August 2021

NWU produces research that matters

Welcome to the fifth edition of the North-West University's newsletter, Research@NWU. The aim of the newsletter is to showcase research projects, researchers and related events. This newsletter is one of seven, distributed to academic staff and researchers during the year.


Providing access to indigenous African languages for all university students

University students who have a mother tongue other than English should not be at a disadvantage compared to those who do speak English at home. This is why it is important to level the language playing field.

The NWU is one of four tertiary education institutions in South Africa to work with three European universities to facilitate and promote the use of indigenous African languages as mediums of tertiary education instruction.


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Disease response projects aim to make Africa self-sufficient

In a time of Covid-19 fatigue