<%--UKZN online is deigned by Shaun Veeran, Corporate Relations, UKZN --%> UKZN Online <Wednesday, 21 May 2008 | Volume 2 | Issue 9> <%--Print Page Script Copyright Shaun Veeran 2007 --%>
WEDNESDAY, 21 May 2008 | VOLUME 2 | ISSUE # 9




Corporate Relations



Professor Dasarath Chetty &
Ms Smita Maharaj



The full version of selected articles will be published in ukzndaba



Telephone: +27 (0) 31 260 4249






From left: Mr Importance Mkhize, Mr Temba Mthembu, Professor Dasarath Chetty and Mr Jeremy Cronin.

One of the biggest challenges facing liberation movements which come to power is that, while they may wield political power, real economic power remains in the hands of a pre-liberation capitalist bloc. This compromises delivery of basic services and hampers transformative measures like land reform.

These points were made by National Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Mr Jeremy Cronin at the Chris Hani Memorial Lecture on the Westville campus on April 29.

Speaking on the topic "The Challenges Facing Liberation Movements Who Are in Power," Mr Cronin observed that there are crucial differences between Zimbabwe and South Africa which may save South Africa from going the same way as Zimbabwe. These include the fact that the African National Congress (ANC) is a much older liberation movement than ZANU-PF, and the change in political direction adopted at the ANC's Polokwane Conference.

He added that the biggest mistake many liberation movements make is to create a small elite completely detached from the people on the ground. This results in issues like price fixing of basic foods and the electricity crises not being addressed.

More than 200 people, including students, academics and political activists attended the event with Mr Temba Mthembu representing the SACP in KwaZulu-Natal and Professor Dasarath Chetty representing UKZN.

The lecture was a joint initiative of the Chris Hani Institute and UKZN to commemorate the assassination of SACP Secretary-General Chris Hani outside his Boksburg home 15 years ago.


From left: Professor R H Nengwekhulu, Mrs Joyce Moodley (Strini Moodley's mother), Mrs Asha Moodley (Strini Moodley's wife), Professor Fikile Mazibuko and Dr Don Mattera.

Political activists, academics and students gathered at the UKZN's Westville campus on May 15 to reflect upon the life and contribution made by the late journalist, political and human rights activist, Mr Strini Moodley, in South Africa's liberation struggle. This was the second time the University had the opportunity to present the Strini Moodley Memorial Lecture in conjunction with the Umtapo Centre.

Respected academic Professor RH Nengwekhulu, who worked closely with Mr Moodley in the 1970s while they were both part of the South African Student Congress, delivered the lecture in the Senate Chamber to about 130 people.

Mr Moodley died on April 27, 2006 following a short illness. Sentenced to five years imprisonment on Robben Island in 1976, he was a founding member of the Umtapo Centre which aims to empower people through education and training. Guests were officially welcomed by Professor Fikile Mazibuko, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities who described Mr Strini Moodley as a "powerful intellectual and a critical thinker".

While speaking on the "The Place, Role and The Contribution of Strini Moodley in the Struggle for the Liberation of South Africa", Professor Nengwekhulu said Mr Moodley had played a critical role within the organisation as editor of the newsletter, SASO News. He said Mr Moodley had joined SASO not only because he yearned for political change but because he was a good communicator.

"It is important that Strini is honored at this Memorial Lecture, because in the society we live in today, people who have made an important contribution to the politics of a country 'disappear' and are not heard of after a while," said Professor Nengwekhulu.


From left: Dr Nyna Amin, Lecturer in the Faculty of Education; Mr Jody Kollapen and Professor Renuka Vithal.

The issue of maintaining ethics while conducting research was examined during a seminar at the Edgewood campus earlier this month. Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, Mr Jody Kollapen, addressed the topic during his talk on Human Rights, Ethics and Research.

Mr Kollapen's lecture was part of a doctoral seminar series organised by the Faculty of Education which aimes to strengthen researchers' compliance with ethical policies and procedures.

On the topic of ethics, issues such as informed consent of participants and participant's understanding of this, came to the fore. The "intrusiveness" of the research process engaged by researchers was also discussed.

Presenting his lecture, Mr Kollapen spoke of the human rights of participants in research programmes. "It is my view that when a researcher takes on research in the Social Sciences, participants are bearers of rights and researchers have an obligation to respect this," he said.

