NSFAS has lost millions in irregular expenditure.
Dr Randall Carolissen has been appointed as NSFAS administrator.
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Wits Business School will host Home Affairs Minister, Naledi Pandor and the Director of Wits African Centre for Migration & Society, Prof. Loren Landau to discuss Immigration, Home Affairs & the Economy, Xenophobia, Corruption and the New National Identity Cards.
Date: 19 September, 2013
Time: 18:00 for 18:30
Venue: Donald Gordon Auditorium, Wits Business School, Parktown
Wits has partnered with the Sci-Bono Discovery centre in Johannesburg to celebrate National Science Week (NSW), a major event aimed at encouraging young people to study science.
Dr. Ian McKay from the Bernard Price Institute for Paleontological Research will be participating in the week-long programme at Sci-Bono, and Alvin Moodley from Student Recruitment will have a career guidance exhibition.
NSW is celebrated across all nine provinces during the week of 30 July to 4 August 2012. The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Soweto campus hosted exhibitions of the latest science being done in South Africa at the launch on Saturday. The launch was opened by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor.
Busloads of school children from the area got a glimpse into science as a choice of tertiary study and as a career path. Institutions like the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and some universities showcased their latest research.
According to the South African National Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), the purpose of the week is to contribute to science, engineering and technology among various sections of the population. It is also to expose learners and teachers to science-based careers, especially those from previously disadvantaged schools. SAASTA is a unit of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
Although Wits was not present at the launch, which was arranged by the DST and UJ, they are involved in the promotion of science throughout the year.
“Wits is certainly committed to promoting the public understanding of science and aside from our participation in various activities involving National Science Week, we have undertaken numerous public activities this year,” said Wits communication manager Shirona Patel.
Beyond their partnership with Sci-Bono for NSW, she highlighted a few examples of Wits’ participation in the public understanding of science. For instance, Wits was involved in the SKA campaign and hosted important paleosciences lectures, especially in light of the recent Sediba fossil findings. Patel said these were only some examples of their many efforts.
As for Witsies themselves, they will be participating in ‘career speed-dating’ as part of NSW, as well as initiatives that bring art and science together. Witsies will also be presenting and mentoring at several NSW sessions.
Local and international media have been buzzing with news after it was announced that the majority of the SKA, the world’s largest radio telescope array, will be built in South Africa.
South Africa is ready to host the world’s most powerful radio telescope. That was the message Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology, wanted the world to hear.
She was speaking at a media briefing held on Thursday, 29 March 2012, by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the South African Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project team and the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF).
The SKA Founding Board had been expected to announce a final decision on the SKA host country next week. Instead, the meetings on April 3rd and 4th would address concerns and finalise the site selection process, said DST Director General, Dr Phil Mjwara, and SA SKA Director, Dr Bernie Fanaroff.
But Pandor insisted that South Africa would push for a final answer. “Our site is better…We think we’ll be a brilliant decision.”
She said the benefits of the SKA project to South Africa would mainly be in the form of human capital. “Expanding the number of Africa’s scientists and technicians will allow South Africa and Africa to play an increasingly important role in the global knowledge economy.”
Almost 400 postdoctoral, PhD, Masters and undergraduate SKA bursaries have already been awarded to South African and African students since 2005. Two Wits students were among this year’s bursary recipients.
The SKA facility will also generate employment in infrastructure construction and, along with other large-scale astronomy facilities like the MEERKAT, will attract tourists and drive socio-economic development.
When asked what would happen if South Africa was not chosen as the host, the minister replied: “Plan A: we are ready to host the SKA. Plan B: we are ready to host the SKA. Plan C: we are ready to host the SKA”.
Wits is home to one of the seven SKA research chairs, Prof Sergio Colafrancesco, chair in radio astronomy. Colafrancesco is currently abroad supporting South Africa’s SKA bid and was unavailable for comment.