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Task team to explore university funding in South Africa

first_img7 October 2015A task team had been established to explore solutions to short-term student funding challenges, President Jacob Zuma said yesterday following a “fruitful and historical” meeting with vice-chancellors and the leadership of universities in South Africa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.The meeting between the leadership of the country and its tertiary education institutions ties into one of the outcomes of the National Development Plan, namely, Africa’s place in the world. This is an effort to create a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.Meeting with university leadershipThe meeting was held at the request of Universities of South Africa and the University Council Chairs Forum – South Africa. Among other things, the request was necessitated by the recent violence on campuses countrywide.South Africa recognised and supported the right of university students to protest and to voice their opinions and grievances, Zuma said. However, he strongly condemned the violence and destruction of property that had taken place at some universities in the name of student protests over the past year or so. The most recent violent protests have been at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.“This right to protest should be exercised with utmost responsibility, ensuring that the rights of other South Africans are not violated in the process,” he said.While violent student responses had been condemned, university management must open up legitimate channels for discussion and dialogue over matters concerning students, with a view to resolving whatever issues they raised.“We believe that university management must be more proactive and not allow matters to deteriorate to such an extent that students go on a rampage, often due to lack of understanding and knowledge of the situation and spurred by poor communication,” Zuma said.TransformationIssues relating to the transformation of the higher education sector were also discussed, ahead of the second Higher Education Summit, which will take place in Durban from 15 to 17 October.“It was further noted that the current activity on many historically white university campuses by new student movements were related to concerns around the slow pace of university transformation and the demand to open access more effectively and thus change entrenched institutional cultures.“We also discussed some of the real gains in transforming the higher education sector, while acknowledging that there is still much more to be done.”Students protesting for the transformation of institutions, the president stressed, must focus on dialogue and legitimate means of negotiation and protest to bring about change.AfrikaansThe use of Afrikaans as the main medium of instruction on some campuses has been an issue leading to student protests:#SAVarsities: Zuma “the current issues in former Afrikaans Universities are pushed by the snail pace in transformation” @ANN7tv— Neria Hlakotsa (@neriahlakotsa) October 6, 2015#SAVarsities #Zuma says Afrikaans must not be used as a tool of exclusion, if you do so, you problematize it. @KayaNews— KhayelihleKhumalo (@KhayaJames) October 6, 2015#SAVarsities Zuma: Afrikaans is an African language, it must not isolate itself— POWER987 News (@POWER987News) October 6, 2015Financial aidThe focus of the meeting were the key challenges facing universities such as student financial aid, the increasing politicisation of university campuses, and transformation of higher education.“We wish to reiterate government’s commitment to funding poor students in higher education in the context of a constrained fiscal climate,” said Zuma.Funding for poor academically capable students, disbursed though the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), has increased from R441-million in 1997 to over R9.5-billion in 2015.“While funding has increased considerably, it is clearly still insufficient to support all poor and academically deserving students,” Zuma admitted. Processes for improving the disbursement of funds and concerted efforts to root out fraud, as well as sourcing additional funding to support students were being implemented.Shortfalls in financial aid, however, should not be used as a justification for hooliganism and vandalism of state property.The task teamThe task team will be made up of officials from the Department of Higher Education and Training, the Presidency, NSFAS, two vice-chancellors representing the leadership of universities, two student representatives, and other higher education stakeholders.It would make recommendations by the end of November.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

