Wednesday, 4 July 2007 | Volume 1, Issue #10
 
 
In This Issue

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRODUCED BY:

Public Affairs and Corporate Communications

 

EDITED BY:

Professor Dasarath Chetty & Smita Maharaj

 

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Please submit newsworthy articles to : online@ukzn.ac.za

 

WHERE TO FIND THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE:

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ENQUIRIES
Sunayna Ratibar

Extension : # 4249

 

© COPYRIGHT

All information © 2007 University of KwaZulu-Natal. All rights reserved.

 

 

 
UKZN RECEIVES MAJOR BOOST FROM TOYOTA
 

Mr Bruno van Dyk, (3rd from left) receives the cheque from Mr Lindsay Clive-Smith


Toyota South Africa has committed R3.2 million to UKZN for the period 2006/2007 for various bursary and scholarship programmes. The symbolic handover of this investment took place on 25 June 2007.

Executive Director of the UKZN Foundation, Mr Bruno van Dyk, accepted the cheque on behalf of the University. He Said, “Toyota has always been a valuable partner and we have had a long and distinguished relationship with them.” He added that Toyota has also invested a great deal in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The partnership with Toyota has added tremendous value in a number of different endeavours at UKZN.

Presenting the cheque, Mr Lindsay Clive-Smith, Manager for Housing and Social Investment at Toyota South Africa, promised that the company will continue to support UKZN and to increase its investment in the University in the years to come. He also acknowledged UKZN staff for their efficient co-operation with Toyota. He emphasised that Toyota’s contribution to the University should be seen as an investment and that there is always a return on this investment.

 

MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE IN HOCKEY
 

L-R: Miss Marie-Louise Albertyn, Mr Alex Skosana, Ms Kary Sharratt, Mr Derrik Matthew, Mr Andile Nqini, Professor Amed Bawa, Dr Bheki Ngcobo,
Mr Lennie Botha,Mr Dave Carr


Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd, the worldwide brand, has entered into a three-year sponsorship agreement with the UKZN Hockey Club.

Part of the sponsorship agreement, which was officially launched on 20 June is that Steinhoff International will brand 12 UKZN teams in the Internal Residence League and seven teams in the KwaZulu-Natal Coastals Provincial Hockey League. This is the first sponsorship of its kind for the 71 year old Sport Admin Club. The Club has a proud history and has produced around 40 players who have played for South Africa. The Hockey Club competitive teams compete in the KwaZulu-Natal Coastals Hockey Indoor and Outdoor Leagues from January to September each year.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba thanked Steinhoff International for sponsoring and branding UKZN Hockey teams. He added that to create a sustainable relationship with the sponsor “we must work on good principles and ethics to build it”. He hopes this relationship is the beginning of many others in which UKZN will engage.

Head of Sport Administration on the Howard College campus Mr Andile Nqini said, “It’s an honour and privilege to receive this sponsorship. This is the best we have ever had and hope that you will maintain this relationship in many years to come. We see this gesture as a way to change the lives of our youth at the residences.” Ms Karen Sharrat, Co-ordinator of Hockey in the Sport Administration Division on the Howard College campus, facilitated negotiations for the sponsorship.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Knowledge Production and Partnerships) Professor Ahmed Bawa views the sponsorship as a special honour for UKZN. “The bulk of the sponsorship that UKZN receives comes from outside of South Africa. This kind of sponsorship is also special as it opens up the way for South African universities and companies to engage in partnerships.”

Mr Derrik Matthew, Marketing Director of Steinhoff International says that negotiations to enter into this agreement started in March last year. “We are passionate about supporting sport and we are also supporting other sporting codes at other institutions such as rugby and soccer,” says Mr Matthew. He adds that he is also impressed by the proud history of UKZN sport.

 

UKZN TO CONFER ITS FIRST HONORARY DEGREES
 

Professor Kader Asmal
Mr David Rattray
Sri Swami Sahajananda

The University will honour six outstanding and well known individuals for their distinguished contribution to society by conferring the degrees honoris causa at the University’s graduation ceremonies in 2008. Educationist and activist Professor Kader Asmal (Doctor of Laws), spiritualist and advocate of the poor Sri Swami Sahajananda (Doctor of Theology), historian and orator Mr David Rattray (Doctor of Social Science), sociologist and human rights activist Professor Lena Dominelli (Doctor of Social Science), theologian and human rights activist Father Michael Lapsley (Doctor of Theology) and botanist and conservationist Mrs Elsa Pooley (Doctor of Science) will be awarded the first honorary degrees from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, said that, ‘the University is honoured that all of the nominees have accepted the award and I am personally delighted at the prospect of having such an illustrious group inscribe their names on the roll of honorary graduates of this Institution.’