While academic freedom is enshrined in Section 16 of our Constitution, Mr Kollapen spoke of the need to exercise this right in a responsible manner. In his concluding remarks, Mr Kollapen stressed the important role of Higher Education institutions in transforming society. "Higher Education institutions have a vital role to play in the transformation of society in areas of health and education. Research is the key cog in achieving this," he added.

Dean of the Faculty of Education, Professor Renuka Vithal, said the issue of ethics had taken on "increasing importance" as more sensitive topics and vulnerable people were researched. "Strong ethical training is necessary in the education and training of researchers. We need to interrogate the type of programmes we put in place to address such issues and build the necessary sensitivity and caring so that researchers observe the highest standards of ethics," said Professor Vithal.


From left: Professor Sheryl Hendriks, (Head of the UKZNs African Centre for Food Security (ACFS); Director for the Rural Economy and Agriculture in the African Union, Dr Ahmadu Babagana; NEPAD's Agricultural Advisor, Professor Richard Mkandawire and Ms Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme.

The high food prices prompted countries from all over the African continent to meet in Pretoria over three days to discuss the negative effects this has had on poor communities all over the continent.

The workshop, titled: Accelerating Investments in Response to High Food Prices and Food Insecurity was attended by 16 countries and organized by the African Union (AU) and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

The meeting was attended by among others, Ms Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Director for Rural Economy and Agriculture in the African Union, Dr Ahmadu Babagana, Nepad's Agricultural Adivsor, Professor Richard Mkandawire, Professor Sheryl Hendriks Head of UKZN's African Centre for Food Security (ACFS) and Mr Getachew Diriba, Senior Programme Advisor for the World Food Programme in Rome.

Staff members from the School of Agricultural Science and Agribusiness Dr Joseph Adjetey, Professor Igantius Nshalai, Mr Mike Underwood, Ms Thembi Mncia and Ms Unathi Kolanisi, along with three post graduate students were in attendance.

The main goal of the meeting was to assist governments in selected countries in Africa to identify and formulate an appropriate country framework of specific food security interventions following an approach to boost food production, availability and access to food for the most vulnerable and cope with higher and more volatile food prices.

Professor Hendriks added that while households may respond and recover from this crisis, aid is needed urgently.

"We have had two decades of bad poor policy and agriculture and trade policies that have not been protected and have been vulnerable."

She added that the increase demand for grain, for food and biofuel and the concurrent rises in fuel and fertilizer prices has caused a huge burden on farmers and has created a panic in society.

"There is a shortage in maize, wheat and rice and that has created a panic in society. We don't have individual answers to this problem - that is why we are working together. We will create concrete plans of action this week for the 16 participating countries, but to do that we have to think together."


Vice-Chancellor, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, recently attended the Higher Education Summit for Global Development in Washington in the United States which attracted 200 international leaders of Higher Education including 30 from Africa.

The Summit aimed to broaden partnerships and networks between the United States and other developed countries as well as developing Higher Education institutions, the private sector and education foundations. The debate also covered innovative approaches to teaching, research, technology transfer and business development.

Professor Makgoba said it was an excellent meeting and concerns over the level and quality of Higher Education were raised. "The world is concerned about the poor state of Higher Education in Africa and the rest of the world in relation to the area of qualification. The aim is to build a future generation of scholars who are highly qualified."

Professor Makgoba also co-chaired a session on Learner Centred Future: Colleges for Tomorrow. Areas such as the two-year college model in the United States were discussed in relation to creating access to Higher Education and how the model could work in Africa.

"It was an interesting discussion. Community colleges in the US have made huge contributions such as supplying universities with students who are ready for higher education or the work place. It is an important component in the higher education system in that country."

"Although what was discussed was familiar territory, it was done at a global scale and was interesting. It was an excellent meeting and will be repeated next year in India," added Professor Makgoba.


From left: Professor John Msuya, Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania; Professor Alan Whiteside, Director-Heard; Dr Anita Sandstrom, Executive Director of the Southern African AIDS Trust and Dr John Mwesigwa, Regional AIDS Training Network Executive Director in Kenya.

The Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, hosted a one-day Retrospective and HIV and AIDS Research Review at the Innovation Centre on May 14.

Prominent researchers from across the Southern African Developement Community(SADC) as well as young researchers engaged in robust debate about issues including HIV and AIDS research, prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS, social impacts of the disease and translation of research into impact.

Young researchers were given an opportunity to discuss their dreams and aspirations.

