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World TB Day: FMHS experts in the news TB Day: FMHS experts in the newsFMHS Marketing & Communications / FGGW Bemarking & Kommunikasie<p>​​​World TB Day is observed annually on 24 March and the theme for this year's commemoration was “YES we can end TB". A number of TB experts from Stellenbosch University's <a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences</strong></a> were featured in the media in regard to this important topic.</p><p><a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">TB in children isn't being controlled – it's key to fighting the disease for everyone else</strong></a><br> <em>The Conversation</em> – 23 March 2023<br> Dr Tom Nyirenda – Department of Global Health</p><p><a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">TB kills 75 000 children in Africa every year: how this can stop</strong></a><br> <em>The Conversation</em> – 23 March 2023<br> Dr Graeme Hoddinott – Desmond Tutu TB Centre</p><p><a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>The forgotten form of TB that can carry on forever</strong></span></a><br> <em>financialmail </em>– 24 March 2023<br> Prof Brian Allwood – Department of Medicine</p><p><a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Animal TB Research</strong></a><br> <em>RSG</em> – 24 March 2023<br> Dr Wynand Goosen – Department of Biomedical Sciences</p><p><a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Could you or a family member have TB? Act now</strong></a><br> <em>Daily News</em><br> Foster Mohale (DoH) & Yogan Pillay - Department of Global Health​​<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Stellenbosch University Senate supports Vice-Chancellor’s pursuit of inclusivity and multilingualism University Senate supports Vice-Chancellor’s pursuit of inclusivity and multilingualism Corporate Communication and Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking<p>​By an overwhelming majority, the *Senate of Stellenbosch University (SU) on Friday (24 March 2023) adopted a motion of confidence in and support of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers, and his management team in their pursuit of inclusivity and multilingualism at SU. </p><p>The motion, tabled by Prof Geo Quinot of the Faculty of Law and seconded by Prof Mbulungeni Madiba, Dean of the Faculty of Education, read: </p><p>“Having noted the SAHRC [South African Human Rights Commission] report of 14 March and SU's response to it, Senate affirms its confidence in and support of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor and his management team in their pursuit of inclusivity and multilingualism at SU." </p><p>In motivating the motion, Prof Quinot submitted to Senate the following: “Having regard of the recent announcement in the public media by a SU council member of the intention to institute a motion of no confidence at Council in the Rector, Professor Wim de Villiers, based on the Human Rights Commission's investigative report into Allegations of Unconstitutional Language Practices at certain SU Residences of 14 March 2023, I would like to state that: </p><p>1. We as SU academic leaders are committed to multilingualism as set out by the SU Language Policy and indicated by the widespread implementation thereof by our university community. </p><p>2. The non-compliance with, or incorrect implementation of, such policy by certain groups and/or individuals in specific contexts within the institution does not support a vote of non-confidence in the Rector but rather supports a) the continued reflection by the university community on how to best become an inclusive and multilingual institution where everyone's rights are protected and promoted, and b) support of Management, including the Rector, to realise an inclusive and multilingual community through effective and thoughtful implementation of relevant policies in a complex, diverse and large institution. </p><p>3. Such collaborative pursuit would be appropriate to give effect to the constitutional responsibility to redress the wrongs of the past and the realisation of equality for all." </p><p>Prof Madiba supported the motion and said that he and the deans “view the intended no-confidence vote as a serious matter of concern, not only for the Rector, but for all of us, as language policy and planning matters in this university is a collective and collaborative effort.  </p><p>As one of the leading experts of language policy and planning, I can confidently say the intended no-confidence vote against the Rector has no basis. What our university has achieved with regards to multilingualism is not matched by most universities in the country." </p><p>He added that the language policy has gone through the scrutiny of various courts including the Constitutional Court. “Even the South African Human Rights Commission report couldn't find any fault with regards to our language policy, except one phrase which it recommended should be changed.  </p><p>We are not saying our language policy is perfect, as there is no such a policy in the world.  </p><p>The Management, under the leadership of the Rector, has always demonstrated a commitment to inclusive multilingualism, and also provided the requisite budget for implementation.  </p><p>Our budget on multilingualism is way above the budget of most other universities in the country. </p><p>Whilst it might be true that our language policy was not correctly interpreted by students at only two residences out of thirty-one residences during the orientation period as per the SAHRC report, these mistakes cannot be taken to represent the state of language policy implementation in the university and the overall performance of the Rector with regards to the implementation of multilingualism in the university."   </p><p style="text-align:left;">He concluded by saying that there are “many good success stories to tell with regards to the implementation of inclusive multilingualism at our university which the respective council member chooses to ignore in pursuit of his intended no-confidence vote."  </p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">The Rector and Management Team recused themselves from the meeting during discussion of the motion.</div><div style="text-align:left;"><br></div> <br><br><em>*Senate consists of the professors of the University, the Rector's Management Team, two members of council and representatives of amongst others the Student Representative Council, permanent academic staff and administrative staff.  </em> <br><br><em>The Senate is responsible, and accountable to the Council, for the academic and research functions of the University. It regulates learning, teaching, research and academic support functions at the University, and makes recommendations to the Council in respect of policies concerning academic matters.</em> </li></ul><p><br></p>
Ukwanda: FMHS’ vision of two decades ago is being fulfilled FMHS’ vision of two decades ago is being fulfilledFMHS Marketing & Communications / FGGW Bemarking & Kommunikasie - Tyrone August<p></p><p>The establishment of the <a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/ukwanda/Pages/default.aspx"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health</strong></a> by Stellenbosch University's <a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences</strong></a> (FMHS) 20 years ago was a visionary step into the future. It was born out of a desire to meet a diverse range of needs.</p><p>Prof Helmuth Reuter, the first Director of the Ukwanda Centre and now Head of the FMHS's <strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style=""><a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/medicine">Department of Medicine</a></strong>, recalls: “In 2002, a colleague, Dr Etienne van der Walt, asked me to work with him on a model of a rural health centre. At the end of the year, I was asked to take over the project as Director of Ukwanda.</p><p>“I was glad to do that because of my commitment to equity in healthcare. The most important aspects of the model included community-based and interdisciplinary teaching and learning for undergraduate students in rural and underserved areas of the Western Cape."</p><p>The current Director, Prof Ian Couper, elaborates: “The Ukwanda Centre came about because there was a recognition in the Faculty that there was a need in terms of human resources for health in rural areas. Rural areas didn't have sufficient health professionals to work there. </p><p>“Evidence from other countries was that if you train people in rural areas, they are more likely to work there because they are equipped for that. This was really the major motivation behind establishing the Centre."</p><p><strong>Living up to its name, Ukwanda grows and develops</strong></p><p>The Ukwanda Centre has certainly lived up to its name – which means “to grow" or “develop" in isiXhosa – over the last 20 years. “There's been a steady build-up and increase in the extent of exposure of students to rural areas and rural healthcare," says Couper. </p><p>“Prior to the Centre being established, this was fairly ad hoc. Now it's become systematic that students have the opportunity to get exposure to rural healthcare in every one of the undergraduate health professional programmes."</p><p>The establishment of the Ukwanda Centre's Rural Clinical School in Worcester in 2011, the first of its kind in South Africa, was the next major step in this process. There is now a significant component of rural training in five of the FMHS's undergraduate programmes.</p><p>In three of the programmes – medicine, occupational therapy, and human nutrition (dietetics) – students can choose to spend their entire final year in a rural site. “This is a first in South Africa, and we have been steadily increasing that cohort in medicine," says Couper.</p><p>The other two programmes are slightly different: all speech therapy students must do a rotation through Ukwanda, while physiotherapy students can elect to do rotations there. But the objective is the same: “It is striving towards giving students exposure to rural healthcare."</p><p><strong>Community-based education</strong></p><p>The establishment of the Ukwanda Centre coincided with the FMHS's drive towards more community-based education. “Subsequently there were decisions at Faculty level to try to move all programmes to be more community-based in their approach," says Couper. “The rural health component was one part of that."