NFD team visits MUT

Come fill up the stands! Njabulo, first from left, a ticket winner, middle, and a Real Kings player

The MUT Sport Club hosted a National First Division football club, the Real Kings. Real Kings are now using King Zwelithini Stadium as one of their home bases. Njabulo Xaba, the Secretary of the Sport Club, said Real Kings came to MUT to connect with students and staff. “Their plan is to have staff and students as their supporters. The manager said they wanted to beef up their ‘12th men.’ Players get encouraged when they are playing in front of a full house. Moreover, this team is number three in the National First Division log. They want to be in the PSL in the coming season. So this is great chance for MUT staff to associate themselves with a team that is close to them.” Real Kings gave away a number of tickets, which will allow winners to sit in the VIP booth with celebrities tomorrow when they take on Richards Bay FC at 3:30pm. MUT will play a curtain raiser against Isolezwe newspaper FC at 11am.


MUT Clinic gears for preventative health

Sister Sithole, left, and Sister Mazibuko

The 11 500 students that are expected to register with MUT stand to benefit from the latest decision by the Clinic. The Clinic Head, Sister Nomusa Mkhwanazi said they were now going to emphasise preventative health. “It was discerned as far back as the 1970s that preventative health should be the way to go. It is cheaper than curative health services. The intention is to encourage young people to live a healthy lifestyle. We want to stress the importance of eating healthily, to exercise and promote mental health. The Clinic will disseminate information that will assist our students. Once equipped with this knowledge they will become healthy lifestyle ambassadors in their communities. This snowball effect will contribute towards decreasing morbidity and mortality.  This programme will be launched from 12 – 23 February 2018.” Sister Bongiwe Sithole, the newly appointed Health Promoter, said that health promotion incorporates those who already have health issues. She said they advise them as to how they could deal with the health challenges so they can live a normal life. Sister Sithole, who has a lot of experience in the health profession, will be driving this renewed vision of the Clinic. Another re-enforcement in the department is the appointment of Sister Ntombenhle Mazibuko, a Professional Nurse, also with years of experience. Sister Mazibuko will be responsible for Primary Health Care. Both joined MUT on 1 January 2018.


His book opens a door for HOD to do MSc

Jan van der Westhuizen

Jan van der Westhuizen has to thank Prof AM Ndlovu, the late MUT VC, for instructing him to write a book for a TELP project. “He ordered me to stay away from work for six months and write the book. I was encouraged by Prof Stark of CPUT who was driving the project. My drawing book – Drawing for Civil Engineering, became one of the best in the series, and Juta, the publishers, said it was the bestseller,” said Jan. The book was moderated by Herbert Einstein and Amy Smith of the MIT. It opened the door for Jan to register with UKZN for his MSc – Civil Engineering, which he passed cum laude, making his supervisor, Prof Theo Haupt, very happy. Prof Haupt is Research Professor in the Faculty of Engineering. Jan is Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Survey.  Jan has since written a second edition of the book. “The book must be updated on a regular basis. The new edition has incorporated computer application. I now have to write the third edition.”

MUT registration running smooth

Xolani Kunene

Giving update on the January registration, the Head of Academic Administration, Xolani Kunene, said they were happy with the way things were going. “Our registration is running smooth. By Wednesday this week, we had a already registered over 6 000 students which is half of the number expected this year. Embracing online registration has been a major plus with the registration of returning students. Also, almost all our programmes are now full. There is great interest shown towards MUT with 47 325 applicants,” said Xolani. Lectures for all programmes are scheduled to start on 29 January 2018.



Student political formations assist in seamless registration

Student political formation leaders, and some students

MUT student political formation leaders continue to show the way in dealing with what is now regarded as a difficult situation. This week the student leaders contributed immensely in creating order during the registration of new students. They were seen at the gates as early as 7am, addressing parents and prospective students who were looking for places. The leaders of DASO, EFF Students Command, NASMO, SADESMO and SASCO, said education was a priority, and that they wanted to contribute in building the future of the youth through education. They all agreed that it was important to create a student friendly and safe environment, that was conducive for students to excel. They ensured that the first year students were provided with clarity on issues. This resulted in happy faces, despite the stress that comes with registration. The student leaders said they wanted everyone to have access to education. They said they viewed education as a tool to transform society. “We also want to ensure that poor students also benefit,” said one of them.

