UKZN HYDROLOGIST VOTED TOP WATER RESEARCHER IN SA

UKZN HYDROLOGIST VOTED TOP WATER RESEARCHER IN SA

UKZN hydrologist Professor Roland Schulze has been voted South Africa’s top water researcher in a nation-wide survey.

The Water Research Futures Survey 2011/2012 completed by the University of Cape Town’s Aquad’UCT organisation on behalf of the South African Water Industry gathered information from scores of representatives in the field including academics, consultants and officials from the Department of Water Affairs and the Water Research Commission.

One of the questions respondents were asked was who they believed had contributed most effectively to water research in South Africa – and Schulze was No 1! Other UKZN researchers who featured in the Top 25 list were Graham Jewitt (8), Simon Lorentz (15), Jeffrey Smithers (21) and Mark Dent (23).

Sixty-nine-year-old Schulze, an emeritus professor of Hydrology and senior research associate at the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Science, said modestly he was very 'chuffed ' when he saw the results of the survey.

'It’s a reflection of a lifetime achievement – I have been in water research for more than 40 years with all that time spent at UKZN.'

His research into climate change and global warming-related issues has earned him world-wide recognition as an authority in the field with much of his time now taken up addressing gatherings on the subject in all corners of the globe.

Schulze has a long list of accolades including being a member of the National Water Advisory Committee, a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and is currently leading several multi-institutional research projects.

'I am trying to retire officially but am finding it very difficult,' said Schulze, who was introduced recently before a presentation to the National Business Initiative as "not retired but re-fired".

'More and more I am being asked to assist government in water and climate related projects. I guess my experience is being sought and my philosophy is that while I can I want to share the knowledge I have gained over the years.'

His latest book A 2011 Perspective of Climate Change and the SA Water Sector is due out this month, while his previous work: An Atlas of Climate Change and the South African Agricultural Sector : a 2010 Perspective, was well received.

He said there had been a significantly increased acceptance of climate change as a reality in recent years while ‘we as scientists realise there are still many uncertainties and the challenge is to make decisions under those uncertainties’.

Schulze paid special tribute to his wife, Waltraut, who had supported him totally during his long career. 'Our six grandchildren, aged from five downwards, keep us fully on the go but we enjoy it thoroughly.'

Schulze - who describes himself as a fifth-generation South African - says his first memories are of Harburg in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. His forefathers had emigrated from Germany in the 1800s with one side of the family settling in the little village which today still has a strong German influence.

He matriculated at the nearby German school at Hermannsburg and did a BSc in geography and chemistry at the then University of Natal, going on to do his honours and masters as well as a teaching diploma.

In 1969 he got a lectureship in the Geography Department at the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University, so beginning an association which has lasted more than 40 years and continues to prosper!

While in the geography department he started working on his doctorate which was in the field of hydrology.

A major turning point in Schulze's career was sparked by the Water Act of 1970. 'During this time, the Water Research Commission was founded and funded research in the then Department of Agricultural Engineering. Having completed my doctorate in the field of hydrological computer modelling, I was offered a research post at the University funded by the Commission.

''We grew from a two-person show to what became - and still is – arguably Southern Africa's largest academic and research hydrology department.'

In the early 1980s, Schulze was able to convince the University to start the discipline of hydrology as a degree course in the Faculty of Science, a first for South Africa. 'The discipline grew to the extent that many hundreds of hydrologists have graduated through UKZN since the early 1980s.'

Included among Schulze's many research highlights is the development of a hydrological model which estimates peak floods for engineering design still used today as an industry standard in South Africa. Another is the development of an integrated hydrological model called ACRU being used extensively in South Africa and overseas in decision-making for water resources, including estimates ranging from irrigation requirements to land use impacts.

'A third highlight was the development of detailed mapping systems for climatology and hydrology in South Africa. Coming out of that has been the publication of a series of detailed atlases used nationally and internationally.'

Climate change became much more than a blip on Schulze's radar in the late 1980s. It has grown dramatically over the years with major funding for his team's research from the Water Research Commission (WRC) and from other national and international sources.

Turning specifically to climate change he said: 'I believe we haven't looked after the world the way we should have. We've been going about things in an unsustainable manner which has caused a massive backlash. That's why sustainability, a greener world and trying to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere are so vital today.

'One of the problems of climate change is that the damage has been done. It can be fixed by very drastic measures but it will be a long term fix - there is no short term solution.'

