Student news wrap 29/05/19

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News from around the world for and about students.

NMU Renaming Project gets under way

Nelson Mandela University (NMU) has kicked off it’s institutional Naming and Renaming Project this Monday (May 27) by renaming eight student residences.

The renamed residences honour South African men and women who have contributed to the country’s efforts towards social justice and include two former Mandela University students, Yolanda Guma and Claude Qavane. Sarah Baartman, Lillian Ngoyi, Charlotte Maxeke, Solomon Mahlangu, Sol Plaatjie and Hector Pieterson are also being recognised. The project stems from the university name change which happened in 2017, contributing to the transformation and decolonising project at the university. – NMU News

Nigerian government plans to electrify 37 universities

Nigerian Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola has stated that the federal government would electrify 37 federal universities under the energising education programme. He conducted an inspection of the Mega Watt hybrid solar power plant project at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo. The project will power the entire university community and is one of the policy interventions aimed at providing access to power especially to rural communities. – Read the full report on The Nation site

NWU student wins award for food security idea

North West University (NWU) student Emile Coetzee has been crowned the 2019 winner of the Future Leaders Forum at the World Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events. Coetzee said she thought that while most people would look to technology to find solutions, back home South Africans wanted to live more sustainably and preferred not having genetically modified organisms in their food. She came up with the “Forbidden Fruit” concept which goes back to teaching people to harvest wild food (for instance, weeds growing in your garden which are completely edible) and foraging in general. You can listen to an interview with Emile explaining her idea here and read the article on the IOL news site

Saudi students in Canada fight order to return home

When Canada appealed to Saudi Arabia to release jailed women’s rights activists last August, thousands of Saudi Arabian students studying in the country were ordered to return home during the ensuing political fallout.

The King Abdullah Scholarship programme which covered their tuition and living expenses was cancelled leaving students stranded. Universities Canada stepped in and allowed graduate students and those near the end of their studies to stay and complete their degrees and would also allow students to continue if they could fund themselves and had study visas. It’s been a hard road for students who want to stay on as they are faced with high university fees and also the worry that their families could be in danger if their criticism of the kingdom came to light. While some students managed to transfer to schools in Australia and New Zealand a few were forced to do first year again as their credits were not transferable. At least one student has gained refugee status because his safety would be in jeopardy if he returned to Saudi Arabia; another stated that the Saudi goverment should not involve students in it’s political issues as it had nothing to do with those who wanted to study. – Read the full article on the CBC News site