Biobased fuels the subject of March workshop in Wooster

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Biobased fuels and products — those made from crops and waste from farms — are the focus of an upcoming workshop in Wooster.Advanced Biobased Systems: Growing an Industry is March 16 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave.It’s for anyone involved with or interested in the biobased industry, said organizer Ajay Shah, an assistant professor at OARDC and the head of its Biobased Systems Analysis Lab, the sponsor of the event.Expected to attend are farmers, scientists, processors, manufacturers, commodity representatives, and people in the ethanol, biodiesel and transportation industries, Shah said.“The potential of agricultural biomass as a renewable feedstock for fuels and chemicals continues to grow,” he said. “But there’s still a need to make biobased systems more efficient, environmentally friendly, and technically and economically viable.”Featured speaker is Iowa State’s KeenerThe workshop hopes to foster such progress, Shah said. Speakers from academia and industry, including featured speaker Kevin Keener from Iowa State University, will share their ideas and perspectives. There will be time for networking and discussion.Keener, who’s a food science and human nutrition professor at Iowa State and directs its Center for Crops Utilization Research and BioCentury Research Farm, will speak on “Biomass Utilization in Iowa: Research and Technology Development.”Also speakers from Ohio State, industryShah will present “Feedstock for Biobased Industries” based on his research as a faculty member in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University. Both the department and OARDC are part of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).Also scheduled to speak are:Denny Hall, director of Ohio State’s OBIC Bioproducts Innovation Center, on “Biobased Industries: Setting the Stage.”Ana Alonso, associate professor in Ohio State’s Department of Molecular Genetics, on “Pennycress as a Next Generation Feedstock.”Thaddeus Ezeji, associate professor in Ohio State’s Department of Animal Sciences, which also is part of CFAES, on “Biomass Conversion to Biofuels and Other Products.”Prabhat Krishnaswamy, senior vice president with Columbus-based EMC2, on “Utilizing Biobased Fibers for Composites.”Fred Circle, president of FDC Enterprises of Springfield, on “Feedstock Logistics for Biobased Industries” and “Bioproducts Case Study: Thermal Energy from Locally Grown Switchgrasses.”The speakers from Ohio State “will focus on their research, including the development of crops and processes for biobased energy and products,” Shah said.‘What’s happening in the real world’The industry speakers “will highlight what’s happening in the real world, including successes and challenges,” he said.The workshop is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in OARDC’s Shisler Conference Center. Wooster is about 30 miles east of Akron, 60 miles south of Cleveland and 95 miles north of Columbus.Register by March 7, save $10Registration for the event, which includes continental breakfast, lunch and refreshments, is $50 by March 7 and $60 afterward. Details and a registration form can be downloaded at go.osu.edu/BiobasedWorkshop.For more information, contact Mary Wicks of OARDC at wicks.14@osu.edu or 330-202-3533.The OBIC center, the OARDC-based BioHio Research Park and Ohio State’s Sustainability and Resilient Economy Discovery Theme are also supporting the workshop.last_img read more

November Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your Comments

first_imgRokman4( Member since 2008 )Rokman4Nomination by 2oddHOGs:“Rod spends a lot of time helping new cachers learn everything from the basics of geocaching to more intricate hides. When I first met Rod, he was giving a talk at a small town library. Rod is enthusiastic and thinks nothing of going over to a person’s home to help them with a computer problem or to take them out to find their first cache.  Rod was instrumental in setting up the first ever geocaching training ground, on a city owned recreational island, that will stay a training ground even now that the training event happened (close to 100 people attended).  Rod spent a lot of time working to make a contact with the city, showing them what he planned for the  island and getting the city’s support to hold the event and keep the island as the training ground. Rod is a terrific role model for those of us that are new the the game. ”nicgeo( Member since 2009 )nicgeoNomination by Mickelic:“Nicole is a geography teacher who uses geocaching to teach her students about latitude and longitude. She just wrote a grant for new GPS devices for her students and was awarded $500. Those who awarded the grant thought that her grant was the most unique and they featured Nichole in their monthly newsletter. I believe that she should be up for a nomination because, due to her excitement for geocaching, all of her students love going on field trips geocaching in our area. There is so much more about NicGeo which makes her the cacher of the month.” October Featured Geocacher of the Month, coast2coast2coastEvery month the geocaching community nominates people to be the  Geocacher of the Month – a geocacher who positively contributes to the community and stands out for his or her outstanding involvement in the activity. Groundspeak Lackeys choose three of the nominees and tell their stories here on Latitude 47. The community selects which of the three should be designated “Geocacher of the Month.”Last month, geocachers awarded the honor to coast2coast2coast. More than 50 geocachers wrote in support of the winner. Coast2coast2coast has hosted multiple events, helped direct the Mid Island Geocaching organization, and is known for his dedication to the geocaching community. Congratulations to all those who were nominated in October.Now it’s your turn to help select the featured November “Geocacher of the Month.” The nomination period is closed and we have whittled it down to the three geocachers featured below.Featured Geocacher of the Month GeocoinWrite a comment on this blog post about which of these three geocachers you feel should be November’s “Geocacher of the Month.” Those whose nominees were not recognized here are encouraged to submit their nominations again next month.Some testimonials have been edited for length. Comment below to tell us who you think should be the featured November “Geocacher of the Month.” A panel of Lackeys will use your comments to help decide which geocacher is awarded the honor. Each featured “Geocacher of the Month” will receive an exclusive special edition featured ”Geocacher of the Month” Geocoin along with a Geocacher of the Month hat and a certificate acknowledging their contributions signed by 2 of the founders of Geocaching.com. We will be accepting comments for November’s award through Monday the 24th.If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be the Geocacher of the Month, send an email to geocacherofthemonth@groundspeak.com.Every nomination must meet the following requirements:Geocacher of the Month Geocoin Please include your name, the name of your nominee, their username, at least one picture of the nominee and a description (500 or fewer words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Geocacher of the Month. Please inform your nominee that you’ve submitted them for the award. Nominations for the December Geocacher of the Month must be received by December 3rd.Once we have received all of the nominations, we will choose the top candidates and post them on the blog. You will then get a chance to champion your favorite. Our goal is to involve the entire geocaching community in this process so we might learn from each other.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedAnnouncing the October ‘Featured Geocacher of the Month’October 25, 2011In “Community”Announcing the November Featured Geocacher of the MonthNovember 23, 2011In “Community”Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentsOctober 13, 2011In “Community” _JohnnyCache ( Member since 2007 )_JohnnyCacheNomination by Bocco:“_JohnnyCache has volunteered countless hours of his time as the president of the Maryland Geocaching Society for the past two years. In that position Tom has worked tirelessly to promote geocaching in our state. He also provides links for helpful information, and detailed instructions on how to use various GPSr’s, software, etc., in our organization forums. He has created a Maryland Geocaching Society fanpage on facebook, and a smartphone app for our forums. _JohnnyCache is not only an enthusiastic geocacher in his own right, who has hidden some of the most devious cache hides in the state, he gives back to our community of cachers. His efforts as president of our society have enhanced geocaching in Maryland enormously.”last_img read more

Blockchain drives Wanxiang’s $30B smart city project

first_imgTags:#Blockchain#electric cars#IBM#IoT#Microsoft#Smart Cities#Wanxiang How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Donal Power How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Citiescenter_img Related Posts Another company jumped on the blockchain bandwagon in a big way, with Wanxiang’s $30 billion smart city project. The Chinese electric car maker announced the mega-project at the Global Blockchain Summit.Wanxiang said that it will invest $30 billion in a project that will integrate blockchain technologies with smart city innovations. The project will involve the purchase of 83 million square feet of land in Hangzhou, where Wanxiang is headquartered.Industry pundits predict that blockchain technology could revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT), as it is capable of verifying a device’s every transaction, communication and change.This type of verification will become crucially important in smart cities where increasing numbers of connected devices will begin spouting data from all corners of the urban environment.See also: Outdated thinking on wireless could cripple UK smart cities“We want to use blockchain to manage IoT, and use it help devices to interact with each other,” said Feng Xiao, vice chairman of Wanxiang. “Smart appliances can be managed with blockchain.”In a similar vein, the government of Dubai announced earlier this year that its innovation department will be integrating blockchain into its smart city strategy.How Wanxiang will integrate blockchain with smart city projects is still being formulated, but company representatives are in talks with Microsoft and IBM on future collaboration.The project is expected to develop innovations at the intersection of cars, smart cities and blockchain. One example given was how the cost of electric cars could be reduced by using blockchain to confirm and enforce property rights in urban environments of the future.Wanxiang already launched a blockchain labWanxiang has already proven keen on blockchain technology with its launch of its $50 million Wanxiang Blockchain Labs. As well in $500,000 of ether cryptocurrency was purchased by a Wanxiang subsidiary in 2015.And as part of the project, the company will be actively looking to finance blockchain entrepreneurs who may be developing innovations that will align with Wanxiang’s initiative.“We can’t tackle all the use cases that might arise from the smart city project,” said Feng. “That’s why we’re opening it up to use cases from all over the world.”Wanxiang owns the American electric car manufacturer Karma and is planning to build a $375 million plant for making battery-powered vehicles. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

