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Sunday, 21 September 2014

UCT up four spots in 2014 QS World University Rankings

UCT StudentsThe University of Cape Town has maintained its upward trend in the annual Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, moving up four places to 141st place for the 2014/2015 ranking cycle. The university was ranked 145 last year.

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UCT statement regarding ANC's attack on the Public Protector

Thuli MadonselaThe ANC's attack on the Public Protector is misguided and directly undermines good governance and public accountability of government, and in particular the President.

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Smuts remembered by students and alumni

Smuts MemorialThe Inaugural Field Marshall Jan Smuts Memorial Lecture – held on 12 September, the 64th anniversary of the former UCT Chancellor's death – was delivered by Prof Bill Nasson, following a wreath laying by Smuts Hall students and alumni at Smuts' statue in the Company's Gardens.

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'The world looks to South Africa for moral leadership'

Navi PillayNavi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, delivered the 15th Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture to a packed Jameson Hall on 11 November. In her view, South Africa has done much to promote human rights, but should not rest on its laurels.

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UCT congratulates Opie on NRF Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof Lionel OpieEmeritus Professor Lionel Opie of the UCT Hatter Institute of Cardiology Research has been honoured with a National Research Foundation (NRF) Lifetime Achievement Award.

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GSB conference focuses on design thinking

GSBThe annual UCT GSB Conference on the Business of Social and Environmental Innovation in October will focus on how design thinking can provide answers to complex social, economic and organisational issues.

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UCT Cycling Club conquers 'Everest'

UCT cyclistsA group of UCT cyclists spent 7 September cycling back and forth from Camps Bay to the top of Signal Hill – climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest – as they added their names to the world 'Everesting' hall of fame. Their painful pedaling was not in vain: all money they raised went to a cycling academy in a local township.

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Brazilian contracts pave way for South-South collaboration

Lara Dunwell and Prof Thandabantu NhlapoIncreased scientific and technological cooperation through the funding of joint research projects between UCT researchers and their Brazilian counterparts are set to follow a formal agreement signed recently between UCT and the Sγo Paolo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

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Groundbreaking clinical trial settles question on treatment of TB pericarditis

Bongani MayosiAfrica is open for business when it comes to health research, says Professor Bongani Mayosi, Head of Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town, and lead investigator of an African-led multi-country study.

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UCT professor elected as next President of International Council for Science

Prof Daya ReddyA world-renowned mathematician and current South African Research Chair in Computational Mechanics, Professor Daya Reddy from the University of Cape Town, has been named the next President of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

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Student design competition for Rustenburg Slave Memorial

Rustenburg Burial GroundRustenburg Burial Ground, the final resting place for slaves who worked on the farms along the Liesbeeck River in the 17th and 18th centuries, is to become a memorial to those dispossessed of land and freedom in Cape Town's colonial past – and UCT students are being invited to submit proposals for the memorial.

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Research agenda front and centre at launch of 2013 Research Report

2013/14 Research ReportIncreased support for UCT researchers is at the heart of the university's new research strategy, which will go before Senate in the next couple of weeks. Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Danie Visser gave a preview of what is contained in the strategy at the launch of the 2013/14 Research Report.

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UCT researcher honoured at international conference

Freda WaltersUCT student Freda Walters won the prize for the best young researcher at the Oxford Dysfluency Conference earlier this year, for her feasibility study on interventions to prevent the teasing and bullying of children who stutter.

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Engineering responses to global challenges

Harro von BlottnitzIn the face of the global challenges of pollution, resource extraction and climate change, Professor Harro von Blottnitz argues that a holistic 'life cycle' approach, informed by systems intelligence, is essential.

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'Our freedom is shrinking' - Max du Preez

Max du PreezTwenty years after democracy there are alarming signs that our freedom is shrinking, a situation that must be reversed before South Africa "lands on the slippery slope to authoritarianism", said veteran journalist Max du Preez.

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Sharing of tax information potentially perilous

Jennifer RoeleveldThe South African government is able, through its treaty network, to share information about its taxpayers with nearly 100 countries. Professor Jennifer Roeleveld of the Department of Finance and Tax wonders whether this tsunami of information exchange will come crashing down on revenue authorities and taxpayers, or merely lap the tax shores.

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Human rights the focus of upcoming Steve Biko lecture

Navi PillayNavi Pillay, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will be the guest speaker at the annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture in Jameson Hall on 11 September at 18h00.

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HAICU and Michaelis in campaign against gender-based violence

HAICU campaignPassersby on UCT's upper campus might've noticed a trail of rose petals leading into the Molly Blackburn Hall recently. These petals were part of a performance by first-year students from the Michaelis School of Fine Art and an exhibition by HAICU, the university's HIV/AIDS, Inclusivity and Change Unit.

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The case against privatising knowledge

Dr Rajesh TandonIf universities get their knowledge production function right in the contemporary context, they will be able to improve learning in their teaching and that will be their most important contribution in terms of service, said Dr Rajesh Tandon during his Vice-Chancellor's Open Lecture.

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UCT enters R252m partnership with MasterCard Foundation to help reverse African 'brain drain'

Mastercard Scholarship ProgramThe University of Cape Town has embarked on an ambitious project to help develop 300 committed future leaders from economically disadvantaged communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry shines at international congress

IACAPAPMembers of the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town returned with a clutch of awards from the International Congress of the International Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP), which was held for the first time in Africa.

