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New UFS Science Education facility aims to inspire and empower 

The Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof Francis Petersen, said universities are about interactive spaces such as the Science Education Centre

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The University of the Free State (UFS) Faculty of Education this week opened the first Science Education Centre (Sci-Ed) in central South Africa on its Bloemfontein Campus. Sci-Ed has as its mission the advancement of innovative and effective mathematics and science teaching and learning, which is beneficial to student teachers, in-service teachers, learners, parents, and the public at large. During the opening of the event on 6 December 2022, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof Francis Petersen, said universities are about interactive spaces such as the Science Education Centre.

He believes it is in spaces such as these where innovations and initiatives are created to tackle science (and the world) of the future. “We must seek more of these spaces at the UFS. We must ensure that graduates from our university have a solid discipline – that they have their basis right – to prepare them to interact and engage in a multidisciplinary fashion, because that is what the world outside requires.” Speaking about the role of universities in society, Prof Petersen said the purpose of a university is to engage with society. “If we can’t show the public the value of what we have here, the public will ask what the value of universities is.

Why do universities exist in the first place? Our role is always to look at things that we do best: our intellectual ability to understand how things work; us challenging specific things and infusing that into society. It is for this reason that we have public lectures, science centres, and other platforms, allowing society to engage with us.” “Universities are places that evolve continuously, and this centre is an excellent example.” Referring to the UFS’ twelve-year strategic plan, Vision 130, he said besides visibility, the university will also focus on impact. “We can only show our impact through our graduates, the knowledge that we generate, the research that we conduct, and engaging with society.

This centre is all about that.” The Honourable Dr Tate Makgoe, the MEC for the Department of Education in the Free State, shared the sentiment that the impact of universities must be felt by the community. “I am inspired to know that this facility is open to the public. Government will be the main beneficiary of this science centre and we will use it profitably. Among others, I will send our Foundation Phase teachers here,” he stated. 

An aesthetic and educational added value Dr Cobus van Breda, Manager of Sci-Ed and Programme Director of the Science-for-the-Future, an initiative hosted by the UFS Faculty of Education to address the challenge of mathematics and science teaching and learning in South Africa, said that the project had 289 884 participants between 2009 and 2022. He explained that this project implements mathematics and science teachers’ professional development and outreach programmes across the country. “In order to extend its impact, it was decided to establish a Science Education Centre to not only enhance its teaching and learning programmes to student educators and in-service teachers, but also to provide a platform to include science communication and engagement with the public.

Sci-Ed will be open to the public, and through outreach programmes as well as formal and non-formal visits to the centre, the community can make use of the benefits of the centre,” says Dr Van Breda. He sees the promotion of parental and family involvement in children’s learning as a priority for Sci-Ed. “Programmes and events aimed at empowering parents and guardians to support their children will also be presented,” said Dr Van Breda. 

The Science Education Centre’s main objective, he says, is to create a STEAM+ (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics, and related areas) environment in the South African context, where innovative and 21st century science education (Grade R to Grade 12) can thrive. “The intent of Sci-Ed is to expose, inspire, and empower users while engaging in STEAM experiences and interactive exhibits,” he added. Merging the old with the new Dr Van Breda – the passion, drive, and dedication behind Sci-Ed – believes that teaching philosophy and facilities must complement each other. This resulted in the construction of the science centre, a realisation of a dream that started in 2005. 

The centre was built in three stages. Phase one of the development involved the construction of the building. An outdoor park area was created during phase two, and interactive exhibits, programmes, and events were planned, developed, and enhanced during phase three to serve the purpose of the facility. “The last part will continue for about six more months, as we want to develop authentic exhibitions that support the university’s teaching and learning philosophy,” said Dr Van Breda. The Sci-Ed Building, designed to accommodate all the crucial elements of a modern science education centre, is an extension of the existing Winkie Direko Building.

Dr Van Breda explained that the architect designed the new building to seamlessly merge with the Winkie Direko Building, which dates from an earlier era. “A conscious decision was made to use some cladding from the old building where it merges into the new facility. This architectural feature can also be seen as a metaphor for building a bright new future on sound foundations,” he said. With its interactive exhibits, Sci-Ed will make it possible for the numbers of students, student educators, in-service educators, learners, parents, other interest groups and the public who will enter its doors, to engage in a hands-on manner with activities, and as such experience a science principle.

