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24 JULY 2020:  NETWORK OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATIONS (NIE):

NIEA Statement on the importance of international higher education and research.24 July 2020

COVID-19 and its Impact on Internationalisation of Higher Education in South Africa

 

Statement by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

On 17 March 2020, the Minister announced that all universities will be closed for early recess from Wednesday, 18 March 2020, and will plan to reopen on 15 April 2020.

Regarding South African students abroad, the following is noted:

We estimate that there are approximately 12 000 South African students studying abroad. Some of whom may have returned home following the outbreak of COVID-19. There are approximately 1 500 students in China. We are working, with DIRCO, on putting together a database of all students studying abroad who are on our register and who have registered with the Embassies in foreign countries. All South African missions abroad are being requested to provide information about South African students who find themselves in distress during this period and provide us with this information. We have no international students to date that have been diagnosed with the virus that we are aware of. We call on all our students studying abroad to keep in touch with their nearest South African missions. Any decision on any further evacuation of South African nationals will be taken by Cabinet. To date there has been no Cabinet decision in this regard. In conclusion I would to urge all South Africans to ensure that they work with our entire Post School Education and Training Sector including the Department of Science and Innovation and its agencies through the guidelines as announced by the President in his statement on interventions to combat COVID-19 epidemic. This also includes the 7 interventions that we will continue to announce in response to this epidemic.

The full statement is available at http://www.dhet.gov.za/SiteAssets/Media%20Statement%202020/DHET%20COVID-19%20STATEMENT%20FINAL_17%20March%202020.pdf.


COVID-19 and its Impact on Internationalisation of Higher Education in South Africa

 

Statement by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

On 17 March 2020, the Minister announced that all universities will be closed for early recess from Wednesday, 18 March 2020, and will plan to reopen on 15 April 2020.

Regarding South African students abroad, the following is noted:

We estimate that there are approximately 12 000 South African students studying abroad. Some of whom may have returned home following the outbreak of COVID-19. There are approximately 1 500 students in China. We are working, with DIRCO, on putting together a database of all students studying abroad who are on our register and who have registered with the Embassies in foreign countries. All South African missions abroad are being requested to provide information about South African students who find themselves in distress during this period and provide us with this information. We have no international students to date that have been diagnosed with the virus that we are aware of. We call on all our students studying abroad to keep in touch with their nearest South African missions. Any decision on any further evacuation of South African nationals will be taken by Cabinet. To date there has been no Cabinet decision in this regard. In conclusion I would to urge all South Africans to ensure that they work with our entire Post School Education and Training Sector including the Department of Science and Innovation and its agencies through the guidelines as announced by the President in his statement on interventions to combat COVID-19 epidemic. This also includes the 7 interventions that we will continue to announce in response to this epidemic.

The full statement is available at http://www.dhet.gov.za/SiteAssets/Media%20Statement%202020/DHET%20COVID-19%20STATEMENT%20FINAL_17%20March%202020.pdf.


17 March 2020

IEASA Statement

COVID-19 is presenting international educators around with the world with unprecedented challenges.  As South African higher education institutions (HEIs) and their international partners are making difficult decisions regarding the wellbeing of their students and staff, their internationalisation activities are inherently affected.

With this communication, IEASA intends to provide an overview of current national and institutional developments in South Africa. It is not aimed at painting a comprehensive picture of all contexts and scenarios, which are ever-changing, but at highlighting some common trends. For more detailed and specific information, websites of individual HEIs and relevant national and international organisations should be consulted regularly.

NATIONAL CONTEXT

On 15 March 2020, The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) noted the following:

While we continue to see an increase in COVID-19 positive cases in South Africa, there is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is circulating in South Africa’s population; however, the status of COVID-19 transmission is increasingly likely to shift based on trends found in other parts of the world. We call on all South Africans to continue to follow COVID-19 preventive measures such as meticulous hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

 

President’s Address

On the same day, President Ramaphosa delivered an address declaring a national state of disaster. His outline of the national response to COVID-19 provides useful guidance for South African HEIs and their international partners. The full speech is available at https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/ramaphosa-on-covid-19-pandemic-read-the-full-speech-44935412. It has been summarised in bullet points as follows (Source: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-03-15-president-ramaphosas-covid-19-address-in-23-bullet-points/).