The degree honoris causa can be conferred upon any person who has rendered distinguished services in the advancement of one or more of the branches of learning recognised by the University who in some other field of endeavour (e.g. the advancement of democracy, social justice or through social service, community, leadership, economic enterprise, public affairs, philanthropy, the performing and creative arts) has a personal record of distinguished service and/or achievement which is deemed appropriate for the University to recognise.

*At the time of publication the photographs of Professor Lena Dominelli, Father Michael Lapsley and Mrs Elsa Pooley were unavailable.

 

IMPERIAL COLLEGE FELLOWSHIP FOR PROFESSOR MALEGAPURU MAKGOBA
 

Professor
Malegapuru Makgoba

Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, Vice-Chancellor and Principal will be awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine in the United Kingdom in October this year in recognition of his outstanding contributions to medical research, international public health and to university administration.

In announcing Professor Makgoba’s nomination, Principal of Imperial College, Professor Stephen Smith wrote: “Fellowships of the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine are awarded to persons not members of the Faculty who are of outstanding distinction in fields related to medical science or particularly supportive of the aims and vision of the Faculty.”

An internationally-recognised molecular immunologist, Professor Makgoba has received many honours and distinctions, including the Science-for-Society Gold Medal of the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2002. In 2003, he was elected member of the founding Co-ordinating Committee of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. In 2006 he was selected as one of the 65 Caring Physicians of the World by the World Medical Association in recognition of outstanding contributions to “care, ethics and science” thereby consolidating his place as a role model for young scientists.

Professor Makgoba is a prolific author and has authored several ground-breaking scientific papers. In 1989 he co-authored two of the most cited papers in immunology. Nine of his publications have been cited more than 100 times, four of which have been cited more than 500 times, a remarkable record.

Professor Makgoba obtained his MBChB from the former University of Natal and a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Immunogenetics from Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and was elected as foreign Associate Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine.

The British National Museum of Science and Industry selected his work in 1994 for a permanent display popularising state-of-the-art science in the 20th Century.

“It is indeed a privilege to have an academic of the stature of Professor Makgoba at the helm of the University. I am not surprised by yet another international accolade brought to the University through the distinguished scientific contribution of Professor Makgoba and I congratulate him on behalf of the University Community,” said Professor Vincent Maphai, Chair of Council.

The Fellowship will be presented at a special dinner on 2 October at the Science Museum in South Kensington to mark the 10th anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine and the Centenary of Imperial College.

 

CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP RECEIVES R500 000
 

Professor
Malome Khomo

The Umsomomvu Youth Fund (UYF), in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, the eThekwini Municipality and the Youth Entrepreneurship Campaign of 2010 hosted the 4th Annual Entrepreneurs Development Conference at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from 19-22 June.

It ended with a prestigious gala dinner where the UYF awarded its Legacy Project to the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Entrepreneurship (CFE). The award of R500 000 was presented to Professor Malome Khomo, Director of CFE opening new avenues for interested students in youth entrepreneurship research.

“The Legacy Project Award is a mechanism of sustaining and contributing to a youth entrepreneurial legacy,” said Mr Malose Kekana, Chief Executive Officer of UYF. The award is renewable based on project performance and the availability of funds.

The conference theme Unleashing Youth Entrepreneurship Towards 2010 and Beyond, was also aimed at identifying business opportunities related to 2010 and developing interventions that can assist budding entrepreneurs to access these services.

The CFE believes that the legacy project aligns naturally with the core mission of CFE and UKZN. It is striving to enhance postgraduate scholarship in entrepreneurship, to provide practitioners with skills in entrepreneurship through workshops and seminars, and to disseminate research findings through academic publications and conferences.

 

STUDENT FUNDING CENTRE SCOOPS NSFAS AWARD
 

Staff of the Student Funding Centre
L-R Mr Rajen Naidoo, Mr Michael Davids, Mr Mbuyiswa Sokhela, Ms Sally Day, Mr Jerry Moodley,
Mr Richard Morrison, Ms Constance Dube

UKZN’s Student Funding Centre (SFC) has received the 2006 National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Bronze Award in the category “Most Improved Merged Institution”. The award was presented to the Director of the SFC, Mr Jerry Moodley by the Minister of Education, Ms Naledi Pandor, at a ceremony held in Cape Town, in April.

