Agriculture and Development, led by agricultural economist, Professor Ralph Christy.  ‘I knew it was important for me to spend time with the Cornell team to establish a partnership and get researchers in South Africa and the USA working together.’

Her other South African mentor in this area of research is Professor Mohamed Karaan of Stellenbosch University, who also played an important role in her visit to Cornell.

On her return to South Africa, Chitja immediately initiated plans to bring the Cornell scientists out to UKZN.  Her efforts bore fruit when Christy, along with horticultural scientist and Leader of the small farms programme at Cornell, Professor Anu Rangarajan, and independent soil scientist and Canadian consultant, Dr Yamily Zavala, visited KwaZulu-Natal last month.  

‘The Cornell team came to UKZN and KwaZulu-Natal in particular to gain a feel for the issues we are working on,’ said Chitja.  ‘We are hoping for a partnership that will include research as well as staff and student exchange.’

Ms Hazel Msweli and Ms Pinky Khoza of Durban were congratulated by UKZN’s College of Health Sciences for making many people aware that Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease.


Msweli and Khoza, who were fully cured of TB by adhering to medication for the duration of the treatment period, addressed the public at a Zero TB event to commemorate World TB Day.


The event was held at Prince Cyril Zulu Communicable Disease Centre (PCZCDC)) through a partnership between the University, PCZCDC and the eThekwini Municipality’s Department of Health (DOH).


Uniting patients, researchers and health practitioners, the Zero TB initiative aimed to empower and encourage communities, patients and care-givers to reduce the TB burden.


A question posed by Dr Ayo Olowolagba, Deputy Head of the Municipality's Communicable Diseases Division, was: Are you playing your part in achieving Zero TB? The overriding message was: TB is preventable and curable.


Msweli and Khoza shared moving testimonies on how they overcame the disease and acknowledged how family and friends were equally affected.


‘As a victim, there is nothing worse than seeing a TB patient sit at home and not go to the clinic to get treatment,’ said Khoza. ‘Go out and seek help!’


In her opening remarks, Dr Nomakhosi Gxagxisa, Head of Health for eThekwini Municipality, expressed concern that the city of Durban had an overriding burden of TB infection.


Management studies Honours student Ms Kavita Gosai (22) recently handed over to Durban Port authorities her research titled: “Durban Port Managers Applied Strategies in Managing the Reconstruction of the Durban Harbour Mouth.”

The dissertation, supervised by Ms Lindiwe Kunene, is a study on the widening and deepening project of the harbour mouth, one of numerous expansion, renovation and restructuring projects at the harbour.

This project tender, which consisted of three phases, was awarded to Belgian dredging and hydraulic group DEME by Transnet and was completed on 30 March 2010.

The research strengthens the partnership between the University and the National Port Authority and could be used for future projects within the harbour as it is undergoing huge expansion.

Through assistance from the Port stakeholders and former School of Economics Head, Professor Trevor Jones, Gosai was able to complete a managerial process assessment used for this project which was inspired by the Durban Harbour’s operations.

‘Growing up I use to see ships coming in and out of the harbour giving the perception of  the facility being well managed but what could be going on behind the scenes is another story. This fascination has been the driving force behind the research. I have always wanted to find out what it takes to run and manage such a giant operation as the Durban Harbour which is constantly developing,' said Gosai.

‘Through this research I have learnt a lot about the harbour's infrastructure development, history and background.’

‘When I was a kid I never thought of writing, writers or anything in that field. Writing only came much later after I had read a lot of funny stories about growing up in villages and townships and thinking: “I can do this”.’

Now with two novels under his belt, UKZN’s Mr Thando Mgqolozana, who works at the University’s Research Office, admits he still feels pretty much the same except he’s now more confident.

His confidence and brilliant writing has seen him participating as one of 18 writers in the 15th Time of the Writer festival hosted by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts.

