News
Wednesday, 21 February 2024

FNB CPUT Ready to Rock in Varsity Shield

FNB CPUT kicks off their Varsity Shield 2024 campaign tomorrow and the team plans to bring the trophy home this year.

The team has been hard at work preparing for this year’s tournament and their first game will see them facing off against FNB NMU Madibaz at CPUT Sports Stadium in Bellville tomorrow night.

“We can’t wait to feel the presence of the CPUT community behind the team as the competition starts. We will continue to ride and push the #blue wave forward. As we look to play an entertaining and attacking brand of rugby for our CPUT fans and community and, by doing so, we want to put smiles on their faces,” said Sport Development Officer, Bulelani Mlakalaka.

He continued: “Our theme for the year is: ‘There is no place like home’ and we are planning on bringing the shield trophy home despite all the challenges we are facing. To all the fans – come and join us at home as we partake on this year’s journey.”

Tomorrow night’s game kicks off at 19:00 and tickets can be purchased online.

FNB CPUT was crowned Varsity Shield champions in 2019 and 2021 and lost to FNB UWC in the final last year.

Friday night’s game will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

For fixtures and logs, please click here.

The provincial Ministry of Health and Wellness recently joined hands with the Department of Nursing Science in the Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences to host a Reproductive Health Jamboree at the Bellville campus.

February signals the start of Reproductive Health month and Provincial Minister for Health and Wellness, Prof Nomafrench Mbombo, engaged with first-year Nursing students during the event.

Mbombo was welcomed by Dr Nicole Brooks, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, whereafter a number of health stakeholders spoke on various topics related to sexual and reproductive health and the crucial role it plays in fostering a healthier society.

Stakeholders included Higher Health, the HIV/Aids Unit and Campus Health Clinics and other role-players.

The speakers included Nursing Science lecturer, Amy Williams, who spoke on why sexual and reproductive health matters while Sr Caroline Maarman provided an overview of the available services from Student Health.

The Provincial Department of Health and Wellness also provided an overview of provincial reproductive health and various stakeholders, including students were given a chance to provide their input.

Students and staff members were also given an opportunity to ask questions and engage with the Minister as well as with the Acting Dean, Acting Deputy Dean of the Faculty, Lloyd Christoper, Head of the Department of Nursing Science, Dr Odilia Sehume and invited stakeholders.

“It was an important opportunity to discuss all things youth matters and to remind all in attendance about how sexual and reproductive health not only impacts one's physical wellbeing, but also one's emotional, social and economic health,” Mbombo said in a social media post, following the event.

Monday, 19 February 2024

FEBE holds robust academic exchange

In an effort to promote critical dialogue on learning and teaching and curriculum design and delivery within CPUT and the broader community, the Engineering and the Built Environment Faculty (FEBE) recently held a Research Unit of Engineering and the Built Environment Education (RUEBEE) Symposium at Bellville Campus.

The head of RUEBEE, Dr Bronwyn Swartz, said this would ultimately enhance the educational experiences of students. To achieve this aim, the members of RUEBEE conduct scholarly research of contextual and discipline-specific factors that contribute to student success, employability, curriculum inclusiveness, the pedagogy of teaching, learning and assessment in the related disciplines, and professionalism. “Through our research we will build principles, methodologies, and educational practices upon which to continuously build innovative and transformative curricula that produce graduates that contribute to society,” Swartz remarked.

Initially the symposium was meant for FEBE, however it was opened to anyone interested in Engineering Education. The Faculty of Applied Science and the Library graced the event. Swartz, who is also a Learning and Teaching Coordinator for FEBE, said: “The idea of the symposium was to raise awareness of the different types of education research that is happening in faculty. And to encourage new members to join and stimulate the formation of new Engineering Education projects.” The seminar was a success because of well-prepared, insightful, and impactful presentations and was attended by 36 people, mostly lecturers from FEBE departments.

The numerous presentations included:

  • DR Mohammed Pourbehi’s presentation: Integration of Mola structural kits with digital twin technology to enhance student engagement in problem-based learning and collaborative work. Case study: BET(Hons) in Civil Engineering.
  • Dr Tiyamike Ngonda and Virginia Ngonda: Determinants of the entrepreneurial self-efficacy of engineering students from a South African University of Technology.
  • Lucrecia Valentine and Swartz: Assessing the potential of chatbots as tools in Engineering Education: A South African case study.
  • Cheryl Belford: A Case for Authentic Assessment In Developing Student Proficiency in the Age of Generative Artificial Intelligence.
  • Ashaadia Kamalie: The role of non-technical graduate attributes in addressing water sector leadership in Western Cape, South Africa.
  • Zainunisha Mohamed: The importance of formalised Academic Advising (AA) as a support tool for students in Year 1.
  • Felicity Harris: Being an engineer: Career aspirations and expectations of first-generation engineering students.
  • Dr Sweta Patnaik and Swartz: Meeting the demands of industry: A study on identifying and teaching emerging technologies in Engineering Education.

