South Africa’s higher education system needs to decolonise the discipline of geography. The establishment of the discipline, its histories, disclose its origins as “indubitably imperialist”. The discipline was part of a colonial project of cartography, exploration and knowledge.
Shari Daya recently reflected on the state of the discipline in a piece in the South African Journal of Science On shaky ground: A response to Long, D, Dalu, MS, Lembani, RL and Gunter, A (2019) Shifting sands: The decoloniality of geography and its curriculum in South Africa. She was interested to engage with existing debates on decolonisation to clarify some of the troublesome concepts and to suggest ways to move the process forward.
Human evolution in South Africa has a long hominin fossil history record dating back 3.6 million years, as well as a rich palaeontological record that includes the earliest dinosaurs. But only two of South Africa’s national languages are fully able to scientifically describe the richness of this history. But young black scientists are challenging this – and changing the colonial narrative.
Some of the world’s leading scientists representing universities in South Africa and the United Kingdom have joined forces. They will help under-resourced communities develop information and communication technology (ICT) interventions geared towards breaking down barriers and exploring solutions to some of South Africa’s critical maternal and child health (MCH) challenges.
The Co-designing Community-based ICTs Interventions for Maternal and Child Health (CoMaCH) network in South Africa is a cross-collaboration involving inter- and transdisciplinary research, led by Dr Nervo Verdezoto from the School of Computer Science and Informatics at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom (UK) and Dr Melissa Densmore, a senior lecturer in computer science at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Home to approximately 2 600 students, of which some 36% are postgraduate research students registered in the 12 academic departments – Archaeology, Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental & Geographical Science, Geological Sciences, Mathematics & Applied Mathematics, Molecular & Cell Biology, Oceanography, Physics and Statistical Sciences.
Undergraduate teaching is a cornerstone of our activities and the Faculty offers 21 different majors, with possibilities to co-major in subjects located in other Faculties. Our majors are loosely organised into three clusters – those in the biology, earth and environmental sciences, those in the chemical and molecular sciences, and those in the numerical and physical sciences. Our Bachelor of Science degree leads naturally on to a number of different Honours degrees that relate to the undergraduate major(s) offered by the various departments.
The Faculty of Science prides itself on the high regard in which it is held by the international academic community, reflected in part by international world university and subject rankings. According to the latest QS rankings, the Science Faculty at UCT places in the band 51-100 top universities in the Earth and Marine Sciences and in the band 101-150 in the Biological and Environmental Sciences.
The Faculty prides itself on its strong teaching programmes, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and on the strength of its research enterprise. With well developed international links with researchers across the world, the Faculty is a major contributor to cutting-edge, globally relevant research. Maano Ramutsindela Dean: Faculty of Science