MUT Management shows appreciation for its women staff

We feel honoured! Women that attended the event

More than 200 women that attended Women’s Day on 17 August 2017 left De Charmoy, in Verulam, north of Durban, as changed individuals. The women felt honoured, loved and respected by MUT’s Management, and the esteemed speakers, with varying backgrounds, who made presentations on various topics.

Acting DVC: Resources and Planning, Prof Nokwethemba Ndlazi, demonstrated how seriously MUT Management appreciated staff’s contribution to the well-being of MUT, and staff’s place within the MUT machine. Prof Ndlazi said staff were vital cogs in the huge MUT machine. Prof Ndlazi also, like all other speakers, impressed the women with the quality of her responses to their questions, which were mainly about being a professional woman who had to keep a number of balls in the air – being a mother, a professional, and being a wife. Prof Ndlazi pointed out that
being a woman was not easy. But to make it manageable, women were supposed to build support systems, and look out for each other.

Iris Cupido, CEO, SABC Foundation, talked to the women about being a ‘complete woman’. The ‘River Girl’, who grew up in a village called Hlokozi in the south of KZN, said women had to love themselves, and had to know who they were before they could expect others to love and respect them. Iris also emphasised the importance of
self-development and respecting one’s work, and waiting for your opportunity. “You can’t expect to be appointed to a higher position when you are not ready. You need to prepare for it. While preparing, you need to stay focused.” Iris said women needed to have the skills and attributes that would make them complete women. Responding to a
question from one of the attendees, Iris said women should reach within themselves and find the answers that would enable them to face the world with its challenges.

Nokuthula Ndaba, a University of Zululand academic, advised women to handle their finances well so their families could benefit. For her it was also very important to pass on the saving skills to the next generation so there would be continuation of the legacy.

Programme organisers also thought about the importance of the physical well-being of the women. They brought in a ‘gem’, Sister Nomsa Mkhwanazi, MUT Clinic Head, to speak about the health issues that affect women. She said most of the issues could be avoided by leading a lifestyle that would support a healthy living.

As they left the venue, the women felt they were not alone in their daily struggles. The quality of responses from speakers to the questions women asked went a long way in assuring the women that life was normal, and that they were not alone. One of the women said she was impressed by how the speakers “embraced every question and reflected it on their own personal experiences.” She described the speakers as ‘brilliant’.

MUT student inspects food sold to fellow students

Nokwanda, right, with eThekwini Municipality health inspectors, and a store owner, at one of the food outlets

You are what you eat! So says a wise saying, which must be heeded by all. This is what drives MUT’s third year Environmental Health student, Nokwanda Sikhakhane. Nokwanda initiated an inspection of the food sold to MUT students by   traders who have outlets on Mangosuthu Highway, just outside MUT. On 3 August 2017 MUT and eThekwini Municipality carried an inspection on the premises of KwaMnyandu Traders Stalls. Nokwanda said they decided to work with the store owners because the store owners sell food to MUT students. “We need to make sure the students eat food of acceptable quality. We are also going to give the vendors relevant training, given what we discovered. They are aware of the hygiene requirements, but they still need some training.”

Also, MUT is now allowing local women to collect discarded cardboards for recycling. Cash generated from selling these will be of great help to the three women, who, altogether, look after 15 children. Nokwanda, who facilitated this relationship, said training the food vendors, and recycling the used cardboard is “our effort at contributing to the green environment.” Nokwanda, an award winner, is a leading figure in caring for the environment.

MUT prepares to an entrepreneurial University

Dr van Koller addressing staff and students during SEW

The South African institutions of higher learning have shifted from being ivory towers and became true centres of learning and are thus becoming more relevant to the society’s needs. Lately the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has taken a step that will soon make these post-matric schools directly responsible for economic and social development. DHET has mandated HEIs to introduce entrepreneurailship in their curriculum. This is music to the ears of MUT, as was confirmed by the MUT staff and students during the two-day session – 1-2 August 2017, when the University took part in the first Student Entrepreneurial Week (SEW), 1-7 August 2017, whose theme was: Entrepreneurialship as a career. The SEW is a DHET initiative which seeks to deal with the unemployment problem, and inculcate the idea of economic generation and independence on the part of the young South Africans. Among the 27% of South Africans that are unemployed are the graduates. The aim of the SEW is to raise awareness of entrepreneurialship as a career option, while imparting basic entrepreneurilaship skills to students from all disciplines.

