ADV MADONSELA DELIVERS THE VICTORIA AND GRIFFITHS MXENGE MEMORIAL LECTURE

ADV MADONSELA DELIVERS THE VICTORIA AND GRIFFITHS MXENGE MEMORIAL LECTURE

Public Protector Thulisile Madonsela called for academic research into the role of the public protector and the meaning of good governance during her address at the 10th annual Victoria and Griffiths Mxenge Memorial Lecture and the School of Law Student Awards Ceremony at the Howard College campus.

Madonsela defined the role of the public protector as helping to ensure that there was proper planning, budgeting, prioritisation and good governance in the affairs of the state in South Africa.

‘If I could have my way I would have academics research this entity as we need their view. I believe UKZN has the ability to do this. We should look no further than your rich history of respect for human rights and pull out all stops to see to it that all South Africans enjoy the full protection of the law,’ said Madonsela.

The annual Lecture commemorates the significant role Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge – who were both lawyers – played in the liberation struggle.

Dean and Head of the School of Law at UKZN, Professor Managay Reddi, hailed the Lecture as the annual highlight in the University’s Law calendar and commended Madonsela’s role in protecting the rights of South African citizens.

Madonsela highlighted the sacrifices the Mxenges made for the freedoms and rights South Africans enjoy today.

‘The Mxenges and others who fought for our freedom rejected the apartheid society where the state was not accountable to the majority of its people. It not surprising therefore that the Constitution that came out of their thoughts, sacrifices and suffering of their loved ones is one that commits to laying a foundation for the rebirth of South Africa,’ said Madonsela.

She also expressed her honour at delivering a Lecture that over the decade of its inception had been delivered by legal icons including former President Nelson Mandela. The Lecture was followed by an awards ceremony which recognised law students’ achievements.

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author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za

THE GREEN PAPER ON POST-SCHOOL EDUCATION AND TRAINING: WHAT’S IN IT FOR US?

THE GREEN PAPER ON POST-SCHOOL EDUCATION AND TRAINING: WHAT’S IN IT FOR US?

This was the title of a recent lunch-time address on the Howard College campus by Emeritus Professor John Aitchison.

The Centre for Adult Education (CAE), which organised the presentation, was particularly interested in what the Green Paper meant for a new system of adult education Community Learning Centres but Aitchison went further and also cast his critical and incisive eye on what the Green Paper held for universities, FET colleges and Higher Education as a whole in South Africa.

This Green Paper has enormous significance for all Universities and Higher Education as a whole and the CAE was very grateful to Aitchison for sharing his ideas about this document.

Aitchison highlighted the challenges noted in the recent Wolf report on vocational training in the United Kingdom, many of which are mirrored in this Green Paper, such as concerns over the current qualifications systems and a lack of progression (or articulation).

He questioned the quality of the education to be offered if the Government went ahead with the Green Paper’s proposal to increase enrolment at universities from 900 000 to 1.5 million within the next 15 years and to hike enrolment at FET colleges (as well as other colleges and adult education centres) to four million, given many of the challenges listed in the Green Paper.

After briefly discussing terminology used in the Green Paper, Aitchison gave a more detailed account of the challenges that the Paper identified and provided responses to them.

He mentioned NEETS (those mainly young people Not in Employment or Education and Training), proposed funding options, and concerns over qualifications’ regulatory bodies in colleges and at universities.

The Department of Higher Education and Training sees the regulatory system as complex and difficult to understand and calls for a simplification of the NQF. Also, the Green Paper notes disappointment with the role the SETAs have played in recent years.

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author email : richc@ukzn.ac.za

IMPROVED GLOBAL ACCESS OF ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY UNDER DISCUSSION

IMPROVED GLOBAL ACCESS OF ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY UNDER DISCUSSION

A full house of students, lecturers and international health professionals were at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine for the second monthly presentation organised by the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) which is co-ordinated by UKZN’s Enhancing Care Initiative (ECI).

Under discussion was the improved global access of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV-infected individuals. The topic was presented by Professor Thomas Campbell, Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado in the United States, who is also Principal Investigator at the Colorado AIDS Clinical Trials Unit.

Campbell’s research seeks to optimise the clinical management of HIV infection including the development of improved strategies for administration of antiretroviral therapy, improved management of treatment-related toxicities and better treatment of multi-drug resistant HIV-1 infection. 

His presentation indicated that improved service delivery, increased advocating of HIV testing and improved access to ART and its adherence, resulted in decreased mortality rates in the United States, especially among the younger generation where infections were rife.

Although some countries had far less resources to combat the pandemic than others, he strongly believes in the accessibility and adherence to ART for all. He articulated that community activism and advocacy, funding for AIDS research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), discovery of HIV-1, its origin and life cycle, along with investment in drug discovery were all results of commitment to laborious research over the decades.