‘We write to be read. We like to know that we’re read. Time of the Writer, like other such platforms, affords us an opportunity to interface with readers. We also like to meet up with other writers so that, for once, we feel “normal” - because most of the time we’re a million miles from “normal”.’

Mgqolozana was born in Cape Town and grew up in the Eastern Cape.  A graduate of the University of the Western Cape, he was elected as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar and also received the Golden Key International Honour for scholastic achievement, and was selected as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans.

His two novels have enjoyed success both locally and internationally. The first, A Man Who is Not a Man (2009), is a coming-of-age story which recounts a young man’s traumatic journey through a botched circumcision and traditional initiation gone irrecoverably awry.

This debut novel enjoyed critical success and was long-listed for the International IMPAC
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Representatives from Anglo American, one of the largest mining companies in the world, recently visited UKZN’s Howard College campus to inform Land Surveying students about career opportunities existing for them in the mining industry.

At a cocktail function hosted by Anglo American at the School of Engineering's Murray Lecture Theatre, Mr Angus Bradford  - a UKZN alumnus and a Principal Surveyor at the company - spoke candidly of his personal experience as a student,  a Land Surveyor, and ultimately as a Mine Surveyor.

Bradford said Anglo American placed a huge investment in students they sponsored. Apart from scholarships and funding for university education, students affiliated with the company would also be formally mentored and gain valuable experience working at the organisation’s various sites during vacations. He said  this process provided guidance to the students and could also possibly open doors to further career opportunities.

Ms Liesl Petersen, Anglo American’s Learning and Development Practitioner, gave students an idea of the bursaries and opportunities the company provided. She said Land Surveying graduates possessed scarce skills and Anglo American would make significant investments to secure their services.

The students were impressed with the presentations and were given an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the company and mine surveying in general. After the formal presentations, guests were treated to refreshments while they interacted with the Anglo American representatives.

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The School of Applied Human Sciences has welcomed three new Lecturers - Professor Robert Peacock, Dr Jéan Steyn and Dr Shaka Yesufu - to the Criminology Discipline.

All three, who are keen to impart knowledge to their eager undergraduate and postgraduate criminology students, say they chose UKZN because it is rated as one of the top three universities in South Africa.

‘I was particularly impressed with the research output and national rating of the university together with its celebration of African identity,’ said Peacock, previously the Head of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at Monash University in Australia.

He is an Executive Member of the World Society of Victimology which has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and the Council of Europe.

‘I believe a university should be a public purpose institution and community engagement should demonstrate to our students that there is nothing as practical as good theory,’ said Peacock.

According to Peacock, who appears regularly as a Forensic Criminologist during court proceedings, the discipline area will provide expert knowledge to the students to deal effectively with crime and to promote a just society.   

Steyn was previously employed as an Associate Professor at the Safety and Security Management Department at the Tshwane University of Technology. He was also a member of the South African Police Service for 10 years and holds an array of qualifications including a Doctorate and a Masters in Policing.

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Africa Inside Out – Stories, Tales and Testimonies is the title of a new book initiated by the Centre for Creative Arts in collaboration with UKZN Press and launched at the 15th Time of the Writer International Writers Festival.

The anthology comprises works by previous participants in the Time of the Writer Festival who offer refreshing contemporary responses to the varied contexts of our continent.  

A culmination of stories that speak to the heart of contemporary Africa, Africa Inside Out allows the reader to journey through quirky interpretations of oral tradition, to expectations of digital possibility, humorous renditions of old and new conundrums, and more.

Edited by UKZN’s Emeritus Professor of English Michael Chapman, this anthology includes contributions from  the following authors: Ms Doreen Baingana, Ms Lauren Beukes, Ms Elana Bregin, Professor Marie Darrieussecq, Mr Max du Preez, Mr Ronnie Govender, Mr Oscar Hemer, Mr Deon Meyer, Ms Kirsten Miller, Ms Kagiso Lesego Molope, Dr Kobus Moolman, Mr Andile Mngxitama, Professor Sally-Ann Murray, Professor Patrice Nganang, Dr Kole Omotoso, Mr Zachariah Rapola, Professor Albie Sachs, Ms Angelina Sithebe and Professor Chika Unigwe.