To this end, “MUT accepts its responsibility to contribute to entrepreneurship development, which is one of the strategic objectives of MUT’s Strategic Plan. MUT has a two-fold approach: to develop our students as entrepreneurs; and to become an entrepreneurial University,” said Dr Johan van Koller, Acting Senior Director – Institutional Planning and Research.

Prof Alfred Msomi, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, applauded MUT for embracing the initiative, and suggested that regular meetings be held in which clear strategies would be formulated as to how entrepreneurialship would be fused into the academic programmes. Prof Msomi further suggested that MUT alumni like Dalisu Phelago should be invited to seminars to talk to students about how they could start their own businesses. Dalisu, a former MUT student, said students should choose carefully what they would want to do, so that they would enjoy it, like he enjoys his farming. Bright Hlongwane, a first year Public Administration student, on the second day, told the students and staff that he was going to open a Bright School of Entrepreneurialship so he could pass on what he learnt at Stanford University. Bright was at the ‘Farm’ from 8-30 July 2017 to learn more about entrepreneurialship. He said there would be a meeting in Durban early next year to kick-start the school.

Lisa Mlonzi, another former MUT student, told the students about the tough road towards business success. “Begin with an end goal in mind, and work your way backwards.” Lisa has a blood analysing business. It was not easy for her when she decided to venture into “this unusual business”. But her grounding prepared her. Lisa had worked in the similar business before.

Xoli Ngubane, Manager of the Technology Station in Chemicals, (TSC), asked students to channel their ideas and questions through her directorate. The TSC grooms SMMEs.

MUT takes part in the national Student Entrepreneurship Week 2017

1 August 2017

Press release statement: For immediate release

Submitted by Bheki Hlophe, Publications and Media Relations Officer

Via email: Hlophe@mut.ac.za

061 283 2257

MUT takes part in the national Student Entrepreneurship Week 2017

Unemployment in South Africa stands at 26.6%, and 53.4% unemployment among youth. This figure includes graduates. Given this reality, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has commissioned a project called Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) to develop an entrepreneurship ecosystem in Higher Education Institutions (HEI). Through this project, DHET aims to address the issue of graduate unemployment through promoting entrepreneurship as a career. The department also aims at promoting the culture of entrepreneurial universities. It is for this reason that MUT will be hosting a two-day event as part of week-long national Student Entrepreneurship Week (SEW) scheduled from 1-7 August 2017.

Xolile Ngubane, Manager of MUT’s Technology Station in Chemicals, said that the role of MUT in promoting entrepreneurial abilities among students entails empowering them with business skills and providing a platform for sharing business ideas. This project calls for a change in mindset for both students and the university towards embracing entrepreneurship as a career.

The official programme runs over two days and it includes presentations by entrepreneurs some of whom are MUT alumni, SMMEs, current students and academics of the University. Academics will also present their innovations and projects aimed at supporting and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation within MUT.

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With regards,

Bheki Hlophe – Publications and Media Relations Officer

Search for Aids cure at an advanced stage – MUT HIV/Aids Counsellor

File picture: Cebi, left, with one of the HIV/Aids researchers during her overseas visit in 2015

The search for Aids cure is at an advanced stage, so said Cebi Nkosi, MUT’s HIV/Aids Counsellor. Cebi discovered this when she was part of the annual Aids Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) in Washington DC from 23 June to 3 July 2017. Cebi said: “There is a new treatment being studied. Researchers want to introduce an injection that will be taken in the same way as the family planning medication. It will be one dose in the form of injection, every two months. This will be even better than taking one pill a day, as was announced by Dr Sibongiseni Dlomo, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health. There is also a possible cure for HIV currently being researched in France and China.”  However, Cebi added, the biggest challenge being faced in South Africa, particularly KwaZulu-Natal, is cancer, because there is still no treatment to manage the disease.