Government of South Africa declared the National State of Disaster

  • Infected individuals as of Sunday 15 March 2020: 61
  • Internal Transmission is occurring
  • Appealed to SA to limit contact between persons
  • Announced a travel ban from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and China as of 18 March 2020.

South Africans are to refrain from travelling to:

  • The United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, China, Iran and South Koreas.
  • People who visited high-risk countries as of mid-February – are required to present for testing

South Africa has 72 ports of entry via land, sea and airport

  • There are 53 land ports, 35 of them shut down as of Monday
  • Two out of 8 seaports closed for passengers
  • Non-essential travel prohibited
  • Non-essential domestic travel to be stopped

Groups of People

  • Limit contact between groups of people
  • Gatherings of more than 100 are prohibited
  • All mass celebrations during public holidays cancelled
  • Organisers to put in place stringent measures for  less-than-100-people events

Schools

  • Schools will be closed from Wednesday,  18 March 2020
  • Schools will remain closed till after Easter

Business

  • Mining, retail banking & farming to introduce measures for hygiene control
  • Shopping Malls  and Entertainment centres to bolster hygiene control

Citizens to Change Behaviour

  • Wash hands frequently with soap  and water or hand sanitisers for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Cover nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, cover with a tissue or flexed elbow
  • Avoid anyone with flu-like symptoms
  • Minimise physical contact
  • Use the elbow greeting, no shaking hands

Statement by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

On 16 March 2020, the Minister issued a statement on measures to combat the COVID-19 epidemic at the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), which is available at http://www.dhet.gov.za/SiteAssets/Media%20Statement%202020/THE%20MINISTER%20OF%20HIGHER%20EDUCATION%2016%20March%20Statement.pdf.

For the DHET, the focus will be on developing a common national protocol and management plan across the sector. An important meeting with various stakeholders including Universities South Africa (USAf), the South African College Principals Organisation (SACPO) and the South African Students Union (SAUS) has been scheduled for 17th March 2020.

For the DSI, the focus will be on “mobilising funding, reprioritising research strategies and creating an enabling ethical and regulatory framework to facilitate research on the COVID-19 virus.”

INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES

While discussions between SA universities, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Universities South Africa (USAf) and other relevant stakeholders are ongoing, institutions around the country have, amidst growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, taken a number of decisions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Immediate responses include the following:

  • Development of emergency plans,
  • Establishment of committees and task teams to monitor COVID-19 related developments and
  • Dedicated information channels to provide regular updates to university communities.

On an ongoing basis, measures are taken to ensure academic continuity (e.g. e-learning), to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campuses (e.g. deactivation of biometrics systems; installation of hand sanitisers in key areas such as entry and exit points of buildings, pedestrian gates, bathrooms, lifts etc.; postponement or suspension of contact teaching and other academic activities) and to manage incidents related to suspected and confirmed cases (e.g. quarantine and treatment protocols). Many of these measures directly or indirectly affect internationalisation activities, including but not limited to the following:

Travel

  • Banning of international and national non-essential travel, both inbound and outbound
  • Essential or ongoing travel:
    • Reporting requirements for travelling students, staff and visitors
    • Protocols for return to campus (including self-isolation/quarantine)

Mobile Students and Staff

  • International students and staff in South Africa as well as South African students and staff abroad for study/research/work purposes
    • Repatriation
    • Health care provision
    • Visas

Conferences

  • Cancellation/postponement of international conferences on South African university campuses
  • Cancellation/postponement of upcoming internationalisation conferences (March – May 2020):

Events on Campus (Including Graduations)

  • Cancellation/postponement of events and public gatherings
  • Cancellation/postponement of graduation ceremonies
    • Alternative: graduations in absentia

Universities South Africa (USAf) has set up an online portal to share information regarding institutional responses to COVID-19, which includes practical information and guidance developed by member universities for their campus communities. Please consult https://www.usaf.ac.za/public-universities-spring-into-actions-towards-containment-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19/.

