Student news wrap 25/04/19

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News for and about students around the globe.

TUT launches first ever campus-based Automated Weather Station

The accredited meteorological weather station is the first of its kind to be based at a university campus in the country. It will be used to monitor local weather conditions while helping with research and empowering students with training and specific skills development. The weather station will form part of the South African weather service’s official network. – Read more on the Rekord North site. You can also view videos of the launch on the TUT Facebook page.

UCT adopts ethics code to regulate research

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has adopted the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings (GCC). This institution aims to counter ‘ethics dumping’ (the practice of exporting sensitive research not ethically accepted in the global north to the global south and other resource-poor settings). It also serves as an educational tool for researchers and research support systems.

UCT is the third institution to adopt the Global Code, after the European Commission and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, and is the first to do so in Africa. The code, which is directed at research, from bioscience to zoology, emphasises close collaboration between partners in the global north and south through all stages of research. It was developed over the past four years by TRUST, a collaborative EU-funded project, of which UCT is a key partner. – Read more on the IOL news site

Kenyan ‘academic writers’ will lose out as essay mills get shut down

As the United Kingdom cracks down on essay mills, thousands of Kenyan students are starting to lose out on a solid income.

Kenya has been identified as a ‘hotspot’ for UK students to pay to get their academic essays written. With Kenya’s level of youth unemployment at 55%, many graduates commit ‘serial cheating’ to make money. While local laws in Kenya don’t allow for academic cheating, there are no restrictions on doing so for students in other countries. A student from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology admitted to being an ‘academic writer’ for ten years which started while he was still studying. He continued to do it after graduation because he could not find work. Depending on demand, he makes between $500 (R7265) to $2000 (R29000) per month. Others will work for as little as $50 per assignment. While most Kenyan students involved don’t see what they do as cheating, UK Education Secretary Damian Hinds has called on tech firms to block payments and to stop airing adverts for essay mills. – Read more on the University World News site

Impoverished US student has funds pouring in for his own cello 

Eddie Adams’s story is making him a worldwide sensation. A chance encounter during seventh grade introduced him to the cello, an instrument which would pave the way to George Mason University’s School of Music.

After a story ran in The Washington Post about Adams’s tormented, impoverished childhood and how the cello has become his lifeline, people started donating money. A GOFundMe page which was set up for him, is currently sitting on $140,000 (R2 million), leaving him stunned. “I still don’t want to believe it happened because it’s too much money for me to even think about,” said Adams, who is estranged from his family, and his only home is his dorm room. Besides the money, 2 people are buying him cellos with one made specifically for him. He also received a $700 custom-fitted tuxedo to wear during performances as well as gift cards and checks. His strings professor and mentor and most avid supporter, June Huang, said she heard him at an audition and literally forgot to score him because of his soulful and beautiful playing. Read his inspiring story on the Herald Live and Washington Post sites