Unisa welcomes Fulbright Scholar

Inspired towards Science, Engineering and Technology (I-SET) proudly welcomes Dr Tanja Karp from Texas Tech University to Unisa. She will be part of the team until June , and was welcomed by Prof Isaac Osunmakinde, Director of the School of Computing, and Kabelo Pheeha, I-SET Facilitator. I-SET is a flagship community engagement project of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) at Unisa. The aim of the project is to inspire awareness of science, engineering and technology through the fun activities of robotics.

ISETTanjaKarp

Kabelo Pheeha (I-SET Facilitator), Dr Tanja Karp (Fulbright Scholar 2016/ ), and Prof Isaac Osunmakinde (Director: School of Computing)

Karp will be hosted by I-SET as one of ten US Fulbright Scholars to South Africa during . She is an associate professor in electrical and computer engineering from Texas Tech University (TTU), with teaching and research focused on community engagement, service learning, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education among learners and undergraduate engineering students through robotics. At TTU, she has been the organiser of the annual Get Excited About Robotics (GEAR) competition, which has grown from 20 participants to more than 1 000 participants during the last 10 years.

The Fulbright programme is the flagship international educational exchange programme sponsored by the US government and is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries”. Over the past fifty years, the Fulbright programme has provided almost 300 000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with opportunities to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The programme also awards grants for international faculty, professionals, and students from around the world for advanced research, university lecturing, and studies in the United States.

This visit evolved from a collaboration that started at the Engagement Scholarship Conference 2013, which was hosted at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. In 2015 and 2016, robotics teams from USA, Germany, and I-SET participated in an exploratory Virtual Robotics Competition to allow participation in an international competitive challenge without having the constraint of the cost of travel. It is envisaged that this initiative will be enhanced and expanded to reach a wider community of robotics learners, currently constrained by distance and resources.

During her stay at Unisa, Karp will be participating in the facilitation of I-SET robotics workshops at science expos, including the 2016 SKA national science week, the SAASTA Techno Youth Programme, TechnoX and Scifest. She will also facilitate the presentation of a new I-SET short learning programme, namely Practical Experience of Engineering and Programming.

A lively exchange of experience between I-SET leaders and professionals in both countries will be part of her visit, especially pertaining to successes in creating interest in science, engineering, and technology through community engagement and robotics. She looks forward to interacting with Unisa students and learners in I-SET robotics workshops. It is the goal of I-SET and Karp that this collaboration continues beyond her stay in South Africa and will result in new international initiatives and opportunities.

*By Patricia Gouws


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.