The conference was attended by the Director of HEARD, Professor Alan Whiteside; Professor Tim Quinlan of HEARD; Professor Nigel Rollins of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health; Dr John Mwesigwa, Regional AIDS Training Network Executive Director in Kenya; Dr Anita Sandstrom, Executive Director of the Southern African AIDS Trust and Professor John Msuya, from the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania.

Professor Whiteside established HEARD in 1998 at the then University of Natal in order to lead an initiative to conduct applied research into the socio-economic aspects of public health, especially in HIV and AIDS.

"It has been 10 years of amazing work and 10 years of working with amazing people. We've done amazingly and we will continue to do so."

Thanking HEARD's donors, Professor Whiteside said: "We wouldn't be doing what we're doing if it wasn't for you."


Rector of UTL, Professor Fernando Rama Ribeiro and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Corporate Relations, Professor Dasarath Chetty signing the MOU in Portugal.

Professor Dasarath Chetty, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Corporate Relations visited the Technical University of Lisbon in Portugal between May 15-18 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rector of UTL, Professor Fernando Rama Ribeiro.

The Technical University of Lisbon, a partner of MIT, is one of the largest technical state universities in Portugal, with about 21 680 students, 1 834 teaching staff and 1 235 non teaching staff. Both UKZN and UTL share common interests and values will assist both parties in establishing channels of communication which will permit the meaningful exchange of both scientific and cultural knowledge to ensure that the MOU in given effect.

The agreement will inter alia allow for the development of the exchange of undergraduate and postgraduate students; joint supervision of Master and Doctoral Studies; exchange of faculty members and staff; promote joint research projects; encourage participation in academic seminars and conferences and promote development of mutual co-operation.

"The MOU will serve as a basis to jointly address some of the main research challenges that are facing South Africa and the world in general" said Professor Chetty. These issues are issues such as the 'energy crisis' which may be addressed by looking at alternative ways of providing energy through the many resources that South Africa has available (like solar energy, wind energy and wave-energy).

Professor Chetty said the signing of this MOU was historic because "it was the first time any South African university has had the opportunity to sign an agreement with a university in Portugal". The MOU and the process leading to its signing was facilitated and co-ordinated by Mr Reggie Govender, CEO of UKZN Innovation, with the assistance of the South African Embassy in Lisbon.


Back from left: Mr Robert Fowlds and Professor Milan Carsky, with bursary students, from left, Ms Nosipho Mzobe, Mr Siyabonga Mkhise, Mr Arthur Mdhluli and Mr Mphumrleli Mavimbela.

Four second-year B.Sc. students at the School of Chemical Engineering have received a R500 000 bursary from the Durban-based company Isegen, world-renowned manufacturers of food acidulants.

"There is a shortage of chemical engineers in the country and this is our contribution towards meeting the demand and at the same time assisting previously disadvantaged students," said Mr Robert Fowlds, Managing Director of Isegen.

Mr Fowlds has offered the students part-time employment for their practical training and said when they completed their degrees he would consider offering them full-time employment or help them find jobs in the industry.

Professor Milan Carsky of the School of Chemical Engineering said UKZN was most grateful for the financial assistance. "The demand for chemical engineers is on the rise and there are very few chemical engineers in Africa. However, South Africa is in a very fortunate position, with numerous large multinational companies doing research locally," added Professor Carsky.

The School of Chemical Engineering is the largest in Africa and has an active post-graduate research programme. The Chemical Engineering Programme is accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa and internationally under the Washington Accord.


Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba has presented a lecture at an AIDS conference in Paris attended by 30 leading international scientists.

The conference titled 25 Years of HIV was held at the Institut Pasteur which is where AIDS was first diagnosed 25 years ago. Professor Makgoba presented an analysis on: 27 years of Responding to HIV and AIDS: The Picture onwards.

The Institut Pasteur is a non-profit private foundation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diseases through biological research, education and public health activities. Before leaving Durban for Paris, Professor Makgoba said he was extremely honoured to be part of the high-powered conference.

From Paris Professor Makgoba will proceed to Japan where he has been invited by the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Yasuo Fukuda, to attend the inaugural Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize Award Ceremony in his capacity as the Chairman of the Medical Services sub-Committee of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize. The ceremony takes place on May 28.

The award ceremony will also be attended by the Emperor and Empress of Japan, 41 African Heads of States, and Professor Miriam K Were and Dr Brian Greenwood, both laureates of the inaugural Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize.