Twenty three tertiary institutions receive funding from the NSFAS. In 2006 it distributed R1.216 billion, which was used to assist 106 852 students to pay for their studies.

The SFC has been congratulated by the Executive Dean of Students, Mr Trevor Wills, for their good work which culminated in the award. Mr Moodley attributed the award to the hard work of the Loans Staff and the team work of the other divisions in the SFC across five campuses.

 

RETURN FROM EXTINCTION? – A NOVEL STUDY OF THE ZEBRA
 

Ms Rochelle Parsons (left) celebrates her success with one of her supervisors, Mrs Colleen Aldous-Mycock

The School of Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Plant Pathology had good reason to celebrate when Ms Rochelle Parsons, a 2006/7 honours student, received confirmation that a paper reporting her honours research has been accepted for publication in the South African Journal of Wildlife Science. Her project entitled “A genetic index for the stripe pattern reduction in the zebra: the Quagga Project”, represents the findings of a novel and useful study associated with how better to breed a more quagga-like variant of the plains zebra.

Reviewers responded enthusiastically to Ms Parsons’ work and praised her for her paper’s originality, sound scientific basis and its clear, concise and logical presentation. “Overall, I found the manuscript fascinating, informative and useful both scientifically and technologically,” commented one reviewer.

Ms Parsons, under the expert guidance of supervisors, Mrs Colleen Aldous-Mycock and Professor Mike Perrin, used solid population genetic analyses in her study of quagga and zebra striping. The quagga was driven to extinction over a hundred years ago, but it is hypothesised that its genes might still exist within the plains zebra populations. By breeding plains zebras for quagga-like traits such as reduced striping, it might be possible to breed a quagga look-alike.

The most significant outcome of Rochelle’s research was the development of a simple and efficient index to facilitate further striping reduction via selective breeding procedures. Overall, her research is useful in that it develops a new technology to improve the practical side of a project, while demonstrating, via standard population genetic theory, the efficacy of the endeavour.

Mrs Aldous-Mycock, who is immensely proud of her young student, said that ‘it is extremely rare for an honours student project to be published in a scientific journal'. She added that it is even more unusual to receive such a rave review, without any corrections, for a paper submitted for publication.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS MOOT IN SENEGAL
 

L-R: Mr Matthew Francis from Venn, Nemeth & Hart, Professor
Michael Cowling (Dean of Law),
Ms Sarah Swart (Law Student) and Mr Danny Hutton (Law Student)

L-R: Mr Danny Hutton (Law Student), Professor Mike Cowling
(Dean of Law), Mr Malcolm Hartwell
(Director, Deneys Reitz)
and Ms Sarah Swart (Law Student)


Fourth year Law students, Sarah Swart and Danny Hutton from the Faculty of Law (Pietermaritzburg campus), will participate in the 16th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Senegal which takes place in August this year. The costs of participating in this prestigious competition have escalated over the years with the result that some universities are no longer able to participate. The Pietermaritzburg campus was able, through generous sponsorship, to raise the full cost of sending their team. The main sponsors of their team are law firms Venn, Nemeth and Hart of Pietermaritzburg, Deneys Reitz of Durban and Bowman Gilfillan of Sandton. Howard College fourth year Law students, Carl Anne Epstein and Nishaat Lambada will also be taking part in this competition, representing the Howard College campus.

The 16th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, one of the premier human rights events on the continent, is organized by the Centre for Human Rights based at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Faculty of Law at Universite’ Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal. Approximately 70 law faculties from across Africa and neighbouring islands send a team of two students and a human rights law lecturer to the competition every year. The students argue a hypothetical human rights and international law case before law lecturers and human rights experts. The judges in the final round are international human rights lawyers of the highest standing.

“It is really good experience for aspiring law students,” says Rob Pennefather, co-ordinator of the Moot Court on the Pietermaritzburg campus. He stressed that more sponsors are required to fund the teams as costs of participation continue to escalate annually.

 

HEARD APPOINTMENT AS SECRETARIAT OF THE UNAIDS/WORLD BANK ECONOMICS REFERENCE GROUP (ERG)
 

Ms Jacqui Hadingham and Professor Alan Whiteside

The Health Economics and AIDS Research Division (HEARD) has been appointed as the Secretariat of the UNAIDS/World Bank Economics Reference Group (ERG) for the period 2006 to 2009.

HEARD’s role is to govern and implement the ERG agenda, convening eight to 10 core members from sub-economic disciplines. Topics and focus areas emanate from the World Bank and UNAIDS, and are tied to its grant to the Secretariat agency. This appointment is therefore highly significant, both strategically and materially.

