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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

UCT’s academic programme to support South African youth

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The University of Cape Town has come up with an initiative which is aimed at supporting South African youth who are not in unemployment, education or training (NEET).

The academic programme is led by the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU).

The programme is called the Basic Package of Support (BPS) and was developed in 2019 and it takes a positive youth development approach which recognises young people’s agency.

Associate Professor Ariane De Lannoy, chief researcher at SALDRU and BPS programme said, “It works with youth in the ecosystem of available government or non-profit programmes and services to enhance their navigation of the steps needed to realise their envisaged futures. Importantly, the BPS model appreciates that young people need a wide range of support services to deal with the many challenges or deprivations they face, ”

“It will support young people’s educational and employment transitions, recognise the interconnectedness of deprivations and seek to support their agency and resilience, which will be crucial following the COVID-19 pandemic”

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Universities

DHET releases policy framework to tackle GBV at PSET institutions

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PHOTO: UJ website

The Department of Higher Education has released a policy framework in dealing with Gender-based violence (GBV). This is for the post-school education and training (PSET) system.

The policy framework will guide educational systems around the structures, mechanisms and processes that PSET institutions must put in place to address GBV.

GBV cases within educational institutions are increasing, with 380 cases of rape reported at schools, universities, colleges or daycare facilities thus far.

“The Policy Framework compels PSET institutions to both create awareness of GBV policies and prevent incidents of GBV; as well as to assist PSET institutions to address the occurrence of GBV. It also provides a monitoring instrument to the Department to assess the implementation of the Policy Framework,” said Minister Blade Nzimande.

Minister Nzimande further stated that, “The policy fosters co-operation between PSET institutions and the Department through creating a enabling environment and enables the Department to monitor and evaluate its implementation. Systematic reporting as well as monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are critical as they continuously improve the reliability of data and the quality of future intervention strategies”

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Universities

“GBV cannot be addressed without addressing gender inequality”-UJ

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Photo: UJ Website

Gender-based violence (GBV), a worldwide problem and according to President Cyril Ramaphosa “A war waged against women and children”.

This has also affected students on and off campus leading universities to ensure that responsive support services and safe spaces are made available to students.

In developing these support services, the University of Johannesburg recognises that “measures to deal with GBV need to move beyond reactive and curative responses, to prevention and addressing the social-cultural norms that enable gender inequality”.

To address the issue of GBV, last year UJ Senate appointed a task team to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to address GBV.  Key UJ stakeholders were  actively involved in this plan, which considers: (a) Intervention and responses, (b) Community education, awareness, marketing and prevention; (C) Teaching, learning and research, and (e) Monitoring and evaluation.

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UJ support services for GBV:

Transformation Division: Transformation@uj.ac.za I 011 559 7789

Gender Equity Unit: gender@uj.ac.za 

(PsyCaD): psycadinfo@uj.ac.za Crisis Line: 0820541137

Campus Health: APK 011 559 3837 / APB 011 559 1238 / DFC 011 559 6544 / SWC 011 559 5571

National and local support services

GBV Command Centre: 0800 428 428 * Please call *120*7867# * SMS help 31531 Lenasia South Thuthuzela Care Centre: 011 213 9722 * Nthabiseng Thuthuzela Care Centre: CHC Hospital: 011 933 1206 * Tembisa Hospital Masakhane Thuthuzela Care Centre: 011 923 2180  

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