He said the South African Government, as well as the private sector, were putting effective strategies and action plans in place to adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects. 'It is encouraging that the private sector, as an affected party, is playing a more and more important role in this sphere.'


author email : online@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN INVOLVED IN GROUNDBREAKING LIDAR RESEARCH

UKZN INVOLVED IN GROUNDBREAKING LIDAR RESEARCH

Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) is an optical remote sensing technology which can measure the distance to a target by illuminating the object with light, often using laser pulses. LIDAR research is being actively championed at UKZN by Professor Sivakumar Venkataraman of the School of Chemistry and Physics on the Westville campus.

Venkataraman said LIDAR was used predominantly for measuring atmospheric parameters such as composition, wind, temperature, pollutants/trace gages, and aerosol and cloud properties. Other applications of LIDAR technology included geomatics, archaeology, geography, geology, geomorphology, seismology, forestry, remote sensing and atmospheric physics, as well as in airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM), laser altimetry and LIDAR contour mapping.

‘The main advantage of LIDAR is its capability of high range resolution over long distances which is achieved by using pulsed lasers and fast electronics to record the backscattered signals,’ said Venkataraman.

He said backscattered photons from the atmosphere were collected and focused by a receiving telescope and coupled into an optical fibre. Before reaching the detector, the signal was filtered to reduce any luminous interference.

UKZN recently played host to a visiting delegation of Algerian LIDAR researchers, as part of a National Research Foundation-funded, bi-lateral research project between South Africa and Algeria, titled: “LIDAR developments for atmosphere studies in South Africa and Algeria (LISAA)”.  

Apart from giving a series of seminars on Algerian LIDAR technology which is currently used for forest fire detection, the visitors learned about UKZN’s LIDAR technology, which consists of a Nd :YAG laser operating at 532nm with a pulse width of ~8 ns and 0.5 J per pulse.

Venkataraman said UKZN’s LIDAR detection system involved three different telescopes for measuring the middle atmospheric temperature from 30-70 km, aerosol (8-35 km) and water vapour (6-20 km).

Venkataraman previously worked at the National Laser Centre of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) so was able to organise the loan of the CSIR-NLC Mobile LIDAR unit.  Situated in a mobile van, this unit has the advantage of providing measurement at different locations.

‘Our Algerian visitors were interested in this unit as it can measure aerosol concentrations and its variations, boundary layer evolution, plume dispersions, optical depth and cloud morphology,’ said Venkataraman. 

In September, members of UKZN’s LIDAR team will pay a reciprocal visit to Algeria to further the research collaboration between the two countries.  The team consists of Professor Sivakumar Venkataraman, Dr Mathew Moodley, Dr Nkanyiso Mbatha, Dr Raghavendra Kumar Kanike and Mr Enock Chekure.


author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

MATHS4STATS ITHUTHUKISA OTHISHA

MATHS4STATS ITHUTHUKISA OTHISHA Ithuba uhlelo olwenziwa isiKole sakwaMathematics, Statistics neComputer Science bebambisene nomnyango weStatistics South Africa (Stats SA) nomnyango wezeMfundo KwaZulu-Natali, ngokufundisa othisha ngohlelo lweMaths4Stats.

IMaths4Stats eyaqalwa e-UKZN ngo2010 iyindlela yokuqeqesha othisha abafundisa izibalo nokukhuthaza ukukhula kwalesisifundo njengengxenye ebalulekile ezibalweni zokubonisa ukuma kwendaba (iStatistics).

Uhlelo luka2012 lwathulwa ngokusemthethweni eMgungundlovu ngoMgqibelo mhlaka 9 kuNhlangulana lapho othisha abangu-250, bamazinga nasezindaweni ezahlukene esifundazweni, bafika bazobhalisela loluhlelo lokuthuthukisa amakhono. Abangaphezu kuka-200 babhalisa eThekwini.

 ‘Ngikulangazelele ukufunda izindlela ezintsha zokufundisa isifundo,’ kusho uNksz Thandiwe Xulu, ofundisa izibalo nesiNgisi ebangeni likaGrade 9 eSmero High School e-Edendale. UXulu unethemba ukuthi uzothola amacebo azothandwa izingane azowasebenzisa ekilasini. ‘Ngiyazi ukuthi loluhlelo luzonginikeza ukuzethemba njengothisha wezibalo,’ kusho uXulu.

Manje unyaka wesithathu kodwa loluhlelo luyaqhubeka ukuphumelela kakhulu. Lufundisa othisha ngohlelo lweGeneral Education and Training (iGET) neFurther Education and Training (iFET) nangezifundo zeData Handling (Descriptive Statistics neProbability) kanye neFinancial Mathematics.