The UNAIDS/World Bank ERG was formed in 2001 as an advisory body to provide expert economic advice on policy and operations around HIV. It serves as a forum for analysis and review, and informs UNAIDS, the World Bank, the UN and national policymakers on key findings and research trends.

The first meeting of the ERG was held on 3 and 4 May in Washington DC, focusing on the theme: "Analysis of the Labour Market Implications of Scaling up Services for HIV Prevention and AIDS Treatment, Care and Mitigation". HEARD’s Ms Jacqui Hadingham and Professor Alan Whiteside co-ordinated and attended the meeting, along with economists from various sub-disciplines, and representatives from the World Bank and UNAIDS.

Three background papers were presented to stimulate discussion and provide information on issues being researched in the field. Gaps in the current economic knowledge base were identified. It was apparent that much information is still needed in order to make informed and effective decisions with regard to setting policy around HIV programmes and funding at a global level.

After two days of interesting debate and discussion around the substantive topic, six topics emerged that will be considered as possible foci for future meetings:

  • Labour market implications of scaling up HIV and AIDS interventions:
    distribution, equity and cost-effectiveness of interventions
  • Socio-economic impact of HIV and AIDS
  • Poverty reduction: effectiveness of response
  • Impact on human capital formation
  • Positive and negative externalities of HIV programmes
  • HIV and AIDS and the private sector: the Global Disease Survey

The full report of the meeting proceedings can be accessed on:
http://www.heard.org.za/ERG/ERGMay07Proceedings.pdf

 

UKZN GRADUATE COMES FIFTH IN SOUTH AFRICA’S ACCOUNTING EXAMINATION
 

Professor Kanti Bhowan, Acting Dean, Faculty of Management Studies congratulates Ms Catherine Aitken

UKZN graduate, Ms Catherine Aitken (22), is in the top ten candidates who passed part one of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) examination this year. She came fifth and also obtained honours in this examination. Ms Aitken is currently serving articles at Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) in Durban. PWC supported her University studies and she has continued to excel.

This year’s SAICA results are significant, six of the top ten candidates are women and of the top ten qualifiers, five passed with honours (75% or higher). Professor Lindsay Mitchell, Head of the School of Accounting said, “The School of Accounting is indeed proud of Ms Aitken’s outstanding achievement. There were over 4100 candidates who sat in this examination.”

Ms Aitken completed her BCom Honours summa cum laude last year and she comes from a family of academics. Her brother Mr Robert Aitken, is a qualified CA and an alumnus of UKZN while her late grandfather, Professor Arthur Rayner, served the University and specialised in Biometry and Statistics.

 

TAKING SPEECH-LANGUAGE THERAPY TRAINING TO AFRICA
 

A delegation from Uganda visited the School of Audiology, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology recently to explore the Schools’ Speech-Language Pathology course with the aim of developing a similar course at their home institution, Makerere University.

UKZN’s Speech-Language and Audiology programmes have been at the forefront of curriculum change in making training current and appropriate for the South African and African context.

Ms Jenny Pahl, Academic Co-ordinator for Speech-Language Pathology explains, “We are in a good position to share our experiences with institutions in Africa. We began training in the province of KwaZulu-Natal where there were few Speech-Language Therapists and Audiologists. Thus, we faced numerous challenges which are similar to challenges faced by the University of Makerere. We have a strong focus on community based rehabilitation as do the representatives of the NGOs who were a part of the visiting delegation.”

Delegates included a group of stakeholders from the Makerere University Medical School, Mulago Hospital, Uganda Society for Disabled Children, Kyambogo University, Mulapo National Referral Hospital and Voluntary Service Overseas which sponsored the exploratory tour.

Speaking on behalf of the group Ms Sarah Bagnall of Mulago Hospital said, “We have learnt a lot from the excellent speech and language pathology programme of this University and we are certain it will be applicable in a Ugandan context. We hope to establish a long term link with the University of KwaZulu-Natal.”

Ms Pahl, says, “We are not only training for South Africa, but for Africa and the world. South Africa is the only country in Africa that offers this course and within South Africa it is offered by the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Stellenbosch.”

 

STUDENTS EMPOWER RURAL WOMEN
 

Craft work displayed at the exhibition held on the Westville campus

Mrs
Angela Mlambo

UKZN’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is helping rural women market their craft and beadwork across the globe.