Campbell lauded scientists, pharmaceutical companies, government and non-governmental organisations which have been pioneers for drug development through research and technological developments. The success of this collaborative effort has been the ability to conduct HIV viral load tests in response to therapy by looking at CD4 counts.

He also reported that there had been a dramatic improvement in mortality rates following the affordability of ART over the past decade and that treatment had certainly improved the quality of life for HIV-infected individuals.


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN HOSTS TAIWANESE AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH AFRICA

UKZN HOSTS TAIWANESE AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH AFRICA

The University of KwaZulu-Natal's Corporate Relations team recently hosted the Taiwanese Ambassador to South Africa, Mr Michael Hsu; and the Health Attaché, Dr Allen Lien, at a lunch to explore possibilities of cultural exchange programmes and partnerships between universities in Taiwan and UKZN.

 

Describing Taiwan as a small giant with a big heart and much to offer, Hsu praised UKZN as a research-led institution which had made great strides in the fields of science, agriculture, medicine and engineering.

 

The aim of the initial meeting was to introduce the Young Ambassadors of Taiwan project. The Project aims to promote cultural exchange programmes which showcase Oriental culture and heritage. A small group of selected students are chosen annually to participate in this programme.

 

Comprising postgraduates from the National Defence University in Taiwan, the group will visit UKZN between July and August during a week-long programme of cultural exchange activities comprising demonstrations of Chinese music, art, cuisine and the practice of Kung-Fu.

 

‘The aim of such activities is to facilitate cultural exchanges between students in South Africa and students from the Orient so that both sides benefit from the simulation of exotic experiences and get to know and care more about the world’, said Lien.

 

In response, UKZN’s Director of University Relations, Mr Len Mzimela expressed enthusiasm and support for the upcoming visit. ‘UKZN students can look forward to an enriching experience that sets the foundation for strong ties and future collaboration. In return, we hope to enrich the experience of our international students by exposing them to our community-based programmes and diverse culture.’


author email : sibran@ukzn.ac.za

NEW ICS CALL CENTRE ON HOWARD COLLEGE CAMPUS

NEW ICS CALL CENTRE ON HOWARD COLLEGE CAMPUS

A new state-of-the-art call centre has opened on Level 5 of the Denis Shepstone Building of the Howard College campus.

 

The opening demonstrated the commitment of the Information and Communication Services Division (ICS) to provide expert services to support and leverage academic, student and administrative endeavours at UKZN.

 

The call centre services staff on all five campuses and about 50 remote sites.The centre takes all IT, management information, audio visual and telephone related calls on extension 4000 between 07h30 and 16h30.

 

Mr Richard Jansen, ICS’s Chief Information Officer, was proud to announce that services of the Expert Helpdesk had been enhanced with short call waiting times and friendly service.

 

All ICT related faults logged into ICS’ browser http://ictfaultlogging.ukzn.ac.za/ will be attended to timeously. The Expert Desk staff will log a call and attempt to resolve the problem either telephonically or via remote access.

 

ICS is the amalgamation of ICT, the Department of Management Information (DMI), and the Audio-Visual Centre which are now under one roof for the entire University community. 

 

Staff services include fault logging/service requests, password self-help, software downloads, forms, telephones, ITS, audio-visual, management information, e-learning, network services, mobile services, telephone services, printing and virtual private networks.

 

ICS is presently involved with several initiatives including, a student laptop initiative, wireless hotspots rollout, migration from Novell and Groupwise to Mic
author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS CELEBRATE ON THE EVE OF THEIR GRADUATION

CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS CELEBRATE ON THE EVE OF THEIR GRADUATION

The Civil Engineering class of 2011 celebrated on the night before they graduated at a prize-giving ceremony held at the Centenary Building in honour of the students, many of whom had returned to UKZN having already begun their professional careers.

A total of 14 prizes were awarded to students who excelled in various categories.

Master of Ceremonies on the evening was Professor Phil Everitt, who assisted in handing out some of the prizes. All the awards were sponsored by partners from industry, many of whom are UKZN alumni or have very close associations with the institution.

While thanking the donors and sponsors for making the event possible, Everitt said the following day’s graduation would see the Class of 2011 elevated from students to professional colleagues.

He said the future looked bright for the class and wished them everything of the best.

Also on hand to address the students, their parents and other guests was Professor Cristina Trois, Dean and Head of the School of Engineering. An environmental engineer by training and former Head of Civil Engineering, Trois remarked that the prize-giving was a special and emotional occasion. She urged the class to go forward and make a positive change in society while also wishing them well and inviting them to return to UKZN for Masters and doctoral studies.

Mr Frank Stevens, the Deputy Head of eThekwini Water and Sanitation, was the guest of honour at the event. An alumnus of the former University of Natal, he delivered a presentation on current projects being rolled out by the Municipality.

Stevens said he and the Municipality held UKZN graduates in high regard and looked forward to working with them.

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