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Campus News Bites 13 March 2017

Faculty of Theology celebrates centenary

UP’s Faculty of Theology held an event celebrating its centenary on Monday, 6 March. The faculty’s centenary message was that of an open gate, symbolising the invitation for those who are seeking to enter. “The original wooden gates of the University are symbollically fixed in an open position, never again to be closed, confessing to past exclusions and signifying our orientation towards the future,” stated the event’s programme.

At the end of the ceremony, a plaque was unveiled at the Theology Building by UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Cheryl de la Rey, during the Reinstating of the Gates Ceremony and Academic Opening of the Faculty in celebration of 100 years of academic excellence.

 

TuksLaw Moot best in South Africa

On 25 February, UP Faculty of Law’s TuksLaw Moot team beat University of the Witwatersrand in the final round of the South African leg of the 58th Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition. The event, hosted at White and Case LLP International Law Firm offices, saw UP win all categories of the competition – best memorials, best oralist and best overall team. UP will represent South Africa at the international rounds of the competition which will take place in April this year on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

 

UP’s EMS faculty tops the 2017 QS World University Rankings

On 8 March, the 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject were published. UP was ranked first in South Africa for Accounting and Finance, placing UP in the top 4% of all institutions ranked in the subject. UP came second in South Africa in the ranking for Economics and Econometrics, placing UP in the top 6% for all participating institutions. Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences Prof Elsabé Loots was quoted on the UP website saying “These rankings are a testament to the effort put in by the faculty to ensure that the programmes offered remain globally relevant and that our graduates can confidently compete in the job market.”

 

UP student receives scholarship to study in Amsterdam

UP Masters student in Old Testament Studies, Tshepiso Mashele was awarded a scholarship to study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. According to the UP website, Mashele’s research focuses on prophetic literature combined with trauma theory. The scholarship covers travel and living expenses and provides for supervision by professors.

 

Olympus holds Around the World social

On 9 March, Olympus residence held their annual “Around the World” social at Die Windpomp, north of Pretoria. According to the Olympus Internal Culture HK Jaco Potgieter, their theme, “Netflix and Punch” was chosen because “movies and series [have] become such a big part of any young person” and included over a dozen punch

New student parking under development

MARKO SVICEVIC
A new parking area is currently under development for students on the Hatfield Campus. The proposed parking area comes after UP busses on the Hatfield Campus were moved to an interim terminal situated on the corner of Duxbury Road and Herold Street.

According to UP Director of Facilities Management, Prof. Susan Adendorff, there was congestion of busses on the Ring Road of the Hatfield Campus. “Due to the bus congestion, we were asked to move busses off campus,” said Prof. Adendorff. An interim measure was arranged for all busses to be stationed at the bus terminal on Duxbury Road. This meant that the current student parking, parking lot H29, had to be divided to allow for the bus terminal. The interim bus terminal resulted in a decrease in student parking. A section of the area across from the bus terminal was identified for the development of additional student parking.

NSFAS to fund over 400 000 students in 2017

HENRI UYS
On 19 February, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) Board Chairperson, Sizwe Nxasana, said in a media briefing that NSFAS will loan funds to 409 788 students nationwide. According to Nxasana, Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education and Training, allocated R15.2 billion to the NSFAS funding budget for 2017.Nxasana said that January and February were “business as unusual” for NSFAS. According to him, this is due to NSFAS using the new Student-Centre Model at universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges. “This new model will allow NSFAS to establish a direct relationship with its students from the time they enter higher education until post-graduation,” said Nxasana.

New website created for students to search for tutors

HENRI UYS

A UP final-year Mechanical Engineering student, Nick Ndhlovu, has created a website for UP students to find a tutor at any time of the day.

The website, Creative Genes, currently caters for UP students only, but Ndhlovu hopes to expand to other universities in the near future. Creative Genes is a website where students can search for a tutor for any subject with the tutor’s contact details readily available on the website. According to Ndhlovu, the idea of the website is to allow students to contact tutors who are nearby at any time of day for assistance in a specific subject “even if it is the night before a test”.

Centre for Human Rights welcomes ICC court judgement

MARKO SVICEVIC

UP’s Centre for Human Rights (CHR) based at the Faculty of Law has welcomed the recent High Court decision against South Africa’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

On 22 February a full bench of the Gauteng Division gave its judgment in the case of Democratic Alliance v Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Others. The CHR joined as a party to the proceedings by the applicant for its interest in the matter, and argued that withdrawal from the ICC was unconstitutional based on four reasons. Firstly, the decision to withdraw violated the separation of powers. Secondly, the decision was taken without any public participation. Thirdly, the decision was irrational because the means were not rationally connected to the ends. Lastly, it was inconsistent with government’s obligations under sections 1(d) and 7(2) of the Constitution.

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