</p><p>The Ukwanda Centre and its Rural Clinical School have achieved notable success in this area: “Students are engaged in various community projects or in quality improvement projects in healthcare facilities. </p><p>“There is a lot of community-based activity in allied health programmes, like working in day care centres or on projects for disabled people. Being able to work with local non-government organisations, non-profit organisations, schools and so on in this context is a real bonus."</p><p>Couper points to another important innovation: “One of the things we're particularly excited about is what we call collaborative care: where students from across the disciplines meet and make plans together about how they can assist patients. They might do a home visit together, they might refer the patient to particular facilities, and so on. In quite a few instances, these are patients who otherwise would not have been properly attended to."</p><p>There is already much evidence of the impact of the Ukwanda Centre and the Rural Clinical School. “We are seeing students who return as graduates to work in rural areas," says Couper. “The challenge is that there aren't always posts when they want to go and work in a particular place.</p><p>“In some district hospitals, we have graduates who are now the mentors of the students who are coming through the system. We also have people who are working in other rural sites – not ours, but obviously an equally good outcome."</p><p>The Ukwanda Centre has been successful in other ways, too. “The focus for a lot of the time was on training, but part of my appointment when I came in in 2016 was both to get the Centre formalised and to work on some of the other aspects," says Couper. </p><p>“So, we're steadily increasing our research output. We're engaged in a number of research activities and the number of publications has steadily increased. We're trying to do relevant research that is focused on rural health and rural healthcare."</p><p>The Ukwanda Centre is also working towards developing rural postgraduate training. It is launching an 18-month postgraduate diploma in rural medicine – the first of its kind in South Africa. Future plans include working on master's and doctoral programmes to build up the research base for rural health.</p><p><strong>Welfare of rural communities</strong></p><p>Couper regards the Western Cape Department of Health, and in particular the Cape Winelands District Department of Health in which Worcester is located, as key partners in the success that has been achieved: “That collaboration is important. Without them, we couldn't have established the Rural Clinical School.</p><p>“It is a symbiotic relationship. We need facilities for training students, and the presence of students in those facilities help in terms of patients being seen. Often students spend more time with patients than qualified professionals are able to. Patients enjoy and appreciate that."</p><p>Couper adds: “What we'd love to see going forward is a recognition that health is much more than related to healthcare. A state of health is not brought about by healthcare; healthcare is needed when there is not a state of health.</p><p>“And to promote health for rural communities, we need teachers, engineers, lawyers, agriculturalists, and so on. Our hope is that we can have an even broader range of people working together with us, and us with them, in terms of trying to support the health and development of rural communities."<br></p><p>​<br></p><p><em>Caption: Prof Ian Couper and SU's Worcester campus.</em><br></p><p><em>Photo credit: Stefan Els</em><br><br></p>
Stellenbosch University remains firmly committed to human rights, dignity, multilingualism and inclusivity University remains firmly committed to human rights, dignity, multilingualism and inclusivity Corporate Communication and Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking<p>​Stellenbosch University (SU) takes cognisance of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Report on language in SU residences. “Human dignity is non-negotiable at SU and must be respected and upheld. SU was disappointed by the incidences that came to light and notes the recommendations of the SAHRC report on language at SU. I am on record as having apologised to anyone who may have been negatively affected by these incidences. SU remains steadfastly committed to advancing human rights, multilingualism and inclusiveness for all its students, staff and stakeholders and are continuously evolving to emphasise this mindset and compliance with the SU Language Policy (2021)". <br></p><p>This is the response of Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, to the findings by the SAHRC in the matter pertaining to claims that there was a prohibition on the use of Afrikaans in certain SU residences during the 2021 welcoming period.   </p><p>SU notes that the Commission states that the 2016 Language Policy [the previous Language Policy] would not allow any student to be prohibited from speaking their language of choice in residences. Furthermore, according to the SAHRC report, there is not “a blatant and concentrated ban on Afrikaans inspired and motivated by a concerted effort from the Respondent [SU] and certain individuals in university management to eradicate Afrikaans from SU."   </p><p>Notwithstanding this, in his apology, the Rector noted that “if there were students who were instructed not to use Afrikaans in a social context, “it is wrong", it was not the policy of the university, and that SU is committed to an ongoing investigation and rectification process. Many positive actions aligned with the remedial actions recommended by the Commission have already been undertaken, such as emphasising that in the spirit of multilingualism there should be no prohibition on the use of any language including Afrikaans. Further planned actions include ongoing training for residence heads and student leaders that are in line with the remedial actions in the report.    <br></p><p>“I am on record as stating that SU's multilingual journey is not easy. Mistakes are inevitable and we will learn from them towards charting a progressive multilingual and inclusive South African 21st century university. Within this context the University has already acted since the first reports about the use of language in a particular residence that came to the fore in 2021 – as was acknowledged by the Commission," says Prof De Villiers.   </p><p>“This, together with other initiatives that the University is currently offering to enhance the welcoming and inclusive nature of our institution, will go a long way in safeguarding the rights and privileges of all our stakeholders," says Prof De Villiers.  <br></p><p>“SU recognises that transformation is multifaceted and for it to be embedded, systemic and effective, it needs to be addressed in a multifaceted manner. It has been an ongoing journey for past two decades. This process is messy, difficult and asks for self-reflection. We will continue this journey and when and where necessary, focus on closing the gap between policy and practice, commitments and lived experiences. Our aim is to continue to contribute to solutions to the betterment of society." <br></p><p>The various aspects of transformation which SU addresses, include structural transformation; an emphasis on values; institutional culture; policies and plans; the student and human resources profile; research and social impact; partnerships; and the health and wellbeing of staff and students.  <br></p><p>Prof Deresh Ramjugernath, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching, echoed Prof De Villiers' sentiments: “While we don't necessarily agree with all the factual findings of the report at this early stage, the University will now consider the Commission's findings, proposed remedial actions and recommendations in detail and also consider its actions going forward."  </p><p>​He added: “SU is acutely aware of the importance of student leaders being informed about the Language Policy and the use of language on campus, residences and social spaces. The Commission's interpretation of how events unfolded and how language is used in residences are noted as we continuously evaluate the use of language across the campus, as well as in mproving the language policy implementation".     <br></p><p>Read the SAHRC report <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;">here</a><br></p><p> <br> </p><p>Photo: Anton Jordaan<br></p><p>  </p> <iframe src="" title="YouTube video player" width="100%" height="415" frameborder="0"></iframe>
SciMathUS: Double success as twins get second chance Double success as twins get second chance Daniel Bugan<p></p><p>As the first twins to complete the SciMathUS programme, Rochelle and Jennelle Cloete serve as shining examples to disheartened matric students - that second chances can knock twice on the same door. </p><p>Stellenbosch University's SciMathUS University Preparation Programme gives high school learners who have passed Grade 12 but do not qualify for higher education selection a second opportunity to improve their National Senior Certificate (NSC) results in mathematics, physical sciences and accounting. This will enable them to re-apply for university programmes after they have successfully completed the programme.</p><p>The Eerste River siblings entered the SciMathUS programme in 2019 after discovering that their matric mathematics marks were not good enough to get accepted into SU for their intended course of study – a Bachelor's in Accounting (BAcc).</p><p>Rochelle recalls: “Our accounting teacher at Kleinvlei High School told us about the SciMathUS programme which we could apply for to improve our maths marks. And when we applied, both of us got accepted into the accounting stream."<br></p><p>Jennelle says the year-long programme was everything they hoped for and more.<br></p><p> “We gained a deeper understanding of maths and the basic principles thereof, which we had not had before. Thus, our maths marks improved exponentially. Consequently, we got accepted for our BAcc studies at SU the following year."<br></p><p><strong>BAcc graduates</strong><br></p><p>She says the programme also equipped them with academic literature and thinking skills as well as an introduction to economics and computer literacy skills, “which helped us in our undergraduate year as those basics were integrated in some of the modules for our degree".