Also, as part of its commitment to the wellness of its students and staff, MUT Students Health Services Unit invited the eThekwini Municipality Clinic staff to test students on various health issues, including pap smear, HIV/Aids, and other ailments, at the Fountain, from 24-28 July 2017.

MUT donates sanitary products to its neighbour, in honour of Mandela

Daniel Krishna, right, accepts the precious gift from MUT’s Nonto Mjadu while MUT and Place of Safety members look on

In 2009 the UN declared July 18 a Nelson Mandela Day. This is the day on which the world icon was born in Mvezo, a small village on the banks of the Mbashe River in the Eastern Cape. Like everybody the world over, MUT observes this day that brings hope to the needy. Being inspired by the idea of creating a caring society, which was so central in Mandela’s heart, MUT responded to the call to help the less fortunate. On 18 July 2017, MUT donated a box full of sanitary pads, diapers and wipes to the 17 girls and eight toddlers at its neighbour, Umlazi Place of Safety. The place’s Corporate Support Administrator, Daniel Krishna, said the gesture was “very appropriate; very handy! We are grateful.”

2nd MUT RIE Week well covered by media

Prof Dlamini, middle, addresses the media at the MRC. The others are her colleagues, Prof Karabo Shale, left, and Prof Alfred Msomi

The 2nd MUT Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE) Week conceptualised by Prof Zodwa Dlamini, DVC: Research, Innovation and Engagements in 2016, has grown even bigger. This year, it drew the attention of the media which covered a pre-event launch, during-event activities, and post-event activities. Although RIE Week commenced from 10-14 July, coverage began as early as 6 July and the reputation of MUT shot up. All of this was a result of a sustained effort to craft a professional relationship with the fourth estate. Some of the headlines on broadcast, print, and online media, were:  Mangosuthu University making strides in promoting research, 06 Jul 2017 – SABC News; Professor takes science to people to change their lives for the better, 16 Jul 2017 – Sunday Independent (Second Edition); and MUT focused on health, 20 Jul 2017 – The New Age. The coverage resulted in R2, 513, 616. 88 advertising value equivalence (AVEs) and they are still growing. The coverage was also partly as a result of the excellent contribution to the media briefing by Xolile Ngubane, Manager, TSC, and Prof Karabo Shale, Natural Sciences’ Research Professor and acting Research Director on 6 July at the SAMRC. The RIE Week 2017 was also well projected on all forms of social media, including a new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MUTResearch/

The major highlight of RIE Week was the signing of MOUs on 14 July 2017, with six institutions from Brazil, India, and the US. This was a very strong indication of MUT’s desire to have partnerships with international universities in a quest to be a pre-eminent University. Internationalisation is a big part of the MUT research agenda and is at the heart of Prof Dlamini. Now MUT staff and students can work on projects with their counterparts from all these institutions. The outcome of such collaborations will have a direct impact upon the University’s research standing, in line with this year’s RIE week theme: Engaging globally for local impact. The capstone event was the appreciation dinner where Prof Dlamini acknowledged the founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and all stakeholders that have contributed to the growth of MUT in its 38 years of existence.