‘Writers, who previously participated in the Time of the Writer Festival, were invited to transcend the images of the global newscast; to offer flashes of the new and the possible. Max du Preez recasts the San/Bushman oral tale of Elephant and Rain,’ said Chapman.

‘Somewhere in Sally-Ann Murray’s phantasmagorical Turtles are the trace of the mythic terrapin whose shell supported a continent; but here the past morphs into the present-day. Kobus Moolman alludes to urban intrusions upon childhood innocence, in which the men in "blue overalls and yellow helmets" bequeath to the village not only the progress of electrification, but also the curse of sexual predation.’

UKZN’s Dr Kobus Moolman submitted his story Extracts from a Dispensable Life to the editors when he heard about the project as he
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UKZN’s Professor Salim Abdool Karim is to take the helm as President of the South African Medical Research Council. The appointment was announced by the MRC Board Chairperson, Professor Lizo Mazwai.

Professor Abdool Karim will take up the position in a part-time capacity for an interim period beginning on 2 April. On announcement of the appointment, Professor Mazwai said: ‘I am pleased to welcome Professor Abdool Karim as the Interim President of the South African Medical Research Council. As an academic, clinician and key strategic leader in science, Professor Abdool Karim is the perfect choice to take the reins in leading medical research in South Africa. He will bring his expertise in science and policy along with him, which will further strengthen the MRC’s health research reputation as well as build on its impact on everyday health in South Africa.’

Abdool Karim is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Director of CAPRISA - Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa. He is also Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University and Associate Member of The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. Speaking about his recent appointment, Abdool Karim said he is looking forward to leading the MRC.

He was co-Principal Investigator of the CAPRISA 004 trial of tenofovir gel which provided proof of concept that antiretroviral drugs can prevent sexually transmitted HIV infection and herpes simplex virus type 2 in women. He is involved in the development, as Patent co-Inventor, of clade C HIV vaccines and led the first HIV vaccine trial in South Africa. His clinical research on TB-HIV treatment has impacted on and continues to shape the international guidelines on the clinical management of co-infected patients.

He is the recipient of the TWAS Prize in Medical Sciences from The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, the Drug Information Association’s President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in World Health, the South African National Science & Technology Forum Award, the Olusegun Obasanjo Prize from the African Academy of Sciences, the “Science for Society” Gold Medal Award from the Academy of Science in South Africa, Gold Medal Award from the South African Medical Association and the Outstanding Senior African Scientist Award in 2011.

Good governance and macroeconomic policy were the focal points of presentations made by Dr Maurice Dassah, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Management, IT and Governance, at the Conference of the SA Association for Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) at the University of the Free State recently.

Dassah’s insightful papers addressed the central issue of governance and the South African government’s attempts at addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The first paper, titled: “South Africa’s performance on the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance since 2007”, analysed how the country has fared on the four criteria of the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance: Safety and Rule of Law; Participation and Human Rights; Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development.

South Africa’s best performance has been in Participation and Human Rights, followed by Safety and Rule of Law; Human Development and Sustainable Economic Opportunity. ‘It is evident that South Africa is doing well in the area of human rights, but we need to improve in the area of safety, which is still shaky,’ said Dr Dassah. The Centre for African Studies at the University of the Free State has requested a copy of this paper for its research agenda.

The second paper: “From Reconstruction and Development to New Growth Path: Shifting Sands of Macroeconomic Policy in Post-Apartheid South Africa”, critiques strategies that the African National Congress-led government has adopted since 1994 to assuage the socio-economic consequences of apartheid manifested in rampant poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The paper notes the pro-poor stance of the Freedom Charter-inspired Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), the market-driven position of Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) strategy and the employment-creation focus of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA).