<br></p><p>Their SciMathUS journey also provided them with some valuable lessons which they do not hesitate to share with the class of 2023. “Do not be afraid to ask questions in class. Ask the lecturer for help if you are unsure about something, be it academic or personal. Stay up to date with your work and do your homework as required."</p><p>The sisters concede that their participation in the programme as twins had its advantages and disadvantages.<br></p><p>“One of the advantages was that we at least had each other in the beginning when the environment was new and strange. This was especially advantageous since we stayed in a hostel during that year for the first time in our lives," says Rochelle.<br></p><p>“One of the disadvantages was that we didn't really deem it necessary to make any new friends as we had each other. But in the end, we did actually make really good friends," says Jennelle.<br></p><p>The pair obtained their BAcc in 2022, but their SU journey is not over yet. Rochelle is planning on completing a postgraduate diploma in accounting this year, while Janelle will attempt her postgraduate studies in 2024. They plan to qualify as Chartered Accountants in the future.<br></p><p>And now, as they stand poised on the cusp of their dreams, the twins are full of gratitude for the SciMathUS programme that gave them the second chance to not only improve their maths marks and pursue their chosen degree, but also to change their lives forever.<br></p><p>​"Thank you SciMathUs for helping us to take control of our future, and for making our parents proud of us again."​</p>
Reforming public procurement in South Africa public procurement in South AfricaGeo Quinot<p><br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The African Procurement Law Unit (APLU), which is housed at the Stellenbosch University (SU) Law Faculty, initiated a national conversation on public procurement reform in South Africa during a two-day gathering in Johannesburg from 27 to 28 February 2023. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The initiative is a response to the call of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture which noted that “any serious attempt to address the problems which beset public procurement must go well beyond state capture … the process of reform requires a coherent and comprehensive plan of action which needs to bring the public and private sectors together in a joint initiative to restore proper standards and discipline within the procurement system."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The event drew over 120 delegates from the South African public procurement/supply chain management community to discuss all aspects of public procurement with the aim of framing a vision for the future of public procurement in South Africa. Delegates came from all levels of government, including key national departments such as Treasury; Justice and Constitutional Development; Public Works and Infrastructure; Trade, Industry and Competition and Defence as well as from public bodies such as the NRF; Public Service Commission; SARS; Competition Commission and SANRAL. Suppliers to the government as well as supplier organisations such as Consulting Engineers South Africa and the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa were present. Participating NGOs included Corruption Watch; the Legal Resources Centre; Amabhungane; Open Ownership, OUTA and the Public Service Accountability Monitor as well as some of South Africa's leading procurement academics and lawyers. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The topics discussed ranged from the forthcoming public procurement legislation for South Africa, how best to deal with the restriction of poor performing and corrupt suppliers to government, the liability of public officials for procurement failures, the need for the state to buy local goods in order to support local industrial development, how to accelerate transformation via public procurement practices, increased use of technology to improve efficiencies in procurement and to reduce abuse and how best to deal with challenges to tender awards. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Prof Geo Quinot, APLU director and professor of law at SU, noted in his opening remarks that “public procurement is the backbone of service delivery in our country, of making real the aspirations of our constitution, of driving economic development. By coming together, all of us can strengthen that backbone to the benefit of everyone who live in our country."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The issues raised during the plenary engagements were categorised under five themes and discussed in more detail by smaller working groups. The themes are institutional arrangements; procurement integrity; targeted procurement; procedures & efficiency; and dispute resolution. The South African public procurement community intends to contribute to the ongoing reforms of the public procurement system and following the two-day workshop, the national conversation continues by way of workstreams where delegates will continue to explore the themes raised in the working groups.  