“The organisers of the RUEBEE believe that the symposium created an opportunity for engineering educators to collaborate and discuss new research projects as well as influenced curriculum development,” said Swartz, who was also the symposium chair.

Other attendees described the symposium as informative and inspiring… “We are happy though that our inaugural symposium was well supported and attendees found it valuable,” said the chair.

She added that it was a robust academic exchange, with engineering educators collaboratively engaging in discussions. “We were encouraged because of high participation rates with the attendees and their positive feedback. We (the organisers) believe the symposium will have an impact in terms of the initiation of new research partnerships, improvements to curriculum and pedagogy. We also trust that the symposium enhanced our visibility and reputation in the faculty - and also the institution.

“We want to attract resources for ongoing research and with increased visibility we hope that this will help us do so. Ultimately, we believe the RUEBEE symposium strengthened engineering educators research community, and contributed to elevating the quality engineering education (which is a component of FEBE’s strategic goals).

Find the link to RUEBEE: https://www.cput.ac.za/academic/faculties/engineering/research/research-unit-of-engineering-the-built-environment-education-ruebee

Believe in what you can do, and you will overcome any obstacles in life.

This is the message the new Dean of Student Affairs, Nonkosi Tyolwana, wants to convey to students as she starts her new role.

Tyolwana, joined CPUT in 2018, and previously held the position of Director: Institutional Transformation, Social Cohesion and Diversity.

She continues her message to students as follows:

“Being successful is easy if you choose to do it. It’s okay to make mistakes sometimes. Making mistakes is a great way to learn since you will remember every single one of them and won’t repeat them. Don’t you ever doubt your ability to succeed. You will be the person you want to be and achieve your dreams as long as you work hard for them. Mistakes are inevitable. Always learn from them, and they will help you improve every time.”

Her main priorities as Dean will include the following key issues:

Ensuring the implementation of Division of Student Affairs (DSA) strategy that is aligned to Focus Area 7: Student engagement and experiences: Vision 2030 strategy.

Ensuring the implementation of and monitoring of key departmental student-centric strategic goals to ensure “Oneness and smartness” as a DSA family.

Ensuring the professionalisation of student affairs staff in line with DHET requirements.

Enhancing holistic and transformative development and wellness of our students to enhance access, success and retention.

Ensuring the implementation of Student Parliament to ensure the accountability of the SRC to CPUT community.

Facilitating the Student Leadership Incubation to enhance CPUT’s graduate attributes and prepare them for the life beyond student life.

Eliminating all forms of abuse, harassment, GBV and other forms of discrimination, xenophobia, sexism and other “isms” phobia

In line with this, her favourite quote is by late President Nelson Mandela.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Outside of work Tyolwana volunteers to do transformative community work and also enjoys reading.

The newly established staff soccer team continues their remarkable winning streak, ushering in the new year with an exhilarating victory over University of Cape Town staff.

Recently, in a thrilling encounter, the team triumphed over their counterparts from UCT with five to four goals, showcasing their resilience and skill on the field.

CPUT captain, Mvelo Siyaya, expressed his delight at the hard-fought victory. "It's moments like these that truly embody the spirit of oneness and unity. Our team may have faced challenges throughout the match, but our unwavering bond and determination propelled us to success."

Player Mzingisi Muluse echoed Siyaya's sentiments, emphasising the team's dominance throughout the game. "While the score may not fully reflect our control of the match, what matters most is the collective effort and dedication shown by each member of our team. We may be a growing team, but our potential knows no bounds. Together, we are destined for greatness."

The team holds a larger vision - one of promoting unity and collaboration among staff members through the power of sport. "Our goal extends far beyond the confines of the football pitch. We aim to foster a sense of belonging and oneness among colleagues from all corners of the university," said the captain.

The team is eager to continue their journey, seeking to expand their horizons by competing against other universities across the country. The team extended an open invitation to all staff members who share the team’s passion for sport and unity. "Together, we will not only raise the CPUT flag high but also forge lasting connections and friendships that transcend the boundaries of the playing field," Siyaya remarked.