“Using interactive exhibits, we also hope to evoke questions that will stimulate discussion and enhance learning, especially coincidental learning,” said Dr Van Breda.  He added that Sci-Ed will also serve as a social space on campus, where all students can interact within a fun and exciting popular science environment. Prof Loyiso Jita, Dean of the Faculty of Education, described the building as a dream come true. It is not just about the building, it is also about creating an intellectual space, both indoors and outdoors, to encourage students, staff, and the community to interact with science. 
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NMIMS SBM Offers MBA (Part-Time) Program for Working Executives

The program focuses on providing a holistic education to enhance their employability

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Start your professional learning journey now with the best-in-class MBA (Part-Time) program with the most sought-after prestigious NMIMS, School of Business Management, featured in the top 100 global B-schools as per Financial Times MiM 2022 ranking. A highly respected business school in India with a legacy of 41 years and a prestigious faculty announces admissions open for their MBA (Part-Time) program at their Mumbai campus.

This program offers an opportunity for working executives to acquire a high-end compact management qualification through rigorous and qualitative in-class learning and practical exposure to industry expertise. The program focuses on providing a holistic education to enhance their employability, exposing working executives to contemporary trends and practices in management. It also provides excellent academic resources coupled with industry best practices to boost the managerial competence of executives.

NMIMS SBM MBA (Part-Time) is accredited by Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for working executives who want to enhance their skills and advance their careers. NMIMS has world-class pedagogy to provide students with a comprehensive and engaging learning experience. NMIMS SBM has a team of experts with extensive experience in the business world. The program structure is upto 40% hybrid and 60% in the classroom, whereas Bloomberg Certification Program will help students use financial analysis tools more efficiently. 

“The program is specifically meant for executives who have spent quality time in the industry and have adequate exposure to managerial roles and responsibilities. The two-year MBA (Part-Time) program will offer an opportunity for participants to hone their managerial skills and enable them to contribute better to their decision-making. It has been designed to empower students with a well-planned schedule that allows for a balance between study and work,” said Dr. Prashant Mishra, Dean School of Business Management.

Dr. Pradeep Pai, Program Chairperson, MBA (Part-Time), School of Business Management, said, “NMIMS SBM is proud to offer this innovative program to working professionals who wish to take the next step in their careers. We believe that this program will be a preferred executive education program for working professionals seeking to upgrade their qualifications by acquiring a widely acclaimed MBA degree.”

The MBA (Part-Time) program goes beyond traditional education by providing learners value-added workshops and industry connections. Our curriculum is regularly updated to ensure students receive the most current knowledge. The program helps them gain a practical and theoretical understanding of the industry and creates a network of professionals for them as they progress.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • 50% in Graduation from a recognized University in any discipline. (Distance/Part time/Full time)
  • Minimum 3 years of work experience in an executive or supervisory capacity or self-employed after graduation & up to the date of written test/personal interview.
  • The work experience should be full-time experience and should NOT include internships, projects, training periods, trainee (management, engineering), etc.

Selection Process:

Written Test conducted for MBA (Part-Time) by NMIMS OR Candidates with GMAT score of 600 and above (GMAT score of last 5 years up to the closure of registrations will be considered) OR Candidates with a score of 200 and above in NMAT by GMAC examinations for 2020 admission AND Personal Interview

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eSecForte visited Northeast to strengthen Industry-Academia Interface for Achieving Effective Cybersecurity Prospects  

The team also visited the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Manipur and interacted with students on the topic of Digital Forensics Challenges and career options

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In an effort to create a holistic ecosystem for cybersecurity in the country, the team from eSecForte led by Lt Col (Dr.) Santosh Khadsare  (Retd), VP Digital Forensics  & Incident Response  visited the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NEILT), Kohima and held discussions with the director of the institute, L. Lanuwabang. The deliberations were focused on enlarging the gambit of cybersecurity especially digital forensics in the country and how eSecForte and NEILT can come together to contribute effectively in this regard. 

The team also visited the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Manipur and interacted with students on the topic of Digital Forensics Challenges and career options. The discussion entailed how the use of digital forensics can prove instrumental in bringing the perpetrators of cybercrimes to the book. The various challenges related to the implementation of tools and methodologies of digital forensics were also part of the very constructive dialogue that was held between our team and enthusiastic students. 