For each theme, an issue paper will be collaboratively developed to set out inter alia the nature of the issue, its role in the procurement system, possible ways in which it could be regulated, suggested operating procedures and standard documents, and the skills required to manage the issue. The issue papers will include case studies, from South Africa and beyond, on how the issue has been successfully addressed. These issue papers will be discussed at further gatherings, including another national workshop in June. The outcomes can feed into the public consultation processes that will accompany new procurement legislation, and the crafting of regulations and other implementation instruments under a new procurement statute, once passed. Generally, the initiative aims to assist all stakeholders in improving procurement practice – from the regulators tasked with designing and overseeing the procurement system; to the leadership of organs of state in using procurement as a strategic tool; to procurement officials in their daily acquisition functions; to businesses wanting to supply goods and services to the state. </p><p>The South African procurement community believes that by bringing together the experiences of officials awarding tenders, of enterprises selling to the state, of regulators monitoring the spending of public money, of NGOs focusing on the impact of procurement on civil society and of academics researching and training on all aspects of public procurement, the South African society can collaboratively construct a fit-for-purpose procurement system that can deliver best value for money. <br></p><p>​<br></p>
PhD study can help the visually impaired read mathematical equations, diagrams study can help the visually impaired read mathematical equations, diagrams Corporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking [Alec Basson]<p>​Blind or visually impaired persons access documents by using a screen reader that reads a text out loud or displays it on a special hardware braille device. However, a large body of technical and scientific material remains inaccessible to them because mathematical equations and diagrams are represented as images and not as text that a screen reader can read. <br></p><p>This is according to Dr Rynhardt Kruger who recently obtained his doctorate in Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University (SU). For his PhD, titled <em>Technical document accessibility</em>, Kruger developed methods that could make it easier for blind or visually impaired people to read non-textual graphical information in electronic documents (<strong>see video</strong>). His supervisors were Profs Thomas Niesler and Febe de Wet from the Digital Signal Processing Research Group in SU's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Kruger works as a researcher and developer in voice computing at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p><br></p><ul><li>Cellphone users click <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here </strong></a>for the video.</li></ul><p>As someone who was born blind, Kruger says he knows first-hand how difficult it is to read equations and diagrams in scientific documents. “During my studies, it was not always easy to access the material in my textbooks. I realised that many technical documents do not adhere to existing accessibility standards for blind or visually impaired people." Despite this, Kruger became the first blind person at SU to obtain both his BSc honours and master's degrees in computer science. For his Honours project, he developed a programme that allows blind musicians to study music notation. For his master's degree, Kruger researched methods to allow blind people to access online virtual worlds.<br></p><p>​He is passionate about broadening access for people with disabilities and says it is important to continuously search for assistive technologies that blind or visually impaired people can use to read equations and diagrams in scientific texts.<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/RynhardtKruger_pic_orig.jpg" alt="RynhardtKruger_pic_orig.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:346px;height:407px;" /><br></p><p>“Currently, graphical material must first be converted to an accessible format before they can read it. The problem is that diagrams are still only accessible through textual descriptions or tactile diagrams, which are costly to produce. Textual descriptions are often inadequate to describe the complex relations between components of diagrams such as lines and rectangles or the contours of a geographical map. <br></p><p>“Also, when equations are available in an accessible format, they must be read in a linear fashion since this is how mathematics is expressed in currently accessible formats. This hinders blind or visually impaired readers from accessing the visual layout of the equation."<br></p><p>According to Kruger, blind or visually impaired readers can use his methods to explore diagrams, geometric shapes and equations through sounds and as gestures on a touch screen or by text-based navigation.<br></p><p>He explains: “Diagram content is played to users as a special form of sound from which they could interpret the content being explored. For example, in the case of a descending line from upper-left to lower-right on the screen, the resulting sound would be a tone descending in pitch. <br></p><p>“I devised two gestures that blind or visually impaired people could use to explore content on a touch screen. When one finger is dragged across the screen, the content directly under the finger turns into a sound. When two fingers are dragged across the screen, the line between the two fingers acts as a scanner, and all content encountered by that line becomes a sound."