16 August 2017 Volume :5 Issue :39

UKZN Students Attend Norwegian Summer Research School

UKZN Students Attend Norwegian Summer Research School
The UKZN team at the 2017 Summer Research School.

Three PhD students from the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS) recently attended the Summer Research School hosted by the University of Bergen in Norway.

The PhD students, Ms Awe Ndwamato, Mr Isaac Khambule, and Danford Chibvongodze were accompanied by their supervisor Professor Oliver Mtapuri and Mr Lawrence Ogunsanya, Academic Leader and PhD candidate.

As part of the application process they had submitted their research abstracts and motivations.

This year’s Summer Research School theme was “Agenda 2030: Poverty, Climate Change and Sustainability”. The objective of the course was to analyse global challenges of poverty and climate change through transdisciplinary lenses embedded in Sustainability Science.

The UKZN academics presented on related aspects of the theme during the summer school while the PhD students engaged actively in all of these sessions and also made some valuable contributions.

Ogunsanya presented a study on sustainable built environments for low income communities in Durban.

‘The built environment is one of the major global contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus it is important to develop sustainable measures in the building industry and alleviate poverty,’ he said.

Mtapuri participated as a facilitator in Module 2 where Poverty eradication in the Millenium Development Goals/ Sustainable Development Goals (MDG/SDG) era was explored. ‘The module assessed the implementation processes of the MDGs leading to the adoption of the SDGs with a particular focus on how poverty was addressed.  It also looked at global poverty within a context of heightened insecurity and widening inequality and the issue of food security and the impact of policies on poverty and sustainable development,’ he said.

Speaking about her experience, Ndwamato said, ‘I learned about research in a broader perspective, not just in my Housing field but an overall research perspective ’

Ogunsanya added, ‘With the brief experience I had at the research school, I plan to use the transdisciplinary approach in my discipline to teach students how the built environment can achieve unprecedented levels of ecological balance through new and retrofit construction, toward the long-term viability and humanization of architecture design.’

Mtapuri stated, ‘Our immediate task at the moment is to prepare for the coming of our counterparts from the University of Bergen to visit us in August and September to facilitate some sessions and present in planned seminars in the spirit of the current MoU.’

Words by: Nomcebo Mncube

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