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“Reinventing South Africa’s Universities for the Future”

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Universities South Africa ( USAF) is set for the first National Higher Education Conference, themed ” Reinventing South Africa’s universities for the future”. A three day conference hosted at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)’s International Convention Centre, north-east of Pretoria.

With the 4IR set to change the scope of every institution within the country and the world, it is also critical to look at how to change and as well as reinvent educational institutions.

To be competent as educational systems, USAF aims to focus on:

  • a range of high priority issues such as how universities need to re-shape students for the future world of work how universities are re-positioning graduates as future creators of work
  • The impact of new technologies in the labour market and implications for universities.
  • The event will take a futuristic view at optimising technology in teaching and learning while also shining a spotlight on the impact of new, integrated technologies on the future of Higher Education.
  • Explore the higher education curriculum for the future.
  • Different perspectives will be heard on how universities could use transformative engagement to embed themselves in their local contexts while also deliberately re-shaping their institutional cultures.
  • Deliberations will interrogate the state of research at South Africa’s universities and also dedicate a session to ethics and integrity in research publishing.
  • At least two sessions have been allocated to explore funding as it pertains to the higher education sector, and to students, respectively. There will be a lot more to deliberate on.

Attending the event will be senior leaders of both public universities and private higher education institutions, the Council on Higher Education, the National Research Foundation, university associations, academics, administrators and senior government officials. Minister of Higher Education and Training, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, It also includes a representative of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. A visiting professor from the University of Oslo in Norway, the Vice-Chancellor of the Nairobi-based United States International University (Africa).

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Universities

SKA innovations connecting the African continent

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6th SKA Africa Partner Countries Meeting IMAGE: Supplied ( DSI )

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has been working on advancing radio astronomy programmes and combining efforts to grow astronomy on the continent.

On Monday the DSI were hosts to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and (AVN) partners from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia to look into providing strategic leadership on matters relating to SKA/AVN projects, as well as other relevant radio astronomy initiatives.

Innovations have been introduced to the science world across all nine African partners leading to significant advances in human capacity development initiatives, the strengthening of relevant institutional capacities, the formulation of new academic programmes around physics and astronomy, the roll-out of high-performance computing capability and big data training interventions and science engagement and outreach.

In order to ensure development for Africa  through radio astronomy, the department proposes that is continues to engage with the United kingdom taking the case they have in terms of strengthening the programme into a sustainable programme, skills and capacity through astronomy.

“Partner countries were unanimous in their appreciation of the partnership opportunities made available under the United Kingdom-South Africa Newton Fund cooperation framework, which had resulted in initiatives such as the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) and DARA big data training programmes. Since 2013, 123 students have received training under the DARA Project.”

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A visit to South Africa’s greatest science grounds

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SARAO Losberg Site, Northern Cape IMAGE: DSI

The department of Science and Innovation took on day two with a visit to the SARAO Losberg Site in the Northern Cape.

during the African Ministers meeting held at the SARAO Losberg Site, Northern Cape , SOUTH AFRICA.

Delegates, partners, the media and the Premier of the Northern Cape Dr Zamani Saul were taken through to experience the greatest innovations Northern Cape province has to offer within the science industry.

The SKA projects have brought forth opportunities for the province, creating employment, developing townships and contributing towards higher education.

during the African Ministers meeting held at the SARAO Losberg Site, Northern Cape , SOUTH AFRICA.

Also marking the contribution made within the African continent is the United Kingdom-South Africa Newton Fund cooperation framework.This brought about initiatives such as the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) and DARA big data training programmes.

123 students have received training under the DARA Project, since the year 2013.

during the African Ministers meeting held at the SARAO Losberg Site, Northern Cape , SOUTH AFRICA.

DARA, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) together with South Africa’s Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), will be working with its African partners to develop long-term sustainable plans that would include interventions such as internships and employment for trainees and graduating students.

during the African Ministers meeting held at the SARAO Losberg Site, Northern Cape , SOUTH AFRICA.

For more info read the following media statement:

Joint media statement on the outcomes of the 6th SKA Africa Partner Countries MeetingSenior officials and experts…

Posted by Department of Science and Innovation on Tuesday, 15 October 2019

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TUKS students put mental health on the forefront

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IMAGE: UNISA Facebook

October, mental health awareness month. For students at the Univeristy of Pretoria this also serves as an opportunity to deal with issues of mental health by putting them at the forefront and raising awareness.

Students are taking a stand and this month are looking to step forward as advocates for change. An hour-long silent march will be held at the university tomorrow across the main campus, ” led by the Psyche Society collaborating with the Student Representative Council, drama department and Fly@UP to mark international Mental Health Awareness”.

Students also urge the public to join in the march, under the theme ” Suicide prevention”.

A mental health seminar will also held where psychological experts will tap into teaching students on how tackle mental health-related matters.

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