Dassah also indicated the New Growth Path was the government’s latest policy initiative aimed at addressing unemployment, poverty and inequality by unlocking opportunities in the private sector. ‘The policy is still in a nascent stage and critical evaluation is immature. Much poverty, unemployment and inequality remain and government is continuously striving to find solutions,’ he said.

Residents at Kenneth Gardens in Durban many of whom suffer from chronic illnesses and disabilities, will soon have access to their own on-site clinic offering services in homeopathy, community nursing and nutrition.

This is thanks to the much-anticipated Kenneth Gardens Intervention Project, a unique collaborative initiative between UKZN and the Durban University of Technology (DUT), which will develop the clinic as its first major outreach project.

Kenneth Gardens, located in Umbilo, Durban, is the largest housing development in the city and comprises 282 units spread over 28 blocks, accommodating about 1 500 people.  Project Leader, Professor Monique Marks from UKZN’s Community Development Programme, explained that an extensive demographic survey of the community’s residents revealed that, despite other concerns such as unemployment, education and crime, the number one priority need was accessible health care. 

From 11 April, people living at Kenneth Gardens will have their own on-site clinic offering services in homeopathy, community nursing and nutrition.  The clinic will rely heavily on an existing home care-based non-profit organisation, Senzokuhle, for administrative management and co-ordination of services.

Initially the clinic will operate out of a committee room at Kenneth Gardens for one day a week.  However, this will be a temporary arrangement until its permanent residence, a building leased from the eThekwini Housing Department, has been renovated.

This lease agreement is part of a Memorandum of Understanding between UKZN and eThekwini Housing which will be signed in the coming weeks.  Marks and her colleagues are extremely appreciative of their partnership agreement with eThekwini and consider it ‘an acknowledgement of our relationship with the city.’

The clinic still has to be registered formally with the KZN Health Department to allow for registered nurses and doctors to operate and dispense medication from the clinic.  author email :



Still on a high after attending the Jaipur Literature Festival in India this year, UKZN’s media studies Lecturer Ms Shubnum Khan was one of 18 prolific writers featured at the 15th Time of the Writer Festival.

The festival was presented by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts at the Sneddon Theatre on the Howard College campus in collaboration with one of the funders, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

‘Every year as a student I would watch as posters went up for the festival around March but I never imagined that I would be a part of it. I recall nights sitting at the Sneddon watching in awe as local and international authors made their way to our city to weave their tales for us.’

Khan’s debut novel Onion Tears, tells the tale of three generations of Indian Muslim women living in South Africa. It is a story of love and loss and the things the women have to endure.

‘I never planned to write a novel like this. I thought I would have written something more funny with talking cats and invisible worlds. But, in retrospect, I realise my mother had six older sisters and I have three and it now seems inevitable that I would write about the pain and joy of this community. Indian women are so dear and work so hard; they are stories waiting to burst onto a page with their cooking and heartaches and hard work.’

Khan’s discussion of her novel and the literary landscape was well-received by the public during the festival’s events “Writers Speak out” and “Spaces and Places” that saw large crowds attentively listening and engaging in discussions with her.

As part of the festival programme, she also visited St Henry’s Marist Brothers College in Glenwood where learners eagerly listened to her talk about her book.

Khan’s whirlwind success all began when her delightful story was shortlisted for the Penguin Prize for African Writing in 2010.

UKZN’s Professor Rozena Maart and Dr Antje Schuhmann of the University of Witwatersrand recently discussed their works dealing with issues of “whiteness and colonial amnesia” at a well-attended gender studies public lecture.

Their presentations were accompanied by slides of Photographer Michelle Booth's photographic work on whiteness and colonial amnesia.

Both presenters spoke about their personal backgrounds and how they perceived and felt about whiteness and colonial amnesia, which resulted in members of the audience sharing their views on the topic often highlighting their own personal stories and struggles.

