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Pupils march to demand university in Rustenburg

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Pupils marched in the streets of Rustenburg on Friday demanding a university. Photo by African News Agency (ANA)

Hundreds of pupils marched through the streets of Rustenburg on Friday, demanding that a university be built in the  platinum-rich city.

Representing various schools, the scholars chanted and waved placards as they snaked through the streets, slowing traffic on Oliver Tambo and Beyers Naude Drive.

They were joined by members of the  SA Student Congress (Sasco) – which coordinated the march – the Young Communist League (YCL) and the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).

Addressing the marchers, ANCYL North West provincial spokesman Tshiamo Tsotetsi said there was a need to establish a university in Rustenburg in order to complement the skill needed in the economy of the Bojanala region.

“If you can check the number of young people studying at the North West University in Mahikeng, the number of those from Bojanala are less compared to those who are from Mahikeng and surrounding areas. It is not that young people in Bojanala do not want to go to university. They want a university that can complement the economy of the region. We want a university that can train you to change chrome into a usable substance,” said Tsotetsi. 

He called on the Rustenburg Local Municipality to identify land where a university could be built.

Sasco’s deputy regional chairperson for Bojanala, Ndivhuwo Maage, said the only university in region was the University of South Africa (Unisa) and Orbit College, with its three campuses.

He said young people from Rustenburg attended universities outside the city and consequently paid a lot more for accommodation and transport.

In a memorandum addressed to the department of higher education and training (DHET), the youth representatives said the current available public institutions were not adequate to accommodate the needs of potential students in the region. 

“We are precisely demanding a university in the district under the fact that many young people are hopeless and disgruntled, they have turned out to be vagrants, smugglers, drug addicts, drug dealers and others as they do not know where to go after their matriculations,” read the memorandum.

It also highlighted the plight faced by youngsters so desperate for tertiary education that they enrolled at fly-by-night institutions and lost money in the process. 

Earlier this year, the Rustenburg municipality and DHET closed several colleges for non-compliance or failing to be registered. 

DHET was given 30 days to reply to the memorandum.

SOURCE- African News Agency (ANA)


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Universities

First accredited Automated Weather Station unveiled at TUT campus

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History was made yesterday when the Tshwane University of Technology launched the first accredited Automated Weather Station in the country.

The SA Weather Services (SAWS) partnered with the university to showcase the world-class station that is expected to provide hazardous weather warnings, alerts and site-specific forecasts to people on campus and to the SAWS.

The readings can be seen on a screen set up on campus.

The university expects the innovation to enable knowledge-sharing and research in climate and technical services, as well as forecasting and training.

Management already expects the station to help in decision-making for sporting events, saying lives could be saved from early warning of imminent lightning storms.

The launch was celebrated by all professionals who worked on the project and students who came to witness history unfold right before their eyes.

Acting SAWS chief executive Mnikeli Ndabambi said: “Severe thunderstorms produce damaging hail, stormy winds, and flash flooding. With a radar network, we can give you the exact time when it will hit this institution so you can at least park your cars under shelter.

“I am told this weather station is already contributing to the SA Weather Services network.”

SOURCE- TUT News

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NMU academic activities disrupted by protest

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Nelson Mandela University has been working to restore normal academic and other operations following disruptions on Wednesday. A group of students barricaded entrances to the campuses, which was deemed to be in contravention of the standing interdict.

This resulted in a standoff with the SA Police Service, who set off stun grenades after protesting students failed to disperse once the terms of a standing interdict were read out shortly before 1 pm. The students subsequently retreated from the entrances.

The main issue relates to some senior students who did not receive NSFAS funding as a result of not meeting nationally-determined academic performance criteria. These students were subsequently requested to vacate off-campus accommodation.

A total of 1756 students, including 309 whose individual cases were assessed and dealt with by the Clearing House established then, were allowed registration through the various concessions. In light of today’s disruptions, members of the SA Police Service and Protection Service will continue to monitor the situation and secure all campus entrances and facilities.

SOURCE– Nelson Mandela University News

   

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Universities

Higher Education Minister officially Dr. Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor

Higher education minister Naledi Pandor has graduated with a doctorate from the University of Pretoria.

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Image source : Twitter @UPTuks

Minister Naledi Pandor has lived up to her portfolio as a higher education minister by graduating with a doctorate from the University of Pretoria, in the latest of a string of qualifications behind her name.

The official announcement is expected at 3 pm but her wellwishers have already taken to social media to congratulate her over her Ph.D. in Education, which saw her delve into transformation in higher education.

* After donning her graduation robes on Tuesday afternoon, Pandor, who is in her 70s, said in a statement the decision to study again was nerve-wracking.

“But I knew I had to try. I was nervous and slightly embarrassed, as I am an older student, but once I started, I did not want to stop. There were several really bright young students and they seemed so confident and relaxed; I sometimes felt I could not catch up to their confidence levels, but I wanted to do this, so I persevered.”

Professor Chika Sehoole, Dean of the Faculty of Education at UP, said it was an honour to supervise the minister for her PhD. He previously worked with her before the old Department of Education was split. “After I agreed to supervise her, she set the rules for the relationship. She said to me, ‘Now you are my Professor, I am your student. You call me Naledi, and I will call you Professor.’ That was a shocker! I could not believe it, especially given our previous relationship in the Department of Education.”

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