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Classrooms on the fly

Mobile classroomsOn the cusp of the second semester the new Teaching and Learning Building (TLB) on upper campus – due to host lectures in term 3 – was behind schedule. With just two weeks before the students came streaming back, various UCT role players came up with an innovative solution.

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Ikeys regain the Vino Varsity trophy

Vino Varsity ChallengeThe skies were clear blue last Friday afternoon as the Ikeys were crowned the 6th Vino Varsity Challenge Champions in the annual competition hosted by Backsberg.

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1994: The Bloody Miracle screening at UCT

The Bloody MiracleA local documentary that explores an often untold story – of those who tried to derail South Africa's first democratic elections, pushing the country to the brink of civil war – will be screened at UCT on 26 August, with thanks to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 1994: The Bloody Miracle was produced and co-directed by two UCT members of staff, Paul Egan and Meg Rickards.

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Two years on: UCT commemorates Marikana

MarikanaIt's been two years since police killed 34 striking mineworkers near Lonmin's Marikana mine outside Rustenburg on 16 August 2012. This week, members of the UCT community commemorated the massacre and debated its structural causes and implications for society.

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High-impact medical research wanted, says new MRC president

Glenda GrayThe South African Medical Research Council's (MRC) new president, Professor Glenda Gray, addressed guests at the health sciences' dean's seminar recently, telling guests that the MRC is interested in big ideas, big science and high-impact research.

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UCT postgrad courses go online in Africa

Get SmarterUCT's Faculty of Commerce has launched the first two of a planned suite of online postgraduate programmes as part of a strategic initiative that will enable students across Africa to study with high-touch interactive support – anytime, anywhere.

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Inspirational teachers honoured with Stella Clark Award

Stella Clark

Charlene Little and Amina Nordien were both recognised for their extraordinary contribution at an emotional ceremony on 18 August 2014.

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Students hone business skills at FLUX

Flux

Described as a combination of television programmes The Apprentice and Dragon's Den, UCT FLUX saw 24 teams, consisting of six people each, compete across two days to come up with business solutions to local challenges.

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Do gender dynamics really matter in continuing the work of liberation?

Zethu Matebeni

At a Gender-in-Dialogue event, hosted as part of the 12th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture Series in August, UCT researcher Zethu Matebeni spoke movingly about the importance of gender justice in the continuing work of liberation.

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Four Women in Science winners in 2014

WISA

Four UCT scientists – Professor Genevieve Langdon and Associate Professor Michelle Kuttel as well as PhD students Kwezikazi Mkentane and Maletsabisa Molapo – have been recognised by the Department of Science and Technology as part of the 2014 Women in Science Awards.

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Learning to fly: lessons from computational fluid dynamics

Prof Arnaud Malan

Aeroplanes with flexible wings that withstand the strain of turbulence and indestructible tubes that ensure arteries stay open. These are just a few of the innovations that computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technology may be able to ensure – and a UCT professor and his team are at the forefront of this high-tech development.

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Colloquium, film mark crystallography pioneer's 'extraordinary life'

Prof RW JamesFormer UCT physics professor RW James is the link between two key events this year: the International Year of Crystallography and the centenary of Ernest Shackleton's doomed Antarctic expedition. The physics department will host a colloquium and will screen a film to mark these milestones.

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Premiering at GIPCA's Live Art Festival

2nd Live Art FestivalThirty-nine innovative works by local and international artists will feature at the 2nd Live Art Festival, hosted by the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts – many of them for the first time in South Africa or the world.

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Gangsterism: a stew of complex factors

Gangs

Has the time come to declare gangsterism a gross human rights violation, punishable under the United Nations Convention Against Torture? A three-day seminar on gangs kicked off at UCT on Tuesday to understand a complex phenomenon that needs multi-faceted, long-range strategies.

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Sparkling VC Concert a celebration of note

VC ConcertIt was a triple celebration: a musical underscoring of 20 years of freedom; a tribute to UCT staff; and a parade of the musical and vocal gifts of students at UCT's South African College of Music.

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The race to equity in higher education institutions

EE and transformationAt a recent debate on employment equity and affirmative action, hosted by the university's Transformation Services Office, panellists agreed that South African universities still reflected structural inequality in society, but disagreed on the extent to which race- and class-based lenses could diagnose and solve the problem.

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City's Goema Orchestra season to play works by five UCT composers

Mandla MlangeniOn two Saturdays in August 2014, Cape Town Goema Orchestra will be performing new works by six Cape Town composers – five of whom are UCT graduates.

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Medical humanities in Africa

Medical HumanitiesBuilding on last year's ground-breaking conference, Body Knowledge: Medicine and the Humanities in Conversation, hosted by the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, UCT is set to host a second conference, Medical Humanities in Africa, in late August. What are the medical humanities? Conference co-organiser Dr Susan Levine explains.

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Homegrown paediatric care in Africa

Jo WilmshurstAfrica faces a crushing child-health burden, with diseases such as epilepsy often going undiagnosed. But UCT is training and supporting a corps of African paediatricians to manage these unique situations, said Professor Jo Wilmshurst in her inaugural lecture.

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