The government of Japan established the Hideyo Noguchi Prize in July 2006 as a new international medical research and services award to mark the official visit by the Japanese Prime Minister to Africa in May 2006 as well as commemorating the 80th anniversary of Dr Noguchi's death.


Dr Betty Govinden.

A Time of Memory - Reflections on Recent South African Writing by Senior Research Associate in the School of Education Dr Betty Govinden was launched at the Suncoast Casino on May 5.

The book is a collection of critical essays on Durban writers, Aziz Hassim, Imraan Coovadia, and Sita Gandhi. Other essays are on Zuleikha Mayat's A Treasure Trove of Memory - A Reflection on the Experiences of the People of Potchefstroom, and Darryl Accone's All Under Heaven - The Story of a Chinese Family in South Africa.

Welcoming guests, the Dean of the Faculty of Education Professor Renuka Vithal said that Dr Govinden is a role model for women: "Betty has really weathered many of the challenges that academia has foisted on women She always makes the invisible visible."

Mr Satish Dhupelia, son of Sita Gandhi, and great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, expressed his appreciation for the way the essay on his mother's Memoir was thoughtfully developed.

In her speech, Dr Govinden highlighted the need for opportunities and material resources to be made available to more South African women to write books. She emphasised that her intention was to read the texts she had selected, not in a narrow ethnocentric way, but as "part of our collective history" of the African continent and of the colonised world."

Guests at the launch included Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Fikile Mazibuko; eThekwini Deputy Mayor, Councillor Logie Naidoo; the Consul General of India, Mr Harsh Vardhan Shringla; and the Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology , Mrs Ela Gandhi.


Professor Thembinkosi Modi in a field of organic amdumbe at Ogagwini.
The highly impressive impact of UKZN research on homestead farming in the rural community of Ogagwini will be on display this week for Regional Government officials.

Agricultural research academic and crop scientist, Professor Thembinkosi Modi, has invited the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Agriculture to an Outreach Information day in the region on Thursday, May 22.

With funding from the South Africa-Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD), Professor Modi's research is slowly transforming the quiet rural village in Umbumbulu into a farming hub.

Professor Modi first imparted his knowledge on organic farming to the locals of Ogagwini in 2000 - a year later he formed the Ezemvelo Farmers Organisation with 28 farmers. Now seven years down the line, Professor Modi's efforts have mobilised a vibrant farming community - 70% of whom are women.

Professor Modi helped empower the local people to champion organic farming as a stable and economically-viable means of income. He helped with the production and sale of their produce through leading retailers, including Woolworths who stock amadumbe from the region.

His objective is to educate people about the benefits of producing traditional/indigenous vegetables, identify the opportunities for research on indigenous knowledge systems in agriculture and investigate the impact of such farming on the local economy.

His aim with all of this is to improve the lives of those in rural communities - "that's where we want to start developing the economy," he said.

A group of undergraduates from Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) recently joined Professor Modi in his cause and are helping educate and train people at Ogagwini.


UKZN PhD student Ms Mary Phoolo (left) with 2006 Nobel prize winner Prof G Smoot at the opening of the AIMS Research Centre.
Unveiling of sculpture of Professor S Hawking (left) by Honourable. Minister Mr M Mangena.

The African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) at Muizenberg - which has a highly beneficial working relationship with UKZN - recently celebrated the opening of a research centre.

AIMS is a postgraduate training and education institution of excellence in mathematics which accepts top graduates from all over Africa providing them with a well-balanced foundation in advanced mathematics.

The emphasis is on mathematical modelling which enables graduates to successfully progress either to higher degree studies in top South African and international universities or to careers in high-tech industries.

UKZN's School of Mathematical Sciences has been closely involved in AIMS activities with Dr G Amery, Professor J Banasiak, Professor K Govinder and Dr K Moodley all presenting highly successful courses at the institution.

Professor Banasiak has been a member of the AIMS Advisory Board while UKZN has accepted a large number of AIMS postgraduate students at both MSc and PhD levels.

The AIMS Research Centre was officially opened on May 12 by the Honourable Minister M Mangena and was attended by several high-profile guests including Professor S Hawking, Nobel laureates R Smoot and D Gross as well as the NASA Administrator Dr M Griffin. It will focus on cutting edge research in mathematical modelling in fields which are relevant in the South African and African context, biology and epidemiology, mathematical finance and cosmology, and astrophysics.

