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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Restorative graduations introduced

UCT Regraduation

Before 1994, a number of students chose not to participate in their graduation celebrations, in protest against apartheid-era practices. In acknowledgement of these past injustices and in order that these alumni have the opportunity to experience graduation, UCT has offered to 're-graduate' students in recognition of their stand.

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Doing the right thing is good for business

Mary-Jane Morifi

Mary-Jane Morifi, a UCT social science graduate whose career has taken her to the top of some of the world's biggest corporations, implored the final group of commerce graduands on 20 December to "do the right thing" because it benefitted communities, and also because it was good for business.

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Passion, boldness, energy – and a bit of luck

Dr Michael Thackeray

South Africa, Africa and the world need the skills and talents of UCT graduates if we are to confront the challenges of a burgeoning population, disease, and the huge inequality gap, Dr Michael Thackeray told graduands.

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Wits honours former UCT vice-chancellor

Dr Stuart Saunders

Former UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Stuart Saunders' contribution to the medical field as well as higher education was recently recognised with an honorary doctorate from the University of the Witwatersrand.

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Seize the contradictions, listen to the periphery

William Kentridge

Drawing parallels between the process of creating and making sense of the current situation in South Africa, artist William Kentridge held his audience – which included higher education minister Dr Blade Nzimande – in rapt attention at the fourth graduation ceremony for the humanities on 18 December.

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UCT's 'green visionaries'

Green Talents

Three UCT students were chosen from 800 applicants as winners of the Green Talents 2014 awards, an acknowledgement by the German government of young researchers focused on sustainability.

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UCT Chancellor recognises top donors

Chancellor's Circle of Donors

The Chancellor's Circle of Donors is made up of extraordinary individuals who have given more than R250 000 to UCT over a five-year period. During the December graduation season, Chancellor Graça Machel took a moment to recognise these contributions and the immeasurable impact they have on young people's lives.

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Ask the hard questions

Prof Crain Soudien

UCT was "especially proud" of its Faculty of Commerce, which on 18 December held its second of four graduation ceremonies this week, said Professor Crain Soudien, deputy vice-chancellor. With some 370 graduands about to make the transition to graduates, Soudien reminded them of their alma mater's excellence.

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Honours for 'intellectual entrepreneur' Henry Louis Gates

Henry Louis Gates Jr

Honorary graduate Henry Louis Gates Jr, director of the WEB du Bois Institute for African American Research and founding director of the Hutchins Centre for African and African American Research, received a standing ovation from the platform party at the Faculty of Humanities graduation on Wednesday 17 December 2014, the third of four humanities ceremonies this week.

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Inclusive economic growth the antidote to poverty and inequality

Sandile Zungu

Poverty, unemployment and inequality are pervading problems in South Africa, which can be addressed by growth in the South African economy maintains businessman and UCT alumnus Sandile Zungu, the speaker at the commerce graduation ceremony held on 17 December.

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Be insubordinate in your thinking

Alide Dasnois

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for the Faculty of Humanities on 16 December, former Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois implored emerging scholars to engage critically with the world and keep an independent mind – an outlook that would prove essential as they looked to correct the world's many injustices.

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Meet the 2014 graduates

Graduation

If 2014 graduates could give advice to their first-year self, what would it be? Six graduating students share their advice on making it through a degree and their memories of campus life.

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Guard the lamp of knowledge

Prof Rodney Douglas

Building a research enterprise on equipment scavenged from dusty corners of medical school may not have been a dream start to his career as a neuroscientist. But for honorary graduate Prof Rodney Douglas, it was this spirit of enterprise and exploration that paved the way for him and other UCT alumni to become neuroscience pioneers.

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'Revive the noble struggle for social justice'

Rashied Omar

Reconciliation and social justice were top of mind at the humanities graduation ceremony held on the morning of the Day of Reconciliation.

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Graça Machel's challenge to the class of 2014

Graça  Machel

At the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment's graduation on Monday 15 December, UCT Chancellor Graça Machel had some particularly inspiring words for new graduates – and a challenge for the class of 2014.

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Good engineers build societies, not just machines

Ben Turok

Ben Turok urged engineering graduates to keep the socioeconomic implications of their work in mind, as they have a crucial role to play in developing a just society.

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With love from Africa

Olu Akinkugbe Business Law in Africa Fellowship

African higher education institutions aren't as fortunate as their American counterparts when it comes to monetary endowments from alumni. But when Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price broached the topic in a lecture in Nigeria last year, local business leader Chief Olu Akinkugbe took up the challenge.

