Learning Communities seminar


On 19 July the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) hosted a seminar to discuss the concept of learning communities. The seminar was titled “Learning Communities pilot model into institutional effort for attaining student success” and was held in the Plant Sciences auditorium. Learning Communities is a project that wishes to exploit the concept of peer learning as a catalyst for student success.
Director of Student Affairs Dr. Matete Madiba opened up the seminar with a presentation centred on building communities around student success. In the presentation Madiba emphasised a decline in the dropout rate of first year students around the country. She continued to highlight the need for equity amongst students saying that “in order for everyone to be treated equally, they need access to the same resources”. She went on to explain the difference between poverty and impoverishment and made reference to a book she had recently read by Jay Naidoo called Change: Organising Tomorrow, Today. She said that the book guided her in realising that inequality is the main cause of impoverished students in universities.

Intervarsity News 31 July 2017


Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)

On 24 July, CPUT management announced that classes for 25 and 26 July would be suspended after “mammoth all day meetings with students and insourced workers”.

This came after students protested that #Outsourcingmustfall at the university. Independent Online reported that “buildings and cars where set alight and damaged” on the Bellville campus.

CPUT Central SRC Secretary General Mbaliyezwe Madikizela said that they have “lost all patience with management” after management had allegedly dishonoured their agreements made to the students in November 2016. The protests were held to ensure that staff such as garden staff, caterers, cleaners and security guards will be permanently employed directly under the university within three months.

UP alumni shine in prestigious M&G list




Every year, the Mail & Guardian (M&G) compiles a list of 200 exceptional South Africans under the age of 35 who demonstrate leadership and positive change in their communities. This year’s edition includes notable UP students and alumni. On M&G’s website, Khadija Patel, the editor-in-chief, said that the people were chosen for being “wonderfully talented, resourceful, caring people because they remind us that not all is lost”.

Naledi Chirwa, a student activist, is currently on suspension from UP for her protest action involvement at the institution. She is included in the list under “Politics and Governance” for what M&G described as her “love for black people, black women and for South Africa”. Koketso Aphane, spokesperson of the EFFSC-UP, believes Chirwa’s suspension was an attempt by UP management to “assassinate her character”, and that “[Chirwa] remained resilient and determined to make a difference in the lives of the black child”. According to UP spokesperson, Rikus Delport, “Ms Chirwa was temporarily suspended in 2016 pending a full disciplinary investigation following the protests last year. The case was not concluded as Ms Chirwa has chosen not to return to the University of Pretoria to complete her masters degree.”

2017/2018 SRC election update



On 18 July the SRC election date for the 2017/2018 SRC term was announced. This year’s SRC elections will take place over the course of three days, from 07:00 on Monday 21 August until 19:00 on Wednesday 23 August. For the first time the SRC elections will be conducted electronically and students will be able to vote for their preferred candidates online. According to a statement by the Director of the Department of Student Affairs, Dr Matete Madiba, the new e-voting system should bring “convenience and increased participation, and it should assist in securing the integrity of the election process, and in delivering accurate results within the quickest time”.

Nominations for this year’s SRC election opened on 18 July and will close on 1 August. Each candidate will need to collect 100 secondment signatures, with the exception of candidates running for the position of SRC president, who will need 200 secondment signatures. Students wishing to run for a position in the election will have to comply with the requirements listed in section 24 of the Constitution for Student Governance. Among these requirements students running for an SRC position must be registered for a degree or diploma at UP, and in the case of an undergraduate student, must have completed three consecutive semesters at UP and been enrolled for at least 80% of modules required for their qualification. Candidates will also have to have obtained a grade point average of at least 60% in the semester preceding the elections. Furthermore, students running for an SRC position must not have been found guilty by a disciplinary committee at UP for transgression of the Disciplinary Code or other UP rules and regulations. Students running for the position of SRC president or deputy president must also have served on the leadership body of a recognised student governance structure.

TuksCamerata win Grand Prix of Nations


On 20 July, TuksCamerata was announced as the winner of the Grand Prix of Nations Riga 2017, in the Youth Choir Category hosted in Riga, Latvia. TuksCamerata received 93,30 points out of a possible 100,00. The group that placed second, EVE from Denmark received 91,20.

The win also means TuksCamerata is now eligible to compete at INTERKULTUR events in the next five years, including the World Choir Games – The Champions Competition and the World Choir Championships – The Champions round.

Chris Oakes, a TuksCamerata EC member, described the Grand Prix of Nations as “the best of the best” and went on to say that “for us to come first is really something that’s unbelievably amazing”. TuksCamerata also placed third in the Folklore acappella category. Okes said the win was “unheard of” as “folklore is one of the highest and hardest things to compete in, because other countries are normally very brilliant in what they do. So for us to come third is really fantastic.”


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