Dashboards and an Abdication of Accountability

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now There is a hidden danger in CRM dashboards, those collections of metrics and hard, objective data displayed so beautifully on a screen. The intention is to be able to see information in real time, to be able to make decisions that improve results. Even though this is possible, and occasionally it even happens in real life, the hidden danger is felt daily. That danger is a lack of accountability.It’s one thing to put information into a system in Omaha and have it magically appear on the screen in Boise. It’s another thing to have to make a phone call from Omaha to Galactic headquarters in Boise to recount what you did over the prior week during a weekly call with your sales manager.Having no appointments in one week isn’t the end of the world (two weeks is the end of the world). Having a manager see this on a dashboard and say nothing about it, not even an inquiry to make sure everything is alright, is either negligence, apathy, or laziness on the sales manager’s part. If sales is really about creating and capturing new opportunities, this ought to be important enough to talk about every week.The dashboard doesn’t create accountability. Consequences do. If you care about reaching your goals, then you must hold people accountable for the work that produces the results you need. If you want to be good at holding people accountable, then you help them do the things that you are going to hold them accountable to, having real conversations, troubleshooting issues and challenges, and coaching people up so they can do their best work.No one should be surprised that they are off course. They should not be allowed to believe they are okay because no one has said anything about the metrics that showed up on the dashboard until it was too late to do anything about those metrics (unless you have a time machine).last_img read more

Alexis gets 16-month prison sentence

first_imgA. Sánchez Alexis Sanchez given 16-month prison sentence for tax fraud Goal Last updated 1 year ago 19:10 2/7/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(32) Alexis Sanchez Manchester United Getty Images A. Sánchez Manchester United Premier League Spanish law states that the 29-year-old will not have to spend any time in jail and he has agreed to pay the money he owes with interest Alexis Sanchez has accepted a 16-month prison sentence for committing tax fraud during his time at Barcelona, although he will not spend time in jail.The Manchester United forward was accused of defrauding the treasury of €1 million between 2012 and 2013, relating to income from his image rights.Sanchez has, however, reached an agreement with the prosecutor to pay the money he owes with interest. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Despite the verdict, the Chilean will not spend time in prison as he is a first offender and the sentence is less than two years – which crucially, in Spanish law, prohibits jail time.The ex-Arsenal star is the latest football figure to be punished by Spanish prosecutors for an apparent dodging of taxes.Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho and Ricardo Carvalho have all been pursued by the authorities recently.Barcelona star Messi was handed a 21-month jail term in 2016, but managed to exchange it for a €250,000 fine last year, while Mourinho paid to settle his and Carvalho was given a fine and a seven-month sentence.Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, meanwhile, was accused of owing €14.7m but has protested his innocence in an ongoing case.Alexis joined Barcelona from Udinese in 2011 and spent three years with the Catalan side, winning a Liga title as well as the Club World Cup under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.He left to join Arsenal in 2014 and starred for Arsene Wenger’s team until making the shock move to Old Trafford in January in a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, despite it having appeared he would be joining Manchester City.The 29-year-old has made three appearances for Mourinho’s side so far, scoring his first goal for his new club in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town.The Red Devils are currently 13 points behind leaders City after 26 matches and return to action on Sunday when they visit Newcastle United.last_img read more