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UCT's bumper graduation week out of the blocks

Jessica Posel Price

The Mother City wore her finest for the start of UCT's December graduation ceremonies this morning, heralding a week of celebrations when some 5 807 undergraduate and postgraduate students will be capped in historic Jameson Hall.

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Ebola fighters win TIME's Person of the Year award

Dr Kathryn Stinson

"They risked and persisted, sacrificed and saved," writes TIME magazine editor Nancy Gibbs of this year's Person of the Year awardees. Not one face, but many: nurses, doctors, epidemiologist, pharmacists, and others.

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From Somaliland to UCT: journey of a scholar at risk

Prof Mohamoud Farah

Mohamoud Farah is about to embark on a long journey home on a foreign passport. From the continent's deep south, he will travel for two days, via Johannesburg to Ethiopia, and then across the border to Somaliland where he is a professor of law at the University of Hargeisa.

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Campus trees stripped of their bark

Camphor trees

UCT's horticulturalists are trying to save three camphor trees along Stanley Road that have been stripped of their bark.

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Ibuyambo zipping off to Zurich

Ibuyambo

When Roger Federer faces fellow countryman and 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka in Zurich on 21 December 2014, UCT musicians will be waiting on the sidelines to provide entertainment to the capacity crowd.

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Pistorius case: rich gleanings for law academic

Kelly Phelps

While Judge Thokozile Masipa has granted the State leave to appeal the Oscar Pistorius verdict and sentence, the case has nonetheless raised serious questions about aspects such as legal ethics, contempt of court and the dark halo of sensationalism; fertile ground for UCT's Kelly Phelps, CNN's legal analyst during the trial.

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Bathe scholarship to develop well-rounded leaders

Klaus-Jürgen Bathe Leadership Programme

Sixteen of tomorrow's leaders, all studying at UCT, are being supported by the Klaus-Jürgen Bathe Leadership Programme – in recognition of their leadership potential and strong sense of social justice. As part of the same programme, the university is set to host 30 such students each year.

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A boost for child respiratory health

Prof Heather Zar

The Medical Research Council has just awarded Professor Heather Zar, head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health and director of the School of Child and Adolescent Health, an extramural research unit – allowing her to develop her research on childhood respiratory disease even further.

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Slave memorial to recover histories of the dispossessed

RustenburgMemorial

At the culmination of a series of events in memory of the slaves buried on what-is-now UCT's middle campus, the winning design for a memorial was revealed at UCT's commemoration of the end of slavery at the Cape on 1 December 1834.

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Soudien on libraries and revolution

Crain Soudien

It's crucial for the South African university to bring itself to acknowledge that there is "outstanding business, business that is not even on the agenda" in terms of excluded knowledge systems, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Crain Soudien argued in an address about how a university should position itself in the information age.

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Mastercard Foundation and UCT to build Africa through scholarships

Mastercard

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme, with its emphasis on leadership development and education, was recently launched in Smuts Hall at an event where the speakers included Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price, president of the Mastercard Foundation Reeta Roy, and Miranda Nyathi, a current foundation scholar.

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Getting doctors and nurses back on the road to health

Road to Health

Keeping an accurate record of a young child's treatment is critical to their overall health. That's why South Africans have the Road to Health, a book issued at birth that helps health workers record and monitor a child's growth, development and clinical care. But it is rarely put to optimum use.

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Big data will drive computational innovation

SKA

Projects like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), one of the most significant big data projects of the coming decade, will demand new computational technologies to help scientists and researchers cope with the information explosion.

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Africa's ancient astronomers made their mark in culture, folklore

Stellar Nursery

For centuries, Africans have measured time, seasons and cycles, and direction by the stars. Religion and folklore too reflect this relationship with the heavens; as the culture, mathematics and science of astronomy was captured by early scholars in centres like Timbuktu.

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Lung Institute celebrates 15th anniversary

Lung Institute

Established to address the growing burden of lung disease in South Africa, the Lung Institute recently celebrated its 15th anniversary by highlighting its many achievements and celebrating the people who have contributed to its ongoing success.

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HIV conundrum continues but Africa is making progress, says UCT professor

World Aids Ribbon

As the global community observes World AIDS Day on 1 December 2014, Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, new president-elect of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and Deputy Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at the University of Cape Town, says the fight against HIV/AIDS is far from over.

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Inequality breeds discontent, experts warn

carnegieDespite a growing middle class, inequality is huge and may even increase as the economy continues to battle, fuelling growing anger and dissatisfaction among South Africans, say leading South African academics.

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