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28 May 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa
Siphila Dlamini
Siphila Dlamini represented the UFS at the 15th Southern Africa Scout Youth Forum.

During the short April holidays, first-year BA student, Siphila Dlamini, led and participated in the 15th Southern Africa Scout Youth Forum and the 41st Southern Africa Scout Conference. Siphila previously also represented South Africa in the 8th and 13th World Scout Youth Forums in Baku, Azerbaijan and Harare, Zimbabwe respectively. He also participated in the 2018 International Leadership Training in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Siphila was elected as a member of the Southern Africa Youth Committee for the term 2017-2020, with the mandate of representing young leaders in decision making and youth engagement at Zonal level of the Southern Africa Scout Youth Forum.

He formed part of the forum committee and chaired several sessions of the proceedings since the tender age of 14. Youth leaders from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries such as Botswana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe attended the conference. 

This 15th forum was themed ‘The Role of young people during emergencies’. Throughout the forum, young people deliberated on strategies to improve decision making in national scout organisations within their respective countries. The Southern Zone Youth Forum empowers young people by equipping them with good decision-making skills and increasing youth engagement on the African continent. 

According to Siphila, the Southern Zone Youth Forum is an effective tool for youth engagement and the continuation of skills development among young people in Southern Africa. It allows the youth to reflect on their growth and achievement, while broadening the unique impact of scouting in the world. 

News Archive

New book recommends “rethinking of university readiness”
2015-06-01

A young man draws himself standing behind a brick wall in darkness, striving in vain to reach success and sunshine on the other side. This drawing aptly illustrates the focus of Dr Merridy Wilson-Strydom’s book University Access and Success: Capabilities, diversity and social justice.

Using the capabilities approach, Dr Wilson-Strydom considers the individual wellbeing and quality of life of students as central metrics for understanding access and success. Based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative research, including focus groups, written reflections and drawings, interviews, and participatory workshops, she identifies seven key capabilities needed for a student to successfully transition to university life, namely:

  1. Practical reason
  2. Knowledge and imagination
  3. Learning disposition
  4. Social relations and social networks
  5. Respect, dignity and recognition
  6. Emotional health
  7. Language competence and confidence

At the launch of the book at the UFS recently, Prof Sandra Boni, from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in Spain, said: “From a methodological perspective, this book is an excellent contribution in the educational research domain ... It brings a richness of data that allows the author to explore in a deeper way the personal characteristics and the social factors that influence the capability [of students] to participate. ... This book offers interesting avenues for action in the university realm.”

Dr Lis Lange, Vice-Rector: Academic at the UFS, said at the same event: “We will have to rethink what we are doing and how we are doing it. I would like to make it prescribed reading for all deans and HODs.”

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