Our 2019 postgraduate programme successfully commenced on 7 January; particularly encouraging was the number of students that registered for the reintroduced BAHons course in Peace-Studies. Although the 2019 postgraduate numbers are not as high as those achieved in 2018, the explanation is heartening – a considerable number of those registered in 2018 will be graduating at our May graduation ceremony. The next postgraduate teaching week in April (1 – 5 April), will include, amongst others, a module by Prof Jan JANS on ‘An Introduction to Ethics’, and a module on ‘Bio-Ethics’, in which Dr Fr Anthony EGAN SJ will address a range of life and death issues. Apart from registered postgraduate students, these courses are also open to those who simply want to enhance their own personal knowledge in a relevant topic.
The number of persons registered for the Higher Certificate in Biblical Studies (coordinated by John HAMATHI) continues to grow. An option for deacon training endorsed by the South African Catholic Bishops Conference, most candidates for the diaconate in the archdiocese of Johannesburg and the dioceses of Witbank and Klerksdorp are now completing their Biblical studies through St Augustine; although less coordinated, deacons and lay persons from across the country are also registering for the qualification.
Undergraduate numbers, too, continue to grow. The number of students registered for the BA has now returned to the high achieved in 2013. Unfortunately, a significant portion of those registered for the undergraduate programme are unable personally to finance their studies and are reliant on any support that St Augustine is able to provide. Committed to the principle that students with ability should not be denied opportunity to study at the tertiary level, such students have been admitted at discounted fees (the students must contribute something towards their own education), and St Augustine will attempt to secure bursaries to cover the difference.
The new cohort of undergraduate students was warmly welcomed by our very committed and loyal SRC, ably led by Busani TSHUMA. Apart from contributing to an Orientation day, the SRC also hosted a welcome braai for the student body; a happy time was had by all. Fr Emmanuel MOSOEU OMI, St Augustine’s co-chaplain (along with Dr Nontando HADEBE), extended a spiritual welcome with a Mass to mark the commencement of the new academic year. Student clubs and societies – running, choir, debating – are resurfacing.
In total, St Augustine now has in excess of 250 students registered across its various qualification offerings.
Expanding student numbers has necessitated the hiring of additional academic staff; we have been joined by new colleagues with expertise in a range of disciplines – Doris BANDA (History), Brima GOVENDER van NIEKERK (Religious Studies), Michael KHOROMMBI (History), Serge KUBANZA (Geography), Bridget McINTOSH-HODGE (ADRS), Sam MTHEMBU (Psychology), Mutsa MUGANGAVARI (Law), Jane O’CONNOR (Law), Brian SIBANDA (Literature), and Henry TANTOH (Geography) – all of whom are settling in and adding to the collegial spirit of our community.
Prof Michael GLENCROSS’s first online course for Maths’ teachers is about to be launched. The course aims to enable teachers to develop insights into key mathematical concepts and be able to implement these insights into their teaching; it is designed to introduce teachers to the development of key mathematical concepts from a historical perspective set against the backdrop of the Curriculum and Policy Statement (CAPS) for Mathematics of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) Grades R-12.
(Should you wish to learn more about any of the programmes, please visit our website
All is well at St Augustine! After the plentiful rains, our conscientiously manicured grounds – the work of Sam LWANJA and Onwell PURAZENI – are looking magnificent and are being enjoyed by all – young students, animatedly arguing the finer points of their subjects, are being warily eyed by the two families of spotted thick-knees and blacksmith plovers who call the front lawn their home.