Professor Banasiak, Dr Moodley and two former AIMS students, Ms M Phoolo and Mr I Karambal, who are currently studying at UKZN, were among those invited to the high profile opening.


Miss Heidi Du Clou and Miss Santhiska Pather.

Two students in the Faculty of Science and Agriculture - who obtained their undergraduate degrees cum laude this year - have received the prestigious Crowhurst Bond Memorial Scholarship worth R20 000 each.

They are Miss Santhiska Pather, who is studying towards an Honours Degree in Marine Biology, and Miss Heidi Du Clou, who is pursuing an Honours Degree in Chemistry. According to the Student Funding Centre, the Scholarship is awarded annually to a deserving student within the Faculty of Science and Agriculture or the Faculty of Engineering.

As no student was selected for the Scholarship last year, two were awarded this year on the basis of academic excellence. Miss Pather, who was the only graduate in the Faculty to obtain her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences, cum laude, said she was "grateful and honoured" to have received the Scholarship. She said it would enable her to continue studying towards her Master's Degree next year.

Inspiration for Miss Pather, whose current project for her Honours degree is on Sandy Beach Ecology, stems from her academically-inclined parents who instilled in her the importance of knowledge and tertiary education. Miss Du Clou said as a single mother studying would have been impossible without scholarships. She has been the recipient of the Emma Smith Scholarship for the past two years.

Miss Du Clou who graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry cum laude in April said: "Opportunities like this (scholarships) are so important for students because it allows us access to education."


Mr Thabani Mndebela.

A student at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine (NRMSM) who has excelled in karate was recently acknowledged at an international tournament in Russia. Fourth-year student, Mr Thabani Mndebela, and his three team mates were recognised as the best fighters in their category at the International Karate Team Tournament held in Khabarovsk, Russia, on May 11.

The International Karate Organisation presented the team with the Best Fighters Diploma for their prowess in the martial art. Mr Mndebela's participation in a tournament in South Africa last year - the All African Kyokushin Karate Tournament - led to his selection for the Russian competition.

Mr Mndebela, who has a brown belt, said he felt he "deserved" this win because of the "hours of hard work I have put in". He trains daily at UKZN's Old Mutual Sports Hall. Students are often advised to balance their studies with extra curricular activities and Mr Mndebela has struck this balance through his karate training. It has taught him discipline and motivated him in his studies. The aspirant paediatrician said he chose to study Medicine because he "liked serving people".

Professor Willem Sturm, Dean of the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine said: "Students and staff at the NRMSM are proud of Thabani's achievements. He is a role model for younger students in that he performs in his sport at international level while being successful in his studies as well."


From left: Dr Tenfei Wang, Economic Affairs Officer, UNESCAP (Conference Chair); Dr Mihalis Chasomeris, UKZN's Graduate School of Business and Ms Irene Rosberg, Programme Director, Copenhagen Business School.

Dr Mihalis Chasomeris of the Graduate School of Business represented UKZN at two international conferences in the Far East recently.

The first event was the International Shipping, Port & Logistics Conference held at Kainan University in Taiwan where Dr Chasomeris presented a paper on "The (Mis) Measurement of International Transport Costs".

The second gathering was the annual Conference of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) jointly organised by Dalian Maritime University in China and the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom. It was the first time the conference - attended by more than 120 academics and practitioners from 26 countries - has been held in Mainland China. Dr Chasomeris presented his research on: "The Econometric (Mis) Use of Country CIF/FOB ratios to Measure International Transport Costs".

Both papers were well received and explained that the United Nations, World Bank, African Development Bank and several researchers use import cif/fob ratios to measure international transport costs. Unfortunately, for many countries, these ratios are not reliable.

The presentation by Dr Chasomeris at the IAME Conference and the networking opportunities it provided resulted in him being invited to contribute to an international research project. The broad purpose of this project is to assess the contribution made by South African ports to the national economy of South Africa. Dr Chasomeris has also received the honour of being invited to serve as a full member of the IAME Council until the 2010 IAME Conference.


From left, Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, Commissioning Editor of M-Net EDiT; Director of Photography of Commando, Mr David Willert, and Supervising Producer and part-time Lecturer in Scriptwriting in the Drama Department at UKZN PMB, Ms Janet van Eeden.

UKZN's Drama Department was among the winners at the M-Net Emerging Dynamics in Television (EDiT) Awards held at The Venue in Johannesburg. The film, Commando, by Drama and Media student Stephen de Villiers won the M-Net EDiT Award for Cinematography.