MORE INFORMATION

As circumstances around COVID-19 change rapidly, agility and flexibility will be required from all concerned. It is important to get regular updates from trustworthy sources.

 

World Health Organisation (WHO)

https://www.who.int/

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

http://www.nicd.ac.za/

http://www.nicd.ac.za/covid-19-update-17/

COVID-19 hotline: 0800 029 999 (toll free)

SA Government’s Official COVID-19 Support Service (WhatsApp)

+27 600 123 456:         Add this number to your WhatsApp contacts.

Type the word ‘hi’ in the message block and send.

Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology

http://www.dhet.gov.za/

 

May 2019

IEASA members @ NAFSA in the 🇺🇸

From L to R Orla Quinlan (President:IEASA ) Hlulani Mabasa (University of Fort Hare) Moses Pieterse (University of the Witwatersrand)  Lavern Samuels (Durban University of Technology) and Quinter Onyango

Image courtesy of Orla Quinlan.

March 2019

IEASA CONFERENCE 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS

IEASA invites academics from all disciplines, professional practitioners/researchers, innovators, educators, students, organisations and individuals interested in international higher education to its annual conference.
The two conference days will be at the Lord Charles Hotel, followed by a third day of Workshops at Stellenbosch University.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution or “4IR” refers to the emerging environment in which many dimensions of how we live and work have been dramatically disrupted by a fusion of technological breakthroughs in a range of areas including digitisation, robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), nanotechnology, quantum computing and biotechnology. What does this fusion of cyber-physical systems mean for how we conduct and what we include in Research, Teaching and Learning, Community Engagement and Partnerships in Higher Education?

This multi-disciplinary conference welcomes academic papers, thought pieces and experiences of 4IR in Higher Education, in relation to the above thematic questions. The conference will consist of a mix of plenaries, panel discussions, breakaways and “lekgotla” sessions around the broader themes.

IEASA is also delighted to host the leaders of a range of International Education Associations, who belong to the Network of International Education Associations (NIEA), for their second official meeting of 2019.

IEASA is pleased to continue its collaboration with the International Students Association of South Africa (ISASA) who will hold their annual conference on August 23rd at Stellenbosch University.

#IEASAConference2019 #IEASA_StudySA #IEASA#fourthindustrialrevolution #highereducation #globlcollaboration#internationalpartnerships #getconnected #internationalisation

Courtesy of Eye Witness News (EWN).

February 2019

The Council Workshop was held on 21 – 22 February 2019, hosted by the Universities of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand.

The IEASA Office Staff and the Management Council discussed strategies and structures of the organisation with well-known facilitator, Dr Derek Swemmer.

Interactive sessions included:

–        The Key to a Strong Team (Kentaro Toyama, Oct 15, 2018)

–        Being an Effective Team Member (Riggio 2013) and

–        13 Things Your Board Must Know About Your NPO (Ritchie 2013).

Digital copy of Study SA Guide 2019 – Click here

 

IEASA extends its hearty congratulations to the Minister of Higher Education and Training: Minister Naledi Pandor, on obtaining her PhD from the University of Pretoria.

Credits to University of Pretoria for the images

November 2018

Seminar on Higher Education Management for Developing Countries in 2018 China.

Well done to our South African delegates (IEASA members: Ms Jade Bailey (IEASA), Mr Mzolisi Payi (WSU), Mr Danny Bokaba (CUT) and Mr Jabu Makhubela (UL)) on delivering such a vibrant and informative presentation  One of the easiest ways to stand out at an academic seminar is to give a memorable presentation, and indeed it was one!

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