<br></p><p>Kruger says that to convey an equation to readers, the different elements of the equation are represented as “rooms that they can walk through". “The directions between rooms reflect the visual layout of the equation, so that, for example, the reader would have to move right in order to visit an element which is situated visually right of the element where the user is currently located."<br></p><p>He points out that the equations used in his study were similar in format to other inaccessible equations that readers might encounter in published material.<br></p><p>Kruger emphasises the significance of his study and says it showed that blind or visually impaired readers are able to identify the basic components of a diagram and to explore previously inaccessible equations using his approach.<br></p><p>“My methods allow blind or visually impaired readers to access graphical material directly and read equations and explore diagrams by just using a tablet instead of having to pay for costly hardware or conversion services.<br></p><p>“These methods will help to get an idea of a diagram's shape where the shape itself is important (such as a previously unknown geometrical shape), and for accessing already published material which was produced without taking accessibility standards into account."<br></p><p>Kruger says he would like to see his methods built into a book reader application that will allow readers to study diagrams and equations directly from books.<br></p><ul><li>​<strong>Main photo</strong> by Gerd Altmann from <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Pixabay</strong></a>. <strong>Photo </strong>1: Dr Rynhardt Kruger​</li></ul><p><br></p>
SU loses valued and loyal friend loses valued and loyal friend Corporate Communication and Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking<p>​"Not only has the University lost an extremely talented council chairperson, but a valued and loyal friend of the University." <br></p><p>This is according to Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University (SU). The University learnt of the passing yesterday (31 January 2023) of Mr Ainsley Moos, Chairperson of the SU Council and passionate Matie alumnus.  </p><p>"This is obviously a huge shock to the university community and it comes, to say the least, at a time when the University has depended heavily on his management expertise and his proven experience as a communications specialist, but also in terms of his skills as manager of stakeholder relations in the corporate world.  His support to me personally was inspirational. Matieland has indeed lost a great friend. His family and loved ones are in our thoughts at this sad time," says Prof De Villiers. </p><p>“Ainsley was passionate about Stellenbosch University and the role the University, its staff and students should play both in the country and on the global stage and he worked hard to share this vision," said Dr Nicky Newton-King, Deputy Chair of Council. “His humility and calm leadership stood the Council in good stead as it dealt with a series of critical challenges in the past year. The University has been so lucky to have counted Ainsley amongst its leaders at this crucial time in its history." </p><p>Mr Moos was a member of the executive team of the financial services company African Rainbow Capital.  </p><p>He has served on the Council since 2014 and was, amongst others, Chair of the Council's Remuneration Committee, a member of the Executive Committee and the Human Resources Committee. He was elected Deputy Chairperson in 2018 and started his terms as chair on 3 December 2021. </p><p>Mr Moos is an SU alumnus who obtained the degrees BA, BPhil (Journalism) and an MBA from the University. He has also completed leadership programmes at GIBS, Wits and Harvard. <br></p><ul><li>The SU Council has a supervisory responsibility for academic and operational matters, as well as institutional policy and strategy at the institution. <br></li></ul><p><br></p>
Success takes time, says Matie alumnus takes time, says Matie alumnusDevelopment & Alumni Relations<p>​​Being accountable for what you want to achieve in life, was the overriding lesson Jumien Peceur learnt during his year as a student in <a href="">Stellenbosch University's SciMathUS university preparation programme</a> – a lesson that continues to serve him well to this day.</p><p>Peceur entered the SciMathUS class of 2006 after matriculating from New Orleans High School as, by his own admission, “an average learner with a lack of ambition and drive".<br></p><p>“It dawned on me fairly late that there is a whole world after high school and that this world demands something of me. But I did not have the tools or maturity to identify what I needed to allocate, in terms of time and personal sacrifice, to achieve the requisite grades to enter a university. As a result, my matric results were not good enough to study my choices of either science, engineering or medicine.