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Welcome to the second edition of 2021

The newsletter opens with an announcement of the IEASA ExCo, a message from the IEASA Treasurer and immediate Past President (2019-2020) Ms. Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University, and continues with a summary of IEASA’s external representation and engagement since our last newsletter. This is followed by “News” from our members institutions. This edition features news from: Rhodes University, University of Johannesburg and University of Kwa Zulu Natal. We invite you to share news from your institution in our next letter!

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The IEASA Council confirmed the Executive Committee (ExCo) for 2021 as follows: President: Wiseman Jack, Vaal University of Technology; Deputy President, Dr Lavern Samuels, Durban University of Technology and Treasurer, Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University. Congratulations and thanks were extended to the new Executive Committee by the Council.

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Mr. Wiseman Jack
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Dr. Lavern Samuels
Deputy President
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Ms. Orla Quinlan
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Ms Orla Quinlan
IEASA Treasurer (2021-2022)

We continue to live in challenging times. South Africa is currently in the throes of the third wave of COVID. The pandemic continues to affect our lives in so many different ways both physically and mentally,
We have all been affected by illness, loss of jobs, loss of loved ones, neighbours and friends. Scheduled power cuts have also increasingly affected our productivity, as not everyone is equipped with generators, when working from home. With all these challenges come new opportunities to be innovative, to reach out, to be grateful and to acknowledge the good days and the bad days, one day at a time. A sincere thank you to the IEASA staff and volunteers, who give freely of their time, to continue advancing IEASA. Please heed all the COVID prevention advice and stay safe as we continue to support each other through this tough period.

Latest news on progress with the Critical skills list

DHA initiated a consultation process, as they revised South Africa’s critical skills list earlier this year. IEASA organised a webinar on this topic and subsequently, submitted an appeal to retain the PhD and university categories on the critical skills list. DHA alerted IEASA last week that, due to the impact of COVD on the workforce and as the pandemic continues, they are having to rethink critical skills afresh and the outcomes will be further delayed.

IEASA Finances

Due to prudent and proactive financial management in 2020, IEASA remains a viable organization. Thank you to everyone who cleared bad debt to date and to everyone who is keeping up-to-date with membership payments!

The audit for 2020 is currently under way.

IEASA needs to generate a modest income to ensure its continued viability and the retention of staff, and we will be charging modest fees for the IEASA Conference in 2021.

Let me also take the opportunity to thank our medical aid project partners Simeka Health, Momentum and Compcare for their continuing support.
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The Conference Committee, led by the Chair, Ms Lara Dunwell and the IEASA manager, Ms Tohiera Bagus, is working very hard organising the 2021 IEASA Conference, which is shaping up very nicely. We have received a very interesting and high quality selection of abstracts and feedback has been given to the authors. Don’t forget to save the dates August 25 to 27 2021! Watch out for further notifications. We will be partnering with the University World News to advertise and report on the conference.
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With a five-year strategy approved at the end of 2020, the Council, ExCo and the office staff have been working towards advancing our strategic priorities and engaging internationally and nationally.

Joining the International Association of Universities (IAU)

IEASA recently become a member of the International Association of Universities (IAU) Founded in 1950, under the auspices of UNESCO. IAU brings together its Members from more than 130 countries for reflection and action on common priorities. IAU is an independent, bilingual (English and French), non-governmental organization. IAU is an official partner of UNESCO (Associate status) and has been given special consultative status by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). IAU was granted the participatory status with the Council of Europe.

NAFSA 2021

IEASA was represented at the NAFSA conference by Ms Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University, who participated in an international panel on the topic of “The Future of intercultural competencies” with colleagues from Japan and the US as follows: Professor Shingo Ashizawa, Toyo University; Linda Liu Vice President, International The College Board; Jewell Winn, Senior International Office, Tennessee University and Professor Darla Deardoff, Executive Director, Association of International Education Administrators. Dr Lavern Samuels, Deputy President, Durban University of Technology, also attended NAFSA.

Network of International Education Associations (NIEA)

NAFSA also hosted the second NIEA meeting of the year, in which Mr Wiseman Jack and the other members of the IEASA ExCo participated. NIEA participants are preparing a policy paper for the UNESCO global conference on Higher Education. Ms Quinlan is on the working group.


Image: Dr Samia Chasi, Strategic Advisor, IEASA; Prof Ahmed Bawa, Chief Executive Officer, USAf; Ms Meekness Lunga, Science and Higher Education Programme Manager: British Council, South Africa; Mr Wiseman Jack, Vaal University of Technology, President, IEASA; Mr. M Mabizela, Chief Director Higher Education Policy Development and Research, DHET.

