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Saturday, 1 November 2014

Jazz students find their voices

Jazz students

Several first-year South African College of Music (SACM) students had the opportunity to showcase their musical talent and develop their stage skills when Monique Hellenberg – jazz vocalist and part-time SACM lecturer – organised a student concert at a well-known jazz venue in Cape Town recently.


Prestigious medal awarded to Saunders

Pro Bene Merito medal

Former UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Stuart Saunders was recently awarded Stellenbosch University's prestigious Pro Bene Merito medal for his longstanding philanthropic service to higher education in general and to Stellenbosch University in particular.


Genetically engineered 'plantibodies' to halt Ebola

Professor Ed Rybicki

While little can be done to curb the current outbreak of Ebola in Africa, when the next outbreak happens, the world will be armed with cheap but powerful biologics made using plants, says UCT plant biotechnologist Professor Ed Rybicki.


Exceptional students at UCT

Exceptional studentsEach year, a handful of student leaders are recognised for their incredible commitment and contribution to the university's vision, mission and values. Read up on who UCT is celebrating this year, and why.


New research indicates that South Africans are making a plan

chickensNew research by the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing shows that more and more South Africans are creating their own livelihoods rather than holding out for a job.


Translating Yeats into music like 'creating a garment for a specific body'

Professor Hendrik HofmeyrProfessor Hendrik Hofmeyr explains the creative process behind translating WB Yeats' Byzantium – a poem that in itself is a metaphor for the creative process – into music.


Shell's seismic data to help train UCT students

Transformation Debate

High-quality three-dimensional seismic data, collected off the West Coast of South Africa by petroleum giants Total and Shell, will help geologists accurately pinpoint gas and oil in the area and also provide an invaluable training tool for the Department of Geological Sciences.


PRAESA receives international children's literacy award


UCT-affiliated research unit PRAESA, the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, was recently awarded the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award, a biennial award to groups or institutions making a lasting contribution to reading promotion for children and young people.


African universities' collaboration still strong after almost 20 years

Africa gathered

Fellows from across Africa gathered at UCT to reminisce about their experience with USHEPiA, a ground-breaking programme aimed at building institutional and human capacity at African universities.


Learning from Gauteng's water crisis – time for society as a whole to take responsibility

Gauteng's wate

Parts of Gauteng experienced severe water shortages in September this year. Dr Kirsty Carden and Lloyd Fisher-Jeffes from UCT's Urban Water Management research unit interrogate what can be learnt from this short-term crisis, and what can be done about it going forward


Stellar cast visits disturbia

Silent Voice

Straight from its success at the 2014 Edinburgh Assembly Fringe Festival, Aubrey Sekhabi's high-octane, action-packed thriller Silent Voice is currently being staged at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio until 1 November.


How to transform the higher education sector

Transformation Debate

The role of universities in fostering both their own transformation and the transformation of society at large came under intense scrutiny in a packed Baxter Concert Hall on 21 October 2014. Top university leaders debated issues of transformation in a discussion organised by UCT's Faculty of Humanities and chaired by its dean, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu.


Heroes of the SS Mendi remembered

SS Mendi memorial

On 21 February 1917, 616 South African men died on the SS Mendi. Some 607 of them were part of the 823-strong 5th Battalion South African Native Labour Corps, who boarded the ship to lend support to the war effort in Europe. Ninety-seven years later, UCT and the Department of Defence and Military Veterans commemorated these men and their great sacrifice and courage.


A musical conversation

InsurrectionsWhat would a discussion between the musical traditions of South Africa and India sound like? Prof Ari Sitas, sociologist, poet and founding member of the Insurrections Ensemble explains how a musical collaboration evolved to include a collective of over a dozen artists from two continents.


Nine new fellows a sign of UCT's 'research strength'

College of Fellows' annual dinnerNew UCT research fellows and up-and-coming young researchers were acknowledged for their outstanding academic work and contribution to the university at the College of Fellows' annual dinner.


Renovated laboratory boasts world-class facilities and equipment

Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyThe Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology's recently revamped mammalian tissue culture facility is set to boost research output and capacity among South African researchers specialising in human health issues.


We can raise children who will not be violent


The longer-term approach to ending violence against women and children has to pay attention to the development of our children, writes Associate Professor Catherine Ward of the Department of Psychology.


Meet the new SRC president

Khanyisa 'Baz' PininiUCT students have spoken, and after a successful 2014 Students' Representative Council (SRC) election, representatives for the upcoming academic year have been chosen. Yusuf Omar spoke to president-elect Khanyisa 'Baz' Pinini of DASO (the DA Students Organisation), to find out about her plans for the coming academic year.


A sense of place: new frontiers for the law

Prof Loretta FerisAt the heart of Professor Loretta Feris' exploration of the legal context of a "sense of place", lies the idea that human rights and environmental rights are inextricably linked.