Biomed has its first in-take of its BSc

Nhlanhla Nsele

For its inaugural BSc degree, the Department of Biomedical Sciences has said it would emphasise quality. “We emphasise quality. A learner can have more than 25 points, but it could happen that quality is missing. All the students we accepted had level five or more in Maths. The minimum was level four for Physics, English and Life Sciences,” said Nhlanhla Nsele, a senior lecturer in the department. The department has enrolled 30 students for the BSs. Nhlanhla said they would also continue to run the diploma in Biomedical Technology, which they will phase out in the next few years. Other departments have also seen learners with very good grade 12 results electing MUT as their first choice. This will be a big plus in MUT’s efforts to improve the graduation statistics, and the quality of its graduates.


MUT structures ensure a smooth start to registration

Xolani interacting with some of the students and parents outside his office

MUT Management’s forward thinking has resulted in identifying threats to the registration process. The registration process is being monitored and constant evaluation will be enhanced to ensure a seamless registration programme for prospective and returning students. Towards the end of 2017 Management convened a meeting of all stakeholders wherein the registration for 2018 was discussed and resolutions were taken. Xolani Kunene, the Head of Administration, said the structures they put in place were assisting with the distribution of the necessary information to all that needed it, particularly the prospective students. “Our call centre and the enquiries section communicate with the prospective and new students. The result of this is less confusion and no frustration on the part of the students. Also feedback from other departments regarding registration also helps a lot. For instance the Department of Marketing and Communications brought to our attention an issue with the call centre numbers. Those have since been sorted out.” Also student leaders and Protection Services are giving relevant information to prospective students, like referring them to the CAO for assistance.

Xolani added that starting the selection process early also helped. “We started selecting last year. Our communication with applicants clarified issues.”

We want young researchers to join in early – Dr Shapi

Dr Shapi, in a white shirt, and Prof Davies, both standing, with MUT staff and students during the workshop

MUT students and young researchers have been put in a position that can propel them to make a great impact in the field of research, thanks to Dr Michael Shapi, the Head of Department of Analytical Chemistry. Dr Shapi organised a workshop on 4 December 2017 where former MUT Research Professor in the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Prof Theophilus Davies gave lectures on health-related dangers posed by the retired mines in Africa, and the importance of multidisciplinary collaborative research, and how to write a successful proposal. “We all have limited time in the workplace, it is important to bring young researchers and students into research,” said Dr Shapi, a well-published academic. Dr Shapi said the students admitted they learnt a lot from Prof Davies, a University of Humboldt scholar. Prof Davies continues to work with MUT academics. He recently published a paper with Dr Shapi, Dr Devandren Nadasen of the Department of Nature Conservation, and others, titled: Background Concentration of Potentially Harmful Elements in Soils of the Kette-Batouri, Eastern Cameroon. Prof Davies is a Chartered Geologist. He is currently a visiting Professor of Medical Geology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

Industry judges give thumbs up for Biomed students

The winners! Sanelisiwe is first from right

In its attempt to make the students work-ready, the Department of Biomedical Technology sent out 38 third year students to do integrated laboratory practice (ILP) with various industries.  After six months the students did presentations on 28-29 November 2017. They were grilled by six industry leaders who were udges. “They are 60% ready for internship. They gave good presentations,” said four judges. Maespari Paul, a judge from NHLS – Cytology IALCH, said the gaps will be closed once the internship starts with training on policies and procedures. Sanelisiwe Gumede was first out of seven winners. Sanelisiwe said she felt ecstatic. She prepared well for the presentation. Sanelisiwe did her ILP at Addington Hospital.  To Rowan Pillay, one judge from the NHLS Histo said: “Excellent presentation!” Rowan, and another student, got the second position. Dr Lungi Kwitshana, Biomed HOD, said they would continue creating opportunities for students to observe what happens in the real world of work “even before they sit for the selection test,” said Dr Kwitshana.

Surprise visit to MarComms by Analytical Chemistry alumna

Thandeka, middle, accepts a present from MarComms’ Nganele Dube. Sitting is Mbali Mkhize, MarComms’ Senior Director

As a response to the invitation by MarComms to alumni during the roadshow to visit their alma mater, Thandeka Molakeng made a pact with herself that she would honour the request. On 30 November 2017 the 1999 Analytical Chemistry graduate paid a surprise visit to the Alumni Relations Office at MarComms. Although in a hurry, Thandeka ended up spending a long time at MarComms. Thandeka also signed a pledge to contribute to the Alumni Bursary Fund. Thandeka is Head of Sales for BASF’s Performance Material Division in Africa.  She is responsible for the division’s sales for African countries, with the exclusion of Egypt and Sudan.