Mr de Villiers was given an M-Net EDiT grant last year to make the Boer War epic. He and his crew shot the film in September over six days in the Kamberg Nature Reserve in Lesotho and at McCrorie House in Pietermaritzburg.

Mr de Villiers is currently in New Zealand before he begins his Masters Degree at UKZN. Collecting the award on his behalf was the Director of Photography (DOP) of Commando, Mr David Willert.

M-Net Commisioning Editor Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, who spearheads the EDiT project, said: "We have been nurturing student film making for many years. EDiT has been a huge success and we take pride and joy when we see how young film makers who got their first break through this initiative proceed to build solid film and television careers."

The EDiT initiative is open to tertiary institution students who are in their final year of study or post-graduates as well as to individuals doing their apprenticeship or who are interns at production companies.

Drama Co-ordinator at the Pietermaritzburg campus, Veronica Baxter, said credit should be given to the lecturer in Script writing, Ms Janet van Eeden, who coaches the students in writing treatments (specialised film-selling documents) which are then submitted to the M-Net selection panel.

The five students chosen from tertiary institutions are given a R40 000 grant to make their own films on the basis of the quality of the treatments alone. The M-Net EDiT Awards are awarded after the final film productions have been judged by a panel of experts in the industry.


UKZN Academics with the Class of 2007.

South Africa is short of electricians, carpenters and plumbers, students at a UKZN awards ceremony heard recently. Professor Bonke Dumisa of the School of Management and former CEO of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry made the statement during a presentation on skills development.

Professor Dumisa said the above trades were just some of the sectors suffering from a shortage of skills.

He was speaking at an Awards Presentation for students who had completed a course in the Advanced Certificate in Public and Development Management which was facilitated by the Project Management and Training Unit which is housed in the Faculty of Management Studies. Academics in the School of Public Administration are responsible for managing the different modules in the Programme.

In his address, he mentioned the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) and the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) as initiatives used by the government to decrease unemployment.

Professor Dumisa then challenged the students to use the knowledge they had acquired to address the issue of skills shortage. One of the reasons he had left the corporate sector was to play a meaningful role in skills development through research and teaching.

Students were congratulated on completing the course by the director of the Project Management and Training Unit, Professor Mervin Kambuwa.

The training programme was aimed at middle managers and attracted participants from the various spheres of government and the non-governmental community. Many of the participants who have graduated successfully from the Programme over the years are currently holding top management positions in the public sector.


From left: Ms Lisa du Toit, PhD student in Pharmacy; Professor Willem Sturm, Dean of the NRMSM; Professor Thirumala Govender, Department of Pharmacy; and Professors Toshio Hattorri, Manabu Fukumoto and Tetsuya Kodama, of Tohoku University in Japan.

The Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine hosted a delegation from Tohoku University in Japan on April 25. Visiting Professors, Toshio Hattori, Manabu Fukumoto and Tetsuya Kodama met with researchers who are involved in treating and researching Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR)-Tuberculosis (TB), Extremely-Drug Resistant-TB (XDR-TB), HIV and AIDS, and the formulation of Novel Drug Delivery Systems.

Professor Hattorri presented on the HIV Type-1 (HIV-1) cases in Japan. Since 1985 the number of HIV positive patients in Japan has increased from 20 to 1400 on an annual basis.

Professor Kodama's presentation was on how nanobubble technology can be used for micro-diagnostics by using high-frequency ultrasound. Novel liposomal bubbles (Bubble liposomes), containing the lipid nanobubbles of perfluoropropane used as the ultrasound imaging agent, was developed. These bubble liposomes induced cavitation upon exposure to ultrasound. Hence the outer layer of liquid is attracted into the core, opening the layer of lipids, hence releasing the drug.

The cavitation of these Bubble liposomes is an efficient approach for delivering plasmid DNA into cells suggesting that bubble liposomes could be effective as a non-viral vector system in in vivo gene delivery. Professor Kodama said that nanobubbles can be used for early diagnosis of malignant lymphoma and Karposi's sarcoma.

Ms Lisa du Toit, a PhD student in Pharmacy will spend three months this year at Tohoku University to undergo training in nanotechnology.


Dr Evodia Setati (second left) and Miss Simphiwe Buthelezi (back - second left) from Microbiology with a group of Life Sciences teachers on the Westville campus.