Cyber safety: How to protect yourself online

CybercrimeWhat is cybercrime, and what can you do to protect yourself? Staff at UCT's Information and Communication Technology Services offer practical advice on how to assess and mitigate your online risk.


UCT and Canadian biopharming group to develop HPV vaccine

Cervical CancerUCT's Biopharming Research Unit (BRU) has joined forces with Canada-based biopharmaceutical company Medicago to develop a vaccine against human papillomaviruses (HPV), the cause of cervical cancer.


New GSB course tackles SA's manager shortage

GSB CourseUCT's Graduate School of Business is launching a new Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice aimed at producing more skilled middle managers on the continent.


Worldwide brain study is boosted by NIH grant

ENIGMAA global initiative to pool data about the human brain has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA. Project ENIGMA – named after an allied code-breaking initiative in World War II – unites brain researchers in 33 countries, including those at UCT, to discover factors that help or harm the brain.


Sitting on the fence as it gets cut from below

Prof Alexander PatersonLand reform or nature conservation? Is there a common ground? Legal expert Prof Alexander Paterson's inaugural lecture suggests that South Africa could fare much better when negotiating this balance, and that a policy change could hold the key. But there is one "inescapable truth" at the heart of the country's environmental struggles.


'No health without mental health,' say UCT researchers

BrainResearchers at the University of Cape Town are looking at innovative ways to better understand and diagnose schizophrenia, a serious mental disorder that is associated with a great deal of impairment. Living with schizophrenia is the theme for this year's World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2014.


Why are there so few black professors in South Africa?

UCTTwenty years after apartheid, only 14% of university professors are black. The Guardian Africa Network asked a panel of South African experts why this might be.


Radio telescopes unravel mystery of nova gamma rays

Nova Gamma RaysHighly detailed radio-telescope images have pinpointed the locations where a stellar explosion called a 'classical nova' emitted gamma rays, the highest-energy form of electromagnetic waves.


An exhibition on cities through the lens of Cape Town

City ChildHow can Capetonians overcome the many social and environmental challenges facing the city, a place that shares conditions and predicaments common to cities across South Africa and the continent? The African Centre for Cities is mounting a wide-ranging exhibition, City Desired, investigating just this.


Support health committees, say workers

Lesley LondonHealth committees at public clinics are 'critically important vehicles' for community participation in health, and provincial government should urgently pass legislation recognising these committees' roles and functions. So argued health workers from across the country at the National Colloquium on Health Committees.


A record of long service

Long Service AwardsCollectively they have contributed 1 355 years of service in areas as diverse as arts and music, civil and mechanical engineering, sport, properties and services, academic records, finance and administration, human resources, specialist laboratories and generalist Libraries. UCT honours its long-service staff.


Ancient DNA of marine hunter-gatherer sheds light on our common ancestry

St Helena ManA man who lived 2 330 years ago on the southernmost tip of Africa belonged to the earliest group of humans to diverge from 'Mitochondrial Eve', our common ancestor.


The impact of selective research funding

Selective research fundingEnrolment in higher education over the past two decades has risen rapidly, especially in emerging economies. However, these countries lag far behind in academic and research excellence, and innovation more generally, writes UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price.


Groundbreaking research to impact childhood blindness in Africa

Susan LevineA research paper by a UCT anthropologist is set to change the face of the prevention and treatment models for avoidable childhood blindness on the African continent. The study is the first of its kind in Africa and its release well-timed as 9 October is World Sight Day.


The politics of rebellion

Elke ZuernTwenty years after freedom, the social protests of the 1980s and 1990s have re-emerged as a dominant feature of society, reflecting just how hard it is to eradicate persistent inequality – especially when government is out of touch with people's basic needs, says visiting Professor Elke Zuern.


Lost and found: music of the Holocaust


A journey from Russia to Cape Town; a shopping packet of old manuscripts; and a meeting between strangers in a guesthouse garden – all lead serendipitously to the rediscovery of a piece of music written by a victim of a Nazi extermination camp, thought lost forever.


Rustenburg Slave Memorial: remembering the past, planning for the future

Rustenburg Slave Memorial

This September, students were invited to design elements of the Rustenburg Slave Memorial that would both commemorate those dispossessed of land and freedom in Cape Town's colonial past, and link that history to contemporary issues at the university and the broader community. At an exhibition of student submissions on Heritage Day, five finalists were announced.


Towards a philosophy of measurement in the science teaching laboratory

Prof Andy Buffler

"Parents with young kids, take note: do experiments with your kids that lead to unexpected results, and then don't look too confused yourself." Prof Andy Buffler argues for education by experimentation, and the importance in tertiary science curricula of highlighting the role of observation in the advancement of science.


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