NgeMgqibelo eyishumi ekuseni, ithimba elizimisele lothisha abafundisa iStatistics e-UKZN beholwa owaluqala loluhlelo uSolwazi Delia North, banikela ngesikhathi sabo mahhala ukuze baqeqeshe labothisha ngaphansi kwesisho esithi “train-the-trainer” ezikhungweni zaseMgungundlovu naseHoward College emikhakheni yeGET, FET (Data) neFET (Probability neFinancial Mathematics).

UNorth ulujabulele loluhlelo. ‘Ngokunikeza othisha amakhono angcono okufundisa ngaleyondlela kuzothuthukisa izingane zesikole nokuzinikeza ukuzethemba ukuthi bazophasa izifundo zabo zezibalo. Siyaphambili naloluhlelo!”

Click here for english version


author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS DESIGN SPECTACULAR MODELS

ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS DESIGN SPECTACULAR MODELS

Durban’s Maydon Wharf was chosen as the site for an urban design intervention project which formed part of the course work for postgraduate fourth-year architecture students at UKZN.

The students had to include plans and a model which incorporated the mixed use of social housing while maintaining the requirements of the project such as the size and scale of the model, the master-plan and 3-D sketch perspectives.

Maydon Wharf was chosen to show how the city of Durban and its community could re-connect with the water’s edge after years of the area being earmarked for industrial use only. The students had to maintain the characteristics of the harbour as a functioning port and integrate this with more public access to the water’s edge.

This was done by utilising several of the city’s old industrial buildings and converting the properties for residential, business, retail and cultural purposes. This was decided on as a way to provide a unique chance to create new environments without demolishing the city’s historical heritage while still maintaining the major roads and rail lines on the grid.

Students needed a site plan with a scale of 1 500 and a ground floor plan of 1 200 with the first floor depicting office and retail space and the second floors showing residential apartments. Important features that had to be taken into account were the various entrances, natural lighting and elevations.

Fourth-year student Mr Lucien Glass’s proposal incorporated the conceptual vision from the urban design scheme into its own vision to help address the issues of separation, fragmentation and low density.

‘I chose a site on the water’s edge overlooking the Durban harbour because it’s prime real estate that lower income people would not have been able to afford or generally gain access to during the days of apartheid. Thus integrating the high density housing project to the water’s edge allowed for a more diverse society to thrive in the Maydon Wharf area,’ he said.

Another student, Ms Chantelle Muller, compiled a thorough analysis of her chosen site by looking at three case studies and the massing of the building and then devising a locality plan and a model. She had used triplex cardboard, cork and balsa wood to build her exhibit.

‘It took me about four days and many sleepless nights to complete the model in time and I’m glad I have a supportive husband who understood how important it was to complete the model even if I had to abandon him at times,’ she said.

Meanwhile third year Architecture students also presented their first semester design works to a panel of judges.

Ms Najeeba Hassim showcased her models which included a sub-station, a waste picker centre, a lamp and even a school for the blind. ‘It really was a nerve-wrecking experience for me. It was also intimidating but I think I did well,’ said Hassim.

UKZN’s acting Academic Leader and Lecturer for Architecture, Mr Juan Solis, said drawing and model-making were important as it allowed a student to see the implications of their design proposal and whether it would be a success or failure if built.

‘One of the toughest assignments is to build models and some students struggle to complete them on time but this is the only way to see if students truly understand in three dimensions what they are doing,’ said Solis. 


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN ARTISTS PRODUCE PRINTS FOR LONDON OLYMPICS FESTIVALS

UKZN ARTISTS PRODUCE PRINTS FOR LONDON OLYMPICS FESTIVALS

Twelve artists, comprising lecturers and postgraduate students from UKZN’s Centre for Visual Arts (CVA), recently participated in a print swop with the Inky Cuttlefish Studios (London) and the William Morris Gallery in Waltham Forest in England - a borough that is hosting the Olympics.   

Each artist produced an edition of four prints, three of which have been sent to Britain where they will be displayed at five exhibitions and festivals linked to the London Olympics. 

The prints all reflect the central theme of the project which is: Godiva Awakes.  It is inspired by the story of Lady Godiva who rode naked on her horse through the streets of Coventry to protest her husband’s taxation on his tenants. 

In exchange for the UKZN-produced prints, artists from the Inky Cuttlefish Studios will send the CVA a selection of their prints which will be on the same theme.  These, together with the UKZN prints, will form part of a special exhibition at the CVA’s Pietermaritzburg-based Jack Heath Gallery later in the year. 