Relationship building was the main objective of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture's teacher information days held recently on the Westville campus.

Maths, Physical Science and Life Sciences teachers from various high schools in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg areas interacted with Faculty staff and experienced the new and improved Science facilities on campus.

Information sessions on the key aspects of the new National Senior Certificate (NSC) Maths and Science curriculum took place in the Science and Technology Education Centre. Teachers gleaned valuable information on the requirements and competencies necessary for success in the fields of science and agriculture.

Tours of the Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry laboratories and research facilities proved to be an eye-opening experience for many of the teachers. They marvelled at the sophisticated and state-of-the-art resources available to students.

Overall the event served its purpose, benefiting the teachers and the Faculty. Teachers left with a new vision of the University and Faculty members learnt about the challenges facing secondary school educators.


Postgraduate Dietetics students with (front from left) Professor Eleni Maunder, Head of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Sister Fiona Prins of Roche Products and Ms Suna Kassier, Academic Co-ordinator: Postgraduate Diploma.

Pharmaceutical giant, Roche Products, recently visited the Pietermaritzburg campus and presented 34 Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics students with blood glucose monitor kits.

Diabetes is a life threatening disease which is becoming increasingly prevalent in South Africa and Roche is acutely conscious of the importance of effectively monitoring and treating diabetic patients. It is therefore essential that students training to become registered dietitians are well equipped to identify and deal with patients exhibiting diabetic symptoms.

The Accu-Chek blood glucose monitor kits, which are Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved, are used in state facilities around the country. They are used specifically to test and monitor blood glucose (sugar) levels in patients.

Diabetes Nurse Specialist from Roche, Sister Fiona Prins said: "We want to make sure the students are well equipped when they go out. We are hoping they will use them in their practice and enjoy the Accu-Chek products for the future".

Dietetic postgraduate student, Ms Kirasha Maharaj who is currently conducting her clinical internship at Northdale Hospital said that the kit would be very useful as she would no longer have to rely on nursing staff and doctors to generate blood glucose results but could perform the tests herself.


The Surialanga Dance Company performing in Seoul, South Korea.

UKZN lecturer Professor Suria Govender and three dancers of the Surialanga Dance Company performed at the SA Freedom Week celebrations held in Seoul, South Korea, recently.

South Africa's Ambassador to Korea, Mr Stefanus Schoeman, invited them to the event aimed at celebrating South Africa's freedom and cultural diversity which ran alongside a trade and industry fair.

Hundreds of Korean people and Ambassadors representing about 70 countries experienced the unique dance fusion - a blend of Indian classical dance and music of the different cultural groups in South Africa. Performers from Cape Town and Durban singing in isiZulu, English and Afrikaans, supported the dancers.

Artists had the unusual experience of performing on a train which travelled through the Korean countryside on a four-hour journey.

The Surialanga Dance Company's renditions, which were spread over four days, included a performance at a banquet for over 70 Ambassadors from the surrounding area and their guests.

Another highlight was interaction with Korean orphans who benefit from a special project under the auspices of the South African Embassy in Seoul.


From left: Director of Student Housing, Ms Vasanthie Naidoo, delegates Ms Hui Ling Chan and Mr J Bradley Blankenship, and Ms Rosinah Yende, Deputy Director of Student Housing.

Student leadership experts from the United States were briefed on UKZN student development initiatives during their recent visit.

Ms Hui Ling Chan and Mr J Bradley Blankenship, delegates of the Association of Colleges and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHOI), caught a glimpse of student life at the Westville and Howard College campuses.

Their tour of the campuses included a visit to residences where they gained first hand knowledge of services available to students. Their visit culminated with a meeting with the Executive Dean of Students, Mr Trevor Wills, and Deputy Dean, Mr Themba Khumalo.

The visit provided an opportunity for the exchange of information on student development issues. Delegates indicated that they were impressed by the enthusiasm of people tasked with the duty of "wanting to make things happen for students here at UKZN". They also attended a seminar at which student housing staff received training on how to improve student life outside of academic work.

They spoke of student development outside of the academic programme - skills that would enable students to become responsible citizens and develop leadership skills. Ms Ling Chan said: "Students here are more respectful and polite to people they interact with compared with those in the United States."

Ms Vasanthie Naidoo, Director: Department of Student Housing, at UKZN said: "They exchanged information on how their systems work, which would assist both parties in enhancing processes and procedures to ensure smooth running of operations.

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