Maart discussed her upbringing in District Six in Cape Town in the Slave Quarter with ethnic Black, Coloured and Cape Malay people, which led to her penning her fiction piece: Rosa’s District Six. She was among numerous people forcibly moved from that area when it was declared for “whites only” in 1965 and resulted in her chronicling this in essays, fiction writing and poetry.

Maart pointed out that her non-fiction works drew on Fanonian explorations of consciousness, Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis and Derridean semiotics of traces and absence. ‘Steve Biko’s advancement of Black Consciousness also brought to the fore the dynamics of repression exemplified by white normativity,’ she said.

Schuhmann said her family upbringing made her more responsible and able to acknowledge the needs of others. As a teenager growing up and attending a suburban high school in Munich, Germany, she had become involved in various school and political issues.

When she finished high school, she became an activist. ‘Out of these types of political activities in Germany with the re-unification of the country after the fall of the Berlin wall, I was influenced by a theoretical understanding of feminist d
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Ikolishi lezempilo (Health Sciences - CHS) libambe umkhando wokujwayeza abasebenzi ngezindlela ezilandelwayo  ekuthuthukeni emsebenzini wabo.

UDkt Florence Southway-Ajulu ovela emyangweni wakwa Quality Promotion and Assurance (QPA) e-UKZN uthule lomkhando obizwa ngokuthi iPromotion and Constructing Teaching Portfolios eMandela School of Medicine.

USouthway-Ajulu utshele abafundisi ukuthi kufanele baqoqe ubufakazi bomsebenzi wabo beqala eNyuvesi, egcizelela ukuthi lesisikhwama samaphephaphepha siyindlela yokubheka umsebenzi umuntu asewenzile.

I-UKZN iyakuklomelisa ukwenzisisa ekufundiseni kanti isikhwama samaphephaphepha siyithuluzi elihle lokwethula ubufakazi ngomsebenzi umuntu awenzile ukuze athole ukukhushulwa esikhundleni.

‘Ukufundisa kanzima kufanele kuklonyeliswe, ngalokho kufanele kuqoshwe ubufakazi,’ kusho u Southway-Ajulu.

USouthway-Ajulu uthi kufanele baqale ukubheka umsebenzi wabo bazijwayeze nalendlela esetshenziswayo ukuze bakhuphuke ezikhundleni. Baqinisekise ukuba bakhetha izinto ezibalulekile uma sebehlanganisa isikhwama.

Lomkhando uvule nethuba lokuthi abafundisi bakwazi ukuxoxa nabavela kwaQPA ukuze bezwe ngezindlela ezahlukene abangazisebenzisa ukukhushulelwa ezikhundleni, bacele nokusekelwa okufanele ezikoleni ngocwaningo lwabo.

Click here for english version
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‘Dating girls is just like dating rocks.  By dating both of them you find out how old they are!’ Following these words, Dr Tanja Reinhardt, Co-ordinator of UKZN’s Science and Technology Education Centre (STEC), had high school pupils eating out of her hands during the National Science Week Festival held in Grahamstown recently.

Pupils who attended her workshop on Geological Time, travelled back 4.5 billion years as they explored geological and human developments from the time of the formation of the earth to the first automobile.

Reinhardt handed the students cards with pictures of things such as stone tools, mammals, dinosaurs and the first bacteria.  Using the cards, they created a visual timeline, matching each picture to a date.  The youngsters’ responses to the timelines ranged from heated debate to light-hearted chatter.

Students from Mida High School in Idutwya clapped and shouted with joy each time they got a sequence and answer right.  ‘It was so much fun,’ said Anje Bele. ‘I liked the discussion part,’ enthused Yanda Matshaya.

‘This has helped the learners and now they know the practical side of the theory,’ said their teacher, Ms Weziwe Bazela.