At national level in South Africa, IEASA is partnering with the British Council to support the rollout of the “DHET Policy framework on internationalisation of higher education”. A meeting in connection with research to assess the readiness of the sector was held on June 30th between IEASA staff and Council members and the British Council. DHET and USAf were invited for consultation. All parties in attendance made suggestions regarding the research questions and are excited by, and in support of, the initiative. More information on this project will be forthcoming in the coming months.
Dr Samia Chasi, the IEASA Strategic Adviser engaged as a speaker on the 21 April 2021: Panel on “Centring Agenda 2063 as a frame of reference for a required transformation in global North – Africa research and partnerships” at the virtual launch of the Perivoli Africa Research Centre (PARC; recording available at
Dr Samia Chasi PARC
Dr Chasi also published the following:
  • Chasi, S. and Quinlan, O. (2021). Inclusion in Times of Covid‑19: The Case of International Students in South Africa. Journal of Student Affairs in Africa. 9(1). 205‑221. DOI:10.35293/jsaa.v9i1.1439
  • Chasi, S. (2021). Educational mobility of South African youth: Insights from Erasmus Mundus
  • Action 2. In D. Cairns (Ed.). The Palgrave Handbook of Youth Mobility and Educational Migration. 211-221. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Chasi, S. (2021). Colonisation – Past, Present, Future? Forum. Spring ed. 42-32. Amsterdam: European Association for International Education.
  • Chasi, S. (2021, 3 June). Decolonisation: ‘Who we are and from where we speak’. University World News.
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Congratulations to Rhodes University for the prestigious 2021 MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship

News from Rhodes University

From the left Mr Ashley Westaway,Ms Anna Lindiwe Talbot, Dr Sizwe Mabizela & Ms Diana Hornby

The Rhodes University Nine-Tenths Matric Mentoring Programme wins First Prize in the prestigious 2021 MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship.

Image: From the left Mr Ashley Westaway, Ms Anna Lindiwe Talbot, Dr Sizwe Mabizela & Ms Diana Hornby.

Rhodes University is the first South African university to win first place for this prestigious prize! Out of a global association of 388 universities in 77 countries on six continents, all committed to developing student leaders who are actively engaged with society.

Nine-Tenths is co-managed by the Rhodes University Community Engagement Division (RUCE), local high schools and a local Non-profit Organisation, GADRA Education. Programme responsibilities are carried out in a participatory manner by each partner based on their skill set and resources.

Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Rhodes University Vice Chancellor

Rhodes University Council unanimously renews Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela’s contract for seven more years

Image: Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Rhodes University Vice Chancellor

The Rhodes University Council, unanimously resolved to extend Dr Sizwe Mabizela’s contract as Vice-Chancellor for a further seven years “to continue the proud academic story of quality of the past seven years,” Council Chairperson Judge Gerald Bloem, said.

Dr Mabizela led the University through especially turbulent times in its history. He was Vice-Chancellor in 2015 and 2016 during the widespread students’ protests. More recently, he led the University during the unprecedented and hugely disruptive global pandemic and the related financial pressures.


News from the University of Johannesburg

Siyaya eJapan, Tokyo here we come,’ say UJ sportsmen, women in SA squad

The 2021 Olympic Games are going ahead, and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has thirteen (13) sportswomen and men selected for the South African team that will jet off to Tokyo, Japan, in July. The University received the news on Thursday, 27 May 2021, when Team SA released its selected list of athletes and technical professionals who will represent the country in various sporting codes.
"It gives us immense pleasure that our UJ student-athletes and staff as well as alumni have been included in the selected South African squad that will travel to participate in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. At UJ, we pride ourselves in producing talent that contributes to the growth of the South African sports community," says Ms Nomsa Mahlangu, Senior Director: UJ Sport.


News from University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)


CWUR Rankings: UKZN in Top 2.5% Globally


The Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) has released its 2021-22 Global 2000 List. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) features as one of the top 2.5% universities out of 19,788 worldwide. This puts UKZN in fourth place in South Africa and Africa.

Professor Mosa Moshabela, DVC: Research (Acting) welcomed the latest CWUR which he said “as usual” confirm the University’s continued position as a leading research-intensive University in Africa and the world. “Whilst there are many other attributes that characterise UKZN as a top University in Africa, and yet not considered by the CWUR, it is always a pleasure to see how we perform as an institution relative to our peers nationally and globally.

Professor Viranjay M Srivastava

UKZN Professor on Scopus Top African Researchers List

Image: Professor Viranjay M Srivastava

Electronic Engineering lecturer at UKZN Professor Viranjay M Srivastava is highly ranked among the top 500 researchers in Africa, according to the Scopus listing.

Srivastava, who is a discipline leader and module coordinator, has a doctorate in Electronics and Communication Engineering as well as 17 years of teaching and research experience with undergraduate and postgraduate engineering students at various national and international universities.

Said Srivastava: ‘Our research has produced more than 270 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at conferences, books, book chapters and patents.’


African-Born Women Publish Breakthrough Research in Space Physics

Image: Women making their mark in space physics, from left to right Dr Judy Stephenson, Dr Zama Katamzi-Joseph and Ms Tsige Atilaw.

A study by Dr Judy Stephenson, Dr Zama Katamzi-Joseph and Ms Tsige Atilaw titled: Multitaper Analysis of an MSTID Event Above Antarctica on 17 March, 2013, has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Polar Science.

Their research is focused on the analysis of an Medium-Scale Travelling Ionospheric Disturbance (MSTID) event they observed simultaneously from both SANAE and Halley SuperDARN radars located in Antarctica. Their analysis employed a multiple windowing method, also known as the Multitapering method, which is a sophisticated spectral technique. Their publication includes the first estimation of energy dissipation by Joule heating due to an MSTID event.


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