Student news wrap 08/11/18

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News for and about students.

NWU goes mobile to help rural students

Online application platforms have become the norm for most South African universities and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). This is a big problem for students in rural communities who do not have resources and online access to use it.

North-West University (NWU) has stepped up and is doing it’s bit to help. The NWU’s Student Recruitment and Marketing Department recently bought a mobile centre equipped with computers and the necessary internet connections. The NWU mobile application centre has various laptops, scanners, a 48-hour power storage system, as well as internet routers for unlimited WiFi access that can connect up to 35 devices at a time.

“We know that a big percentage of the country’s prospective students come from underprivileged backgrounds and rural areas, and they cannot afford or access the Internet. That is why we have decided to step in,” says marketing officer
Corrie Landsberg. “This mobile centre has all the necessary facilities that they need to access information and apply online.” The mobile centre will visit rural communities in  North-West and neighbouring provinces throughout the year. – NWU Press Office

Updates on cases of two students murdered last year

A guilty verdict has been handed down to the four men accused of the kidnapping, rape and murder of Hannah Cornelius this week. The brutal nature of the Stellenbosch University student’s rape and death was revealed during the trial. A further blow for the family came in March when Cornelius’s mother died due to an accidental drowning.

The trial of five men involved in another student’s murder in May last year also got underway this week. They face charges of murder, housebreaking with intent to commit an offence and attempted murder after Walter Sisulu University sixth-year medical student Lwando Mantshontsho was stabbed to death at a res party where three other students were also seriously injured.

Scholarships for Zim LGBTI students

A new scholarship programme aimed at gay students in Zimbabwe has been announced by the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) association. It is open to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) students.

GALZ director Chester Samba said the Munhu!Munhu Scholarship programme will provide funding to LGBTI students between 18 and 35 to pursue a university degree in democracy, governance, justice, human rights and conflict resolution studies, as a strategy to improve the inclusion of marginalised groups in higher education. Students who qualify will receive full tuition fees, stationery, accommodation and mentorship. GALZ will sponsor at least 10 students who are already enrolled at state universities and have successfully completed their first year, in 2019. The scholarship programme is likely to stir controversy in a largely conservative country known for being homophobic. – Read the full story on the University World News site.

African students reaping benefits from SKA radio telescope project

Students from nine African countries implementing the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope and African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network projects have reaped the rewards of the SKA Human Capital Development initiative. Of 136 students involved, 14 have graduated with honours, 32 with masters and 24 with doctoral degrees thus far. Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia will also partner with Australia in the project. The SKA will have a collecting area of 1 million square metres and will be 50 to 100 times more powerful than any other radio telescope. The array will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence. – Read more on this article on the University World News site.