Jetting off to Germany

The academic excellence of a W&R Seta bursary recipient has seen her jetting off to Germany to study for three months as part of CPUT’s international student exchange programme.

Third-year Retail Business Management student, Mihle Tyala, says knowing she will not have to repay the money spent on her studies pushed her to work harder and get good grades in order to keep the bursary.

“One of the things that I think made me one of the students chosen for the exchange programme is that my academic record spoke for me before I could actually represent myself. The motivation to study and work hard comes from knowing that I am funded and I will get my qualification without a debt from the institution,” says the tenacious 20-year-old.

Mihle is one of three students in the department who were selected into the programme after rigorous interviews.  The other two are Siviwe Majali and Jamie Kaylor. They left for Germany on 27 September and will be back in the country on 20 December 2018.

They are studying International Retail in Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Ravensburg (Ravensberg University of Cooperative Education) in Ravensburg, Germany.

“I was nervous at first because I didn’t know what to expect but now that I am here am enjoying myself – the experience of living with students from different countries and learning their way of doing things which is completely different from my own traditional way,” says Mihle.

“Also the different learning environment and the more knowledge that am gaining about retail is quite a great experience and it’s something that I will always be grateful for.”

The reason she is ecstatic is that Mihle did not always have a bursary. When she enrolled at CPUT as a first year student in 2016 she obtained an NSFAS loan but in 2017 and 2018 she was lucky enough to get a Wholesale & Retail SETA bursary to finance her studies as her police officer father, the family breadwinner, could not afford to pay.

She intends to do her BTech next year and dreams of working in the planning department of a retail company.

Mihle is excited about acquiring more knowledge about the retail world which she enjoys. “I got an opportunity to work at Woolworth for three months. I was in the planning department where we planned what goes to stores and how many products each.”

Van Schaik donates textbooks to diligent student

BTech Project Management student Zinziswa Zilwa is the happy recipient of textbooks from Van Schaik valued at R3 500.

“We were simply blown away by her academic attributes and attitude towards achieving her goals.  Imagine, she has been working diligently and successfully without these crucial tools that happen to be the right of every student,” said Jasmine Dollie, a representative of Van Schaik on the District Six Campus.

“It gave us immense satisfaction to make a difference in her life by presenting her with the books and we hope she will continue to grow from strength to strength.”

Zinzi said she was eternally grateful for the generous gift from Van Schaik at this critical juncture in her life. “I am the only black female in my area in Khayelitsha who has embarked on a tertiary career and I see it as my responsibility to give back to my community.  All the late nights and sacrifices towards achieving my goals and contributing meaningfully to society will all be worth it in the end.”

“Zinziswa has decided to give the set of books to a deserving student next year with the proviso that the recipient does the same thing when their time to pass has come,” says Fazloen Zouity, the faculty staffer who asked Van Schaik for the donation. “By paying forward, the legacy of humanity and inspiration will continue and hopefully also continue to make a significant impact in the lives of other students.”

Zinzi assisted in the Business and Management Sciences Faculty Office during the registration period earlier this year and what really stood out for Zouity was her positive attitude and everyday glow regardless of the circumstances.

Zouity has assisted other students before and sees it as a holistic approach to her functionality as a CPUT staff member to ensure that, where possible, the students do not suffer needlessly.

Conference inspires future media professionals

Speakers from different media spheres tackled the topic of Mediatisation at the annual Student Media Conference held at the Cape Town Hotel School recently.

The theme of this year’s event, which was organised by the Media Department, was Media and the Changing Environment and was attended by first year Journalism, Public Relations, Photography and Film and Video students.

Keynote speaker and live editor of IOL News: Western Cape region, Lance Witten, stressed that the media has the power to enact change.

He said media professionals had to consciously decide what the issues were that they were going to give attention to.

“I (media professionals) need to be socially conscious enough to be able to put myself in others’ shoes to tell the stories that matter and to make it matter to other people,” said Witten, who is a CPUT alumnus.

“When you guys go out into the big wide world of media and PR think about the stories you’re telling. Think about who you are telling it for but most importantly think about the effect you want that story to have because you have the voice, you have the power. Who controls the media controls the mind but you as the media can control the minds of others.”

Other speakers at the event, which was trending on Twitter, included the Africa News Agency’s Courtney Africa, Former Cape Argus and Cape Times Editor Gasant Abarder, Jeffrey Ongonga, media officer at the Pan African Parliament and Nadine Cloete, film-maker.

PR Student Crystal Casswell said she was inspired by the speakers.