SIFE members recently organised an exhibition for the King Shaka Arts and Craft Co-operation Project on the Westville campus. The women hail from different areas around Durban including KwaNyuswa and Marianhill. Women from Nduduzweni Centre for the Blind were also invited. International students and UKZN staff were invited to view and buy this work.

Speaking on behalf of King Shaka Co-operation Project, Mrs Angela Mlambo acknowledged the role played by UKZN Commerce students who help women with sound innovative business ideas to sustain their businesses.

Mr Walter Whitehead, a BCom Finance student, is leading the project to establish international links and find markets. SIFE members, Miss Dumile Gumede and Mr Zama Dladla, say that students are exploring a project where women will accommodate guests for the 2010 World Cup in rural homesteads. They are also facilitating the building of a bakery called Africano Bread which will be launched in July. Rural women have been invited to join as partners with established business people in this venture. Other students’ projects being explored include an entrepreneur project, Ukukhanya project, Eyethu project and the 2010 Schools’ Project.

 

 

WOMEN IN RESEARCH & LEADERSHIP LEVERAGE (WILL)
 

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Leadership and Equity Advancement programme identified that there was an under-representation of women in senior academic, management and leadership positions on all five campuses. In an attempt to correct this imbalance, the project Women in Research and Leadership Leverage (WILL) was born. WILL has a two-fold approach to address this concern that is a combination of skills development and hands-on research. The College of Health Sciences Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Leana Uys introduced Project WILL to the College in November last year. Headed by Professor Quarraisha Abdool-Karim, a leading infectious diseases epidemiologist, the committee consists of women who have excelled in producing research in their respective fields and who volunteer their skills and time to mentor young, aspiring scientists within the College.

The key objectives of WILL are to generate data concerning women in research and leadership and formulate strategies to raise productivity and participation, identify priority leadership and research development needs for women academics, develop a University-wide database of women in leadership and research; develop a seminar series to build women’s knowledge and skills in the areas of leadership and research; administer mini-fellowships and team research projects which pair experienced women researchers with lesser experienced ones; develop and strengthen existing ties among women staff across disciplines and campuses; encourage learning between participants as a result of one another’s experiences; and develop a model that could serve as a basis for women’s leadership development programs in other institutions of higher education.

The College of Health Sciences Project WILL offers regular workshops that aim to develop successful scientists of international standards. Topics of workshops include manuscript writing, proposals for grants, statistics, editing, etc. A database has been developed which includes a list of the mentors and their mentees as well as the areas of training required by mentees. Professor Quarraisha Abdool-Karim said that the primary objective of Project WILL in the College of Health Sciences was to ‘demystify the steps to progress for women scientists’.

 

EXCHANGE PROGRAMME
 

Sixteen UKZN students will be part of an exchange programme next semester. They are Mr Michael Van Niekerk, Mr Mxolisi Felix Dlamini, Mr Murray Sterley, and Miss Mellisa Samson, who will be attending the University of Oslo; Mr Chevy Smith, Sodertorns Hogskola University College; Mr Bjorn Hoffmann, Sodertorns Hogskola Universit College; Miss Christine Hobden, and Mr Blade Borland, both University of Trent; Miss Shaastra Nagesar and Miss Lensha Buhle Dlamini, Pitzer College; Mr Rowan Lussi and Mr Prince Bulo, University of Iowa; Miss Bongiwe Dlamini, University of Ghana; Mr Anshen Kishun, University of Calgary; Mr Itumeleng Makae, Millersville University and Miss Vanessa Moodley, Allegheny College.

UKZN has 80 student exchange agreements in 21 countries. Students pay for tuition and accommodation at their home institution and do not pay for these services when they go abroad. Credits gained at overseas institutions are accepted for their degree back home.

 

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE STUDENTS AT UKZN
 

Visiting International Students

While UKZN students are preparing to go abroad 35 students from universities in the US, Canada and the Netherlands are at UKZN during the winter break to experience South African culture.

Mr Stiv Twigg from England is doing a BA degree in International Communication at Temple University of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, USA. He is studying isiZulu Language and Culture, Cultural Diversity and Rainbow Nation as modules. Miss Stephanie Hunt is doing a BA degree in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in the USA. She is taking modules in isiZulu Language and Culture, and Service Learning.

Receiving the international students at an orientation programme on 22 June, Director of UKZN International Dr Roshen Kishun assured them that the University would take care of them. He also advised them to make the right decisions to protect themselves from the scourge of HIV/AIDS. Staff from different Departments and Units advised the students on services available. Dr Kishun said some of the students were going to visit eight service learning sites in KwaZulu-Natal, where they will interact with communities.

 


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