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UJ virtual graduations amped-up with unique selfie App

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Celebrating ones academic milestone is always something to look forward to, however, the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus has seen institutions go virtual to allow students to still celebrate their academic achievements in a different way.

The University of Johannesburg has moved to virtual graduation ceremonies and to make for an even greater experience they have introduced a unique selfie app for graduates to take a graduation selfie in the graduation attire, while “standing around” virtually at the graduation ceremony.

The univeristy will also be introducing another added benefit, electronic academic records. This means that Graduates ( including now send a secure electronic academic record to themselves or a third party.

A total of 10 000 undergraduate diplomas/degrees and almost 3 000 postgraduate degrees, including 669 Master’s and 133 Doctoral degrees will be virtually awarded by the University’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala.

Although the excitement of the actual graduation ceremonies is missing, universities have joined in the trend hosting their ceremonies virtually, and making the best out of the graduates’ experiences given the unfortunate circumstances.

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Universities

R100 million plegde to reduce student fees

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Regenesys Business School has taken the initiative to reduce fees that students have to pay to study business programmes by 60%.

A pledge of R100 million has been made by the institution. This comes after looking at how the Covid-19 outbreak has affected people’s income.

This is the institutions lockdown initiative which is said to be made available to the first 500 students to register for the online MBA, Bachelor, Diploma, and Certificate programmes for the period between May and August 2020.

“Regenesys is deeply committed to helping all members of society that have been affected by pay cuts and job losses to develop a competitive edge and bounce back from the pandemic or to start their own new venture”, said Dr Marko Saravanja, Chairperson of Regenesys Business School.

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Universities

What level 3 means for higher education institutions

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The Deparment of Higher Education, Science and Technology has been working on plans to enhance online learning platforms to accommodate students so that remote learning can continue.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday (24 May), that the country will move to level 3 lockdown from the 1st of June.

The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technolgy, Buti Manamela talking to Cape Talk explained how higher education institutions are getting ready for the reopening of universities from the 1st of June.

33% of students will be returning to campus. “Univeristies will be spending this time building up to ensure that they get the universities ready according to the guidelines and protocols regarding sanitation, PPE, and quarantine”

He further stated that most univeristies needed atleast two weeks to prepare for the students who are allowed to return to campus.

Adding to the medical and clinical students who are in campus, trimetser students will be returning to TVET colleges, these are engineering students.

This will be followed by a phase-in return of other students within various fields.

“We have had discussions with unions, students Vice-chancellors that we will have to reconstitute the academic year, that we really complete that”

In conclusion he added that, ” What we have been working on, is that all students by 1 June get some form of support and that is what we have asked universities to do -either send them a device, learning materials, data,”

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Minister Blade Nzimande to hold briefing on lockdown in the higher education sector

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Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation,Dr Blade Nzimande will hold a media briefing on matters pertaining to the lockdown in the higher education, science and innovation sector.

The Minister will be addressing the public based on their concerns about schools reopening.

The South African Union of Students ( SAUS) has expressed their concerns, and are hoping that Minister Nzimande will speak on allowing higher education institutions to reopen since Basic education sector is preparing to have grade 7and 12 learners back in school.

The Minister will address amongst other issues NSFAS allowances,SETAs stipends and the return of medical students to campus.

In the science and innovation sector, there will be an update on research on South Africa’s traditional medicine and the engagements with stakeholders in relation to indigenous knowledge systems and COVID-19.

The briefing will take place today at 11am.

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