<br></p><p> “I did not know about SciMathUs until a classmate told me about his sister who completed the programme. I then decided to apply."<br></p><p>He said his SciMathUS journey was an eye-opening experience which taught him that second chances and opportunities are scarce and that you must take advantage of it.<br></p><p> “It was made clear from the start and throughout the entire year, that it was not our right to be there, that it was a privilege and that we were not entitled to it. This was the biggest lesson for me: the fact that the world does not owe me anything and that hard work eventually is rewarded. This concept of personal responsibility changed my outlook on the world."<br></p><p>As a result, Peceur was better prepared for his first year than most first-year students and went on to obtain a BSc in Geology from SU in 2010.<br></p><p> “I started my career the following year (2011) at a petroleum resource regulating agency. Thereafter I moved to a mineral processing company where I started out as an intern and over the next 10 years worked myself up the corporate ladder into a senior management role. I'm currently the general manager at this organisation."<br></p><p><strong>'It is our duty to make sure that programmes such as SciMathUs thrive'</strong><br></p><p>But he said the challenges in the corporate world were and continue to be immense.<br></p><p>“I entered the labour market with ideas of grandeur and arrogance but was soon reminded that I had no experience or pedigree to fall back on. I felt exactly the same way as I did after high school, an average graduate with nothing but a piece of paper to my name. But this time, however, thanks to SciMathUs, I had the tools and maturity to put my head down and put in the work, which I continue to do."<br></p><p>It is this mantra of hard work paying off which he wants to pass on to those who want to leave their mark on the world.<br></p><p>“The saying, '10% inspiration and 90% perspiration', holds true. You have to put in the work to become what you dream of being. Let the ego go sometimes because nine times out of 10, it won't do you any good. Get to know yourself and realise that success does not happen overnight. It takes time."<br></p><p>He also appealed to SciMathUS alumni to do their bit to plough back into the programme.<br></p><p> “We know what SciMathUs has done for us and we know how our lives and the lives of our families have changed as a direct result of being given a second chance. We also know what SciMathUs does for the country, by adding productive, ambitious, nation builders to our society. It is our duty to make sure that programmes such as SciMathUs thrive so that each new generation of South Africans have the opportunity that we had. Let's honour this duty by donating to this programme in any way we can. “<br></p><p>​The Paarl native is currently studying towards an MSc in Economic Geology and is also a registered professional natural scientist. </p><ul><li><a href="" target="_blank">​Click here to learn more about the #ChangingLives campaign.​</a>​​<br></li></ul><span></span><p><br></p>
Let's pay it forward!'s pay it forward!Development & Alumni Relations<p></p><p>For 28-year-old Matie alumnus Jazz Rampen, supporting Stellenbosch University's Bridge the Gap (BTG) campaign meant playing his part in contributing to a brighter future for talented young Matie students.</p><p>“Personally, I strongly feel that all people should have equal access to education, therefore I was very happy to make my donation," he says.</p><p>BTG was established in 2021 and invites alumni, the student community, staff, parents, and friends of the University to support students in overcoming the financial obstacles blocking their path to success. The aim of the campaign is to close the gap between talent and financial need and to make a tangible difference in the lives of students.</p><p>The University is raising funds for various initiatives under the umbrella of BTG. These include: #Move4Food and the Tygerberg Pantry Project to curb student hunger; #Action4Inclusion, #GradMe, Caught in the Middle, and #Zim4Zim to clear outstanding student debt; #EndPeriodPoverty to make sanitary hygiene products available to students who cannot afford them; and #MatiesHaveDrive to provide driver training for students who require a driving licence in order to get a job. Supporters can choose which priority initiative they would like to support, whether that is a particular initiative or the Fund in general.</p><p>Jazz, who works as a learning consultant in sustainability for a Dutch bank, says being compassionate and sharing with others are values that his parents passed on to him.</p><p>“Growing up I saw my parents caring for others and giving away their tithes to the church. Now that I am in a place where I am able to give and contribute to society, I feel that it is my duty to do so. I generally contribute to initiatives I feel a connection with and in this case, the BTG Fund ticked all the boxes."</p><p>His message to fellow alumni is to make that leap and pay it forward. “I was surprised by the variety of initiatives within the BTG campaign. I would therefore recommend you all to have a look, I am confident that there is an initiative close to your heart as well."<br></p><p>​<br></p>