The print swop was initiated and led by CVA lecturer, Mrs Faye Spencer who wanted to showcase and sustain the energy and enthusiasm for 2D visual arts practice at the CVA.  The project was made possible by a former UKZN CVA student who has her own art studio in Britain and was keen to help out.

‘It has been a great boost to print-making at UKZN,’ said Spencer.  She explained that students from painting and ceramics also became involved in the project which had really unified the Centre. 

Another important part of the initiative was an outreach project with children at Scottsville Primary School aftercare and Grade 10 art students at Russell High School. 

Both sets of pupils, under the guidance of UKZN lecturers and students, painted pieces of fabric, measuring two metres-by-two metres, with images related to the Lady Godiva theme but with an African bias.  This uniquely-designed fabric will be used to make costumes in Britain for performers participating in the pageants and festivals leading up to the Games.

 ‘It was a wonderful experience working with the schools… the children enjoyed it so much,’ said Spencer, who made special mention of Russell High School art teacher, Ms Alanah Lee, as being ‘committed to art.’ The school has been involved in a number of CVA outreach initiatives. 

An unexpected bonus for the two schools will be a donation of R1000 courtesy of the project. This funding was made available as payment for workshops, but Spencer and her students decided to give it these government schools.


author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za

THE ANSWER LIES IN THE SOIL!

THE ANSWER LIES IN THE SOIL!

With 112 students in her third year Soil Erosion and Land Degradation module, logistical challenges forced Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science and Distinguished Teacher award holder, Dr Helen Watson, to replace the traditional field excursion with a field project.

So instead of visits to the Valley of 1000 Hills and the South African Sugar Research Institute, the students were given a soil erosion project. ‘My students were required to work in groups of five and select an area where erosion is evident,’ said Watson. ‘They were required to identify the forms, causes and effects of the soil erosion, and make recommendations on how to arrest the situation.’

Most students chose sites on campus.  The groups were then asked to report their findings in a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation and in a written report. ‘The presentations knocked my socks off,’ said Watson. ‘Without exception, the structure, lay out, graphics and time management of the presentations were excellent.’

Watson said the students took the project seriously, estimating rates of erosion and predicting consequences if mitigation measures were not taken.  ‘Competition was very stiff and choosing the best female and male presenter proved difficult but we finally identified two.’

The winners received Westwood gift vouchers for their efforts.


author email : frosts@ukzn.ac.za

LETTER PROJECT IN FULL SWING

LETTER PROJECT IN FULL SWING

Learning for Empowerment through Training in Ethnographic Research (LETTER) will see thousands of copies of dual-language story books published and distributed in both Uganda and Ethiopia by December.

The LETTER programme - a community project of the School of Education's Centre for Adult Education - is designed to strengthen the capacity of Higher Education institutions in developing countries. The overall purpose of the project is improved participation, in terms of literacy and numeracy, of newly literate adults from rural areas in the two African countries.

‘A writers and editors workshop held last year drew 28 participants from Uganda and Ethiopia to write and edit easy to read stories for adults in local languages,’ explained Ms Sonya Keyser, a member of the project team. ‘Then this year a second workshop was held in Uganda to refine the details of the texts and to commission local illustrators and begin the publishing process.

‘The publication of these books will help to overcome the lack of appropriate and relevant reading materials for adults who are learning to read in  local languages - Luganda, Luo and Lugbara in Uganda and Amharic and Oromifa in Ethiopia,’ said Keyser.

‘The text is accompanied by illustrations commissioned from Ugandan and Ethiopian artists, which generates employment and stimulates the local book and printing industries.’

She pointed out that the books would be printed in a dual text format with the writers’ story in the African languages and in English, so they would be suitable for people learning to read in their own language, or learning to read in English, which increases readership.

‘These books are the first of their kind in Uganda and Ethiopia and will be used in literacy classes as part of national literacy programmes and in family and community literacy projects. They will be read in community libraries and education development projects in the remotest parts of these countries. Each person who participated in the workshop is now a published author and feels excited and motivated about reading and writing.’

Keyser says books have to be published in African languages if they are to survive. ‘People need to ensure the continuation of their languages and one way of doing this is by writing them down and having people learn to read them. And people learn to read best in their own language.’

The project is an example of the practical implementation of the mission and strategic plan of the College of Humanities ‘to promote excellence in African-led scholarship through teaching, research and responsible community engagement (RCE) in a global context’.