MUT’s research plans and achievements laid bare at media briefing

Prof Dlamini, middle, addressing the media, with Prof Shale, Research Professor, Natural Sciences faculty, left, and Prof Alfred Msomi, Acting Dean, of the same faculty

MUT is on a mission of being internationally recognised as an innovative and research-informed institution that delivers excellent scientific research and other IP outputs. For this to be accomplished, DVC: Research, Innovation and Engagements, Prof Zodwa Dlamini has within just two years of her appointment; conceptualised a 2nd annual Research, Innovation and Engagements (RIE) week taking place from 10-14 July. The focal discussions will among other things be on:

–>  Technology parks & entrepreneurship

–>  Big data analytics

–>  Environmental sustainability with a focus on renewable energy

–>  Precision medicine

The capstone event on the last day will be the signing of MoUs with universities from the USA, Brazil, India, Europe and China. “What is important for me is to ensure that an MUT academic is able to
collaborate with researchers from across the globe. I need deans to help me drive this mission because they are the ones driving academic and research development at faculty level”, said Prof Dlamini.
Augmenting her drive to elevate MUT research has been the recent approval for MUT to have satellite facilities at the SAMRC on Ridge Road. “It is a huge milestone to have secured this laboratory space as it will host the MUT Multidisciplinary Research Institute (M-MRI)”, said Prof Dlamini. The RIE week has already received positive media coverage on SABC and East Coast Radio. Delegates to the RIE week will include speakers from BRICS countries: International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB-India); Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT-Mumbai), University of Sao Paulo –Brazil.  From Europe, speakers will hail from the University of Nottingham (UK) and Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland while the USA will be represented by the University of Hawaii,  Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University (FAMU) and former Chief of Party for the United Negro College Fund Special Programmes. Top research institutions such as SA-MRC, ARC and government departments will be part of the delegates and speakers. “The level of support in sponsorships has been a good sign of better things to come for MUT”, said Professor Shale, Research Professor in the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Acting Research Director. More information is on www.rie.co.za

 

Young MUT Entrepreneur jets off to US

Bright, seated, right, with MUT staff and sponsors

Bright Hlongwane (20), a second year Public Administration student from Umlazi’s B section, has captured the attention of many in the academic and business world. On 6 July 2017 MUT academics, some Durban business leaders and Bright’s friends gathered at the Durban’s Olive Convention Centre for his send-off party. On 8 July Bright is jetting off to Stanford University for an Advanced ntrepreneurship Programme.  “The main purpose for going to the US is to acquire knowledge that I will share with my peers back home. I believe if we all share information and knowledge, we all grow equally.”  Such a programme will enable Bright to run his two businesses even better, upon his return on 30 July 2017. Pavinamo Moodliar, the Public Administration and Economics department Head, said Bright was an example everyone had to look up to.

MUT mourns the passing of Ithala CE, Yvonne Zwane

05 July 2017

Press release statement 

MUT mourns the passing of Ithala CE, Yvonne Zwane

MUT executive management and Council, various levels of management and staff have expressed condolences to the Ithala Development Finance Corporation Limited on the passing away of the late Ithala, CE, Ms Yvonne Zwane.

Ms Zwane will be remembered for leading the signing of the MUT-Ithala MoU in 2014 which resulted in MUT benefiting tremendously in areas such as Ithala recruiting MUT students and MUT developing academic programmes in knowledge management that would assist Ithala instead of Ithala having to source such skills outside Durban. One of the big MUT projects she supported was the MUT’s Empowered Administrators Programme which saw a number of Ithala’s office professional being trained by MUT since 2012.

At the time of the signing, she said to the MUT delegation, “You are not just good neighbours but strong partners. We have been with you when you celebrated your milestones. The EAC has become a key event, we see it as innovative programme which is putting KZN on the map.”

She will be remembered by MUT as a visionary leader who had bigger plans for the MUT-Ithala MoU. Her words will always reverberate with the MUT community, “We are blessed to be part of turning around Ithala. We are at the end of the value chain where all the necessary work has happened. This relationship is important for us. It is a pleasure to be here between the great universities. One of the challenges facing graduates today is a lack of experiential training.  Ithala therefore seeks to forge strategic alliance with like-minded organisation such as MUT in order to play a more meaningful role in providing opportunities for learners and graduates to benefit from continuous learning and skills development programmes.”

Lala ngoxolo CE.

 

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Issued by the Marketing and Communications office.

For more information please contact Bheki Hlophe, Media Relations & Publications Officer on hlophe@mut.ac.za or 031 907 7347/8.