“Today was a reality check. It was inspiring. Getting advice from those in the industry is the best advice you can get,” she said.

Reading students are winning students

In an effort to encourage students to read more the Faculty of Applied Sciences recently hosted their second Reading Quiz.

Nine teams of students from different departments competed against each other to establish a winning team from District Six Campus and Bellville Campus respectively. Language Coordinator for the Faculty of Applied Sciences Dr Ignatius Ticha served as quiz master on the District Six Campus while language practitioner Dmitri Jegels was quiz master on the Bellville campus for round one and the semi-finals on Bellville.

The two teams – Food Technology from Bellville and Environmental Management from District Six – then competed against each other in a fun-filled quiz in Cape Town.

The all-female blue team from Food Technology eventually won the day over the mixed green team from Environmental Management, who took it in good spirits. The winning team won a voucher worth R10 000 which they split amongst the team members while the runners up split a voucher of R5 000. All participants also received a goody bag and certificate.

Ticha said the quiz was started to encourage a culture of reading amongst their students and boost the use of Institutional resources.

“Really, it is to get them read with understanding.”.

Students were encouraged to use the PressReader digital database on the CPUT website to access particular newspapers over a specific period of time and quiz questions drew from the stories they would have read.

Addressing the students before the quiz started Ticha encouraged them to make better and more use of PressReader to not only arm themselves with knowledge about their own world but also improve their reading skills to improve their learning.

“All these newspapers are available on PressReader and we got the sense that the CPUT community just doesn’t use it. Dr Lynn Kleinveld from the Library assisted us with the quiz questions,” said Ticha.

Ticha hopes to use suggestions made by students to improve next year’s quiz and he challenged other CPUT campuses and departments to start their own quizzes in the hope of one day seeing students compete against each other across faculties.

The students in the winning blue team are: Alleluia Mukeshimana, Nanilethu Ngcukayitobi, Tina Bebe, Sesethu Ntoyabo and Asiphe Zayedwa.

Written by Theresa Smith

Radiography students promote healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle was on the menu when a group of Diagnostic Radiography students recently visited a Belhar school.

Student Eden Musampa said a group of six students, under the guidance of their radiographic management lecturer Saaiga Ismail, spent a day at Excelsior High to promote the importance of healthy eating habits and exercise.

“This formed part of our community outreach project. Research has shown that there is a high rate of diabetes in this precinct and we thought it was important to make young learners aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle,” said Musampa.

The students did a short presentation for the pupils and a donation of fruit was given to the school.

Ismail said the school was so impressed with the students’ presentation that they asked for a copy of it.

Musampa said the students were also working on a poster, which would encapsulate their message of healthy living, to provide to the school.

Culturing enquiring minds

Horticulture BTech students got a taste of academic rigour when they recently presented their research on Plant Tissue Culture to lecturers and fellow students.

Not only did they have to defend their presentation choices but also demonstrate whether they could draw on lessons learned in various classes to support particular statements.

Plant Tissue Culture (PTC) is a collection of techniques used to grow plants in a laboratory under controlled conditions on a nutrient medium.

Biotechnology lecturer Dr Lalini Reddy says PTC forms a capstone for the subject and this year she wanted her students to expand beyond a factual assignment to grapple with philosophical questions.

She also encouraged her 9 BTech students to write a letter to the presidency to try to start a conversation encouraging the South African government to take PTC more seriously as a niche industry. They had to concentrate on the conservation of biodiversity and its potential effects on the country’s GDP and employment rates.

“It’s just a start for them,” Reddy told the lecturers and students who had gathered to listen to the presentations.

STERILE ENVIRONMENT: Plants cultivated in a CPUT laboratory in a nutrient medium.

The students recently visited plant tissue culture laboratory Frontier Labs in Brackenfell, which Horticulture BTech student Amanda Mahlungulu described as useful for giving them an idea of what the PTC industry is about.

“Normally when you grow plants, we know the conventional methods. He showed us how you can use technology and that something can come of it,” said Mahlungulu.

Fellow student Ngawethu Ngaka said they have found the industry visits very useful when they have to apply to do their in service training: “It makes it easier because you understand how the different organisations work.”

While Mahlungulu is interested in the concept, she knows that PTC is not yet so popular in South Africa that it would be easy to find a job in the field.

Reddy says the opportunities do exist: “It is up to the students to make themselves known.”

She says assigning the students to write the letter to the presidency and do a presentation to their fellow students and the CPUT community about their findings is one way to do just that.

Written by Theresa Smith