The team’s journey serves as a testament to the power of teamwork, perseverance, and a shared vision of unity. As they set their sights on future triumphs, one thing remains certain - with each game, they inch closer towards realising their collective aspirations.

Since its formation the team, starting with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Pundits FC, set the tone for a year filled with triumphs. Their resounding 10-2 win against Fidelity and G4S further underscored their dominance, showcasing their exceptional talent and teamwork. The team continued to assert their authority with convincing wins over SBV, including a commanding 4-0 victory followed by a solid 4-2 triumph. Against the University of the Western Cape staff, they displayed their prowess once again with a resolute 4-0 win. The team's resilience remained unwavering, setting the stage for future victories and further strengthening their aspirations of being a formidable force in the realm of university staff soccer.

HIV/ AIDS Unit Head, Melanie Swanson, encourages students to make use of the services offered by #Keready on campuses and student residences.

#Keready Mobile clinics were recently at Bellville Campus, and they provide youth-friendly HIV, STI and TB screenings at no cost to the students. The medical team includes doctors and nurses and are ready to support the students.

The #Keready team was joined by representatives from the Western Cape (WC) Department of Health, DG Murray Trust, German parliamentarians as well as KfW, GIZ (German Corporation for International Cooperation) and German Embassy representatives. The visit was a short one in which the Unit hosted the delegates for a presentation and a showcasing of their sponsored mobile units. The visitors were welcomed by Prof Judy Peter, Director: Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, who said the collaboration which was unfolding on the day was a result of deep collaborations between Global North and Global South. “And how important it is to address sustainable development goals around health and well-being because we take a holistic approach to education, and we have an invested interest in our students…”

Reflecting on the event, Swanson said it “was a huge success” and that the German visitors “thanked us for our warm hospitality and were pleased to see their flag in front of the Admin building”. “They were very welcoming in terms of hearing their team’s experiences and being able to visit the donated Wellness Mobile Units and came across very positive, knowing their funds were well-invested.”

She said the presence of the German government delegates, and of the WC Department of Health and being able to network with the service providers were the highlights of the day, adding that the vibrancy of the different state of the art Wellness Mobile Vehicles was a highlight.

“What also stood out during the presentations was the ability to see how #KeReady connect with youth through their youth friendly programmes and their presence in rural farm areas.

In a joint message on behalf of #Keready, Dr Lethukwenama Letsoalo, and Dr Tevarus Naiker expressed their gratitude to the CPUT team. “Yesterday’s visit by KfW, the German delegation and WCDH at CPUT was a great success. I would like to thank both of you [Swanson and Mathapelo Gabaake] for your exceptional efforts and going above and beyond to ensure that everything was in place for the visit. We are truly grateful for your dedication and commitment to excellence.”

They added that they were excited to continue working together and look forward to continued success in “our partnership” [with CPUT].

Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, Dr Ncediwe Ndube-Tsolekile, is “very proud” to be part of the newly inaugurated 10 new members of the esteemed South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS).

“To have my scientific and community work recognised nationally for me is truly an honour.”

Ndube-Tsolekile attributes her achievement to the years of consistent hard-work and just “giving my best to everything I do”. SAYAS is a scientific organisation that was launched by the Minister of Science and Technology in 2011. It’s the brainchild of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

SAYAS's objective is to have its members contribute towards solutions to challenges faced by societies both nationally and globally. SAYAS represents the voices of young scientists in South Africa and provides a platform for young scientists to influence policy decisions.

The requirements to be inducted include: members must be below the age of 40, hold a PhD, and be deemed excellent in their fields of expertise. They must have a track record of engagements in community development, capacity building, and mentoring activities.

SAYAS members are selected from across all 26 institutions of higher learning.

“Personally, it means I am doing something right somewhere that is being recognised within the scientific field and community. For CPUT, it reflects the calibre of academic staff within the institution. It highlights that CPUT academics are geared up to making meaningful contributions both within academia and communities at large.

“To have one of your staff members selected is something the University can be proud of.”

SAYAS members are expected to avail themselves in order to drive the goals of SAYAS which include the capacity building for scientific excellence, build strategic partnerships and policy influence, engage in community work and scientific communication.

The hard-working mother is very driven and ambitious. “But I fear God and I am a mother first above everything. So, I can say, I am a well-balanced academic.”

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