Reinhardt has been running workshops at National Science Week Festival for the past six years.  As Co-ordinator of UKZN’s Science and Technology Education Centre, she is no stranger to fun and interactive teaching methods that bring science to life and her workshops are always popular with her young fans.

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The Discipline of Clinical Anatomy at UKZN's College of Health Sciences hosted the first of its Journal Club Seminars on 22 March.


The Journal Club seminars take place monthly with the venue rotating between the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine and Westville campus.  The seminars form part of the Discipline's activities aimed at educating, informing and keeping in touch with relevant changes in the dynamic academic circuit.


Attracting staff, students and invited guests, the Seminar provided an excellent platform for networking, promoting support and collegiality between staff and students, and facilitating critical debate on clinical anatomy research and publications.


A group of Honours students and other researchers in the Discipline were excited to present at the seminar along with Clinical Anatomy Lectures, Professor Mohamed Haffajee and Dr Onyemaechi Azu.


Haffajee presented a journal article titled: “Internal Anal Sphincter: An Anatomical Study”, whilst Azu's presentation was on his three-year study: “Stereologic and Morphometric Testicular changes following Cyto-toxic Drug Treatment in an experimental animal model”.


Honours students, Ms Nerissa Naidoo and Ms Sendika Ishwarkumar, said they found the seminar both informative and very productive.


The seminar series will soon move from a monthly to a fortnightly schedule. Staff, students and interested parties are encouraged to attend.
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Student Response Systems and Enabling Virtual Organisations (EVO) were under the spotlight at the first in the 2012 Forum series organised by the office of the Dean of Teaching and Learning in the College of Law and Management Studies.

Presenter Mr Mohamed Sheik of ICT spoke on how the clicker response system, already a major tool in US universities, is used in a variety of ways to enhance teaching and learning, especially in large classes.

Sheik began his presentation with a YouTube video on using clickers in the classroom, and then took a number of questions from the academics present.

He also explained that the system could work equally well with any smart device like an iPad or smart phone which allowed web browsing, and while the clicker technology was already being employed by some schools in the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, the University was still exploring the cost efficiency of the various devices.

Sheik also pointed out that both clickers and smart devices could be used simultaneously in one venue.

EVO was introduced as an alternative to Skype, and Sheik made the case that some of its features could make it a better alternative for one-to-one conferencing.

Professor Kriben Pillay, Dean of Teaching and Learning, pointed out in his opening remarks that there would be a variety of teaching and learning presentations throughout the year by presenters from both within the College and from outside. The intention was to open up stimulating conversations about teaching and learning best practices for the various disciplines.

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The Centre for Creative Arts hosted the Time of the Writer festival which saw one of the participant's Mr Bahaa Taher sharing his views on the Post Arab Spring and the state of literary Freedom of Expression in his native land of Egypt at UKZN’s Centre for Civil Society.

The presentation attracted many interested people who also shared their opinions on Egypt’s literary Freedom of Expression. Many factors were pinpointed and discussed such as censorship and authoritarian power.

Taher transported the audience back in time as he gave a brief historical background of Egypt’s literary landscape before delving into the current state of literary freedom there.

‘It is premature to pass judgment or to draw conclusions about the near future of Egyptian or Arabic literature in the countries that witnessed an Arab Spring. In Egypt it is time to ask serious questions rather than to give definite answers,’ he said.

He pointed out that there was still a process of change characterised by many ups and downs in the country. The transitional authority in power was headed by a military council and a newly elected parliament led by hard-line Islamists.

According to Taher, both the Military and Islamists are not cordial to Freedom of Expression. ‘It is true that there is no censorship officially imposed, but censorship is not the greatest danger facing Freedom of expression. Writers all over the world throughout time have been able to bypass censorship and express themselves.’

Taher said writers always found ways to manoeuvre around areas of censorship. The real threat now was the possibility that the public would be manipulated in the name of religion to create what he called “street censorship” against free-thinking and free
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