The team lead had a very fruitful discussion with Dr Krishnan Bhaskar, Director, IIIT, Imphal and discussed how the Industry-Academia interface can do wonders in the field of cybersecurity and digital forensics. Specifically, detailed deliberations were held on devising exchange mechanisms and collaborative opportunities so that industry and academics can come together and lead to the creation of a self-sustainable ecosystem in the field of cybersecurity. Such development will ensure that cases related to the cybercrimes are dealt swiftly and lead to desired outcomes in terms of ensuring justice and well-being for all participating stakeholders. 

In the next leg of the reaching out journey, eSecForte’s team paid a visit to the National Forensic Science University (NFSU), Imphal campus and exchanged ideas with the campus coordinator on the latest trends and developments in the field of digital forensics. Apprising the importance of digital forensics to investigating officers, Lt Col (Dr.) Santosh Khadsare  (Retd), VP DFIR interacted with more than 400 trainees of the North Eastern Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong. These aspirants were thoroughly apprised of the importance of digital forensics and its utility in cracking cases related to cyberfrauds, cyberbullying, and other allied crimes associated with cyberspace. Case studies were discussed on how to handle digital evidence at the crime scenes with utmost care so that trace evidence won’t get lost in the logistical procedures and processes. The team showcased flagship products of eSecForte, Digital Forensic workstations and Faraday bags and informed them of the utility of these offerings built under India’s ambitious MAKE IN INDIA (MII) project. 

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Roots Collegium signs World Chess Champion Koneru Humpy as Brand Ambassador

Chairman, Sri. B.P.Padala announces Koneru Humpy as the Brand Ambassador of Roots Collegium educational institutions

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  • Humpy will be the face of its upcoming brand-related undertakings

Celebrating its 30 years’ legacy in imparting holistic education, Roots Collegium, a well-known educational institution in Hyderabad has today announced World Chess Champion Koneru Humpy as its Brand Ambassador. The appointment of Ms. Koneru Humpy is set to boost the brand image of Roots Collegium amplifying the institution’s philosophy in making its students achieve global exposure.

With the signing up of world chess champion Koneru Humpy as its Brand Ambassador, Roots Collegium will be exploring untapped areas of new-age innovations and add them to its list of achievements in the last 30 years. The fast expanding Roots Collegium, started in 1991, offers intermediate courses and almost all the streams of Bachelor’s degrees. Roots collegium is providing a wide range of courses like BBA, BBA (Business Analytics, B.Com (General, computers, sales), BA (Mass Communication, Psychology, and modern languages), and B.Sc. (Data Analysis). The college provides a variety of courses in design, film and media, visual arts, hotel management, culinary arts, and also many other certificate courses.

Reacting to her appointment, Koneru Humpy said “It is my pleasure to be the brand ambassador of Roots Collegium. I thank Sri. BP Padala gaaru for the honour. Roots Collegium as an institution has been offering the best educational facilities for its students for the last 30 years. Roots and I share a similar journey as we both have started our journey’s 30 years back. We both have same passion, integrity and ethics. That’s the special part about Roots Collegium, to which I instantly related to. And now we are ready to travel together.  As an ambassador, I look forward to contributing my committed services to the college and helping them grow in stature. I will take part in each and every event of the college and would like to share my thoughts and way-forward ideas in all its initiatives. Once again I want to thank all the staff and management for choosing me as a brand ambassador.”

Koneru Humpy is the FIDE Women’s rapid chess champion of 2019. She became the youngest woman to achieve the title of a Grandmaster back in 2002 at the age of 15. Her association will be an added feather to the cap of Roots Collegium’s growing achievements and a historic moment in its journey. 

The Chairman of Roots Collegium, Sri. B P Padala said “It’s our honour to have such a young and dynamic chess champion, Koneru Humpy as our brand ambassador. I wish the students of Roots Collegium will be motivated by such an inspiring champion who has come across a lot to be in this position today. I have no doubt that with her determination and strong belief, she become a world champion. I hope every student will inculcate the habit of not giving up and fighting for what they want, from her. She will be a role model for each and every student of our institution. I thank Koneru Humpy for accepting this position and people like her will definitely help bring change in society.”

The students of Roots Collegium from different places in Hyderabad city are excited and look forward to listen to the life-changing stories from Koneru Humpy in the future. 

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