*Sonya Keyser is Project Manager of New Readers Publishers, a long-standing community engagement project of the Centre for Adult Education in the School of Education (www.newreaders.org.za)


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN CHILD PROTECTION IN EMERGENCIES

POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN CHILD PROTECTION IN EMERGENCIES

UKZN’s Community Development Programme, the University of Indonesia (UI) and the Health Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University (CU) were recently selected to develop and deliver a distance-based post graduate Diploma in Child Protection in Emergencies.

This comes after an extensive, competitive selection process outlined by the Child Protection Working Group (CPWG).

According to the Dean and Head of the School of Built Environment and Development Studies at UKZN, Professor Thokozani Xaba, the diploma aimed to strengthen the capacity of staff within national child protection systems.

Once qualified, staff will be able to respond to emergencies and hopefully help increase the number and capacity of deployable child protection staff in international organisations.

‘The universities will work together with the CPWG to design the curriculum and materials, manage the planning and implementation of the post graduate diploma in the pilot phase and embed the diploma as a self-sustaining course in their standard programme offerings,’ said Xaba.

 ‘The pilot would be developed and delivered by UKZN in English but all materials (except assessment) will be developed as open source – share and share alike - with attribution so that it will be freely available for translation and adaption to other languages and specific emergency situations,’ said Xaba.

The course will eventually be open to all, however the inaugural class was exclusively for Save the Children, UNICEF and Terre des Hommes staff working in Child Protection.

The diploma is expected to be offered by 2013. Candidates interested in pursuing this postgraduate qualification must have an undergraduate degree and at least two years' field experience working in Children Protection.


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

VISITING SCHOLAR EXPLORES ZIMBABWEAN CIVIL SOCIETY IN SA

VISITING SCHOLAR EXPLORES ZIMBABWEAN CIVIL SOCIETY IN SA

A visiting Italian scholar based at the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) is conducting research into the Zimbabwean civil society in South Africa with emphasis on the role of churches and the divisions between Shona and Ndebele-speaking activists within that country's civil society.

While conducting research into the Chinese community in Rome for her Honours degree, Ms Michela Gallo's passion for migrant rights was ignited sparking an interest in the Zimbabwean crisis. To kick-start her research, Gallo conducted two in-depth interviews and group interviews with six Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists in Durban.

‘I discovered that in Durban the main Zimbabwean network is the one composed of MDC supporters. Activists can have activities outside the Zimbabwean interests, but it had to be related to the South African context. And most of these activists had fled to South Africa during the 2005-06 political violence,’ she said.

Gallo said MDC activists usually met on a Sunday to debate useful strategies to bring “peace to Zimbabwe” and discuss support for Zimbabwean migrants.

‘During my interviews, I discovered that the Zimbabwean civil society abroad is also trying to make a positive change in their homeland. However, there is no collaboration with other migrant communities and there is low involvement of women activists.

Asked about her stay at UKZN thus far, Gallo said: ‘There have been both good and bad moments.  But I am taking this experience as an opportunity to learn from my mistakes and of course to exchange ideas with folk at the CCS, which has been the most enriching and enlightening experience thus far.’


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

STREET SOCCER PROMOTES HEALTHY LIFESTYLES FROM A YOUNG AGE

STREET SOCCER PROMOTES HEALTHY LIFESTYLES FROM A YOUNG AGE

Third-year UKZN Sports Science  students are playing a significant role in the national youth sports development agency, Sporting Chance’s Kia Street Soccer Programme 2012, which kicked off recently with about 6 000 boys and girls under the age of 13 competing nationally.

Following the success of the inaugural Sporting Chance's Street Soccer programme during the 2010 World Cup, FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, met with the Sporting Chance team, citing it as the “best grass roots programme” of the tournament.

This year for the first time the provincial winners from each region will be flown to Johannesburg to compete for the title of National Street Soccer Champion.

UKZN’s Sport Science Discipline was approached to facilitate the programme in KwaZulu-Natal. The training received by Lecturer and Biokineticist, Dr Rowena Naidoo, and volunteer students has contributed to the success of street soccer road shows in Umlazi, Lamontville, Chatsworth, KwaMashu, Phoenix, Inanda and Mariannhill over eight weeks.

Passionate about promoting health awareness, Naidoo is also playing an important role in reintroducing a new physical education curriculum into schools on a national level.

It has been fun, games and lots to learn at each of the road shows. UKZN students give the young learners important road safety tips, and help raise awareness about the environment and the chronic diseases of TB, HIV and AIDS. A professional nurse was also present to address learners about good nutrition.

‘Such programmes are very important in developing skills for today’s youth,’ said Mr Ndoda Ngcobo, Sports Coach at Ndongeni Senior Primary School in Umlazi.

The programme also helps to bring selectors and talent spotters into the communities. Last year former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker, who worked with the project in KwaZulu-Natal, identified three youngsters who were then signed for the AmaZulu Youth Division.

Naidoo said it had been a great learning experience for the students as well.

‘We’re very happy to put into practice the theory we learn,’ said third-year students, Mr Nhlakanipho Ndladla, Ms Sam Ballington and Ms Nomthandazo Phili who are all cheers about postgraduate studies in Sport Science at UKZN. 


author email : memelal@ukzn.ac.za

PEACE-BUILDING CONFERENCE

PEACE-BUILDING CONFERENCE

“Education under fire: Challenges to Peace-building” was the title of the annual Peace Building Conference held recently on the Howard College campus. The conference focused on educating and re-educating people in the ways of non-violent conflict resolutions.

The conference, part of the UKZN postgraduate Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies Programme, was co-ordinated by the Programme in co-operation with the Association for Bahá’í Studies in Southern Africa, a civil society organisation dedicated to finding peaceful solutions to the world’s problems.

The conference brought together a wide range of University staff and students as well as peace practitioners whose presentations tackled these topics from many angles, depending on the background and experience of the presenters.

Second year UKZN Law student Mr Nikhiel Deeplal discussed the role of spirituality as one of the answers to a peace-building educational system. ‘Religion is a practice in life whereas spirituality is a practice of life. What I propose is that education systems around the world teach children the fundamental practice of life to complement the religious side,’ he explained.

Rwandan peace-builder and UKZN alumnus, Mr Jean de Dieu Basabose, examined anti-corruption education as a way of building positive peace.

‘Anti-corruption education would promote values, attitudes and expectations that condemn corruption and skills to resist it. To be more effective, education should target children and make efforts to reach and transform the community as a whole,’ he said.

According to the co-ordinator for the Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies Programme, Dr Sylvia Kaye, peace-building is strongly practical and the conference provides the opportunity for academics, students and practitioners to engage in constructive discussions about peace.

‘We need to understand why conflict and violence occur; then we need to find ways to build peace. Some of the conference topics include values in education, eliminating conflict in schools, education for a world at peace, and promoting non-violent responses in parenting,’ she said.

Organiser of the conference Professor Geoff Harris said South Africa was often considered as one of the most violent countries in the world. ‘If people can unlearn bad ways of dealing with conflicts and learn new ways where everyone is treated respectfully, then everyone can win.’


author email : mungroo@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN ACADEMICS ARE PARTNERING TO ANALYSE THE EVER EVOLVING LABOUR SECTOR

UKZN ACADEMICS ARE PARTNERING TO ANALYSE THE EVER EVOLVING LABOUR SECTORDr Shaun Ruggunan of the Discipline of Human Resources Management in the College of Law and Management Studies, and a colleague from the Discipline of Industrial and Labour Studies in the College of Humanities, Dr Debby Bonnin, will guest edit a special issue of the South African Review of Sociology (SARS) due to be published in 2013.

SARS, the official journal of the South African Sociological Association, is co-published by Rutledge and UNISA Press. As guest editors,  Ruggunan and Bonnin will solicit papers on the special theme, writing a guest editorial and two empirical papers on the theme of the journal.

This involves both editing solicited papers as well as analytical work which will look at the ways in which the economy, careers, work and workplaces are rapidly being restructured globally.

According to Ruggunan, the special issue of SARS will examine the ways in which professional work is changing, being unmade and remade. He believes this represents a good example of cross college and interdisciplinary co-operation that has been encouraged by UKZN's restructuring process.

‘Some of the most interesting and unique projects are the outcomes of cross college and interdisciplinary research teams. We tend to work in departmental silos, and are not always aware of the synergies and opportunities for research across the various UKZN colleges. Most funders actively encourage multidisciplinary research teams and student collaborations,’ explained Ruggunan.

Multidisciplinary research is viewed as key to addressing complex challenges facing the society in the College of Law and Management. Hence, the engagement between the two academics is applauded.

‘I worked with Dr Bonnin in my previous employment in the College of Humanities. She also supervised my PhD. When I moved across to the College of Law and Management we discovered that there are many synergies and areas of mutual academic interest across the colleges and disciplines of industrial sociology and human resources management,’ said Ruggunan.


author email : jumo@ukzn.ac.za