UKZN at the Cutting Edge of Education
School principals and educators from Durban and surrounding areas attended an event titled: “UKZN at the Cutting Edge of Education” held at the UNITE Building on the Howard College campus.
The Director of Postgraduate and Research Capacity Development, Dr Nthabiseng Motsemme, welcomed everyone saying ‘we stand out as a University that attracts students and postgraduates from all over the African continent as well as globally as we continue to strive for excellence’.
The Executive Director of the Corporate Relations Division, Mr Lesiba Seshoka, said: ‘As a university, UKZN is a brand that not only provides guidance to students about their career choices but also encourages them to study hard at school so they are able to achieve the standards the Institution is well known for.’
UKZN is among the top five universities in South Africa and is in the top two percent on the World University Ranking list.
Seshoka said standards at UKZN would be maintained and improved and students needed to work hard to reach those standards. ‘As a university of quality education, we want to be taken seriously.’
Ms Susan Wilson, a PhD Astronomy and Cosmology student, spoke to the audience about the exciting projects UKZN was currently involved in and how a degree in Astrophysics or Cosmology could equip a student for a wide array of job opportunities in academia, teaching, industry, education and theorist/observations work.
Wilson also spoke about a variety of exciting new projects the Astrophysics, Cosmology Research Unit (ACKRU) was currently involved in including MeerKAT, the South Pole Experiment and the Square Kilometre Array.
‘With UKZN having produced the first two Black Oncologists, the fastest solar energy-run car, a special pectin dermal patch for providing insulin into the body and a Marine Centre for the Howard College campus, UKZN is truly at the cutting edge of education,’ said Professor Kriben Pillay, Dean of Teaching and Learning at the College of Law and Management Studies.
Pillay gave a compelling and radical demonstration of how the brain works, using flash cards and playing cards to demonstrate the strange and fascinating things the human brain does in everyday life.
‘Students need to have a sense of adventure and curiosity when entering university and not just be solely focused on high grades,’ said Pillay. ‘Their interests need to be sparked because in a rapidly changing world, the university promotes critical thinking. Studying is an exploration and flexibility of the mind. We rarely get our children to think and wonder and become curious.
‘A quality education that leads to a productive livelihood is the ultimate opportunity for students to interact and grow in an environment that stimulates their minds and helps go on to do great things in the real world.’