Vol 7 2018

NWU – research that uplifts communities

Welcome to 2018's seventh edition of the North-West University's research and innovation newsletter, Research@NWU. The aim of the newsletter is to showcase research projects, researchers and related events. This edition highlights research that focuses on improving the quality of life of communities.


NWU celebrates a year of research excellence

2018 will be remembered as a year of many research and innovation highlights.

Taking its research to the public, the NWU encouraged debate by hosting 12 public lecturers which were presented by respected academics, specialists and important role-players in the local and international research and innovation arenas.

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Here comes the next generation of eco-warriors

The future of the planet may not be as gloomy as many predict. Dr Irene Muller of the Faculty of Education is doing her part to groom a new generation of eco-warriors armed with the knowledge and commitment to combat water scarcity and other challenges linked to climate change. Combining her academic skills, research abilities and love for Mother Nature, Dr Muller is breathing new life into environmental education.

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Green water treatment will benefit communities

Water is vital for living organisms but the quality of water is changing due to population growth and environmental changes.
Could a miracle plant be the answer? Ground and surface water serve as the main sources of drinking water in rural and urban areas, however, the availability of potable water is still a major concern. Nitrate is one of the most common groundwater contaminants in rural areas.

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Before and now: the contrast in miners' living conditions

Crammed into tiny rooms in same-sex hostels, away from their partners or families and without proper access to water, electricity or sanitation, South African miners used to live in appalling conditions. Today, the situation of miners at Impala Platinum in Rustenburg has improved markedly, although there are still challenges, as a NWU research study shows. Prof Hendri Coetzee recently conducted his fourth study.

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Research must have an impact in communities

It is important for the NWU to focus on critical community challenges in research – this makes research more relevant and useful to the community.

The emphasis has shifted increasingly from research of academic interest to research that communities can use. It is not about the number of research outputs – such as articles and conference papers – that the university delivers, but what communities can do with the results.

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Please share your comments and input by sending an email to the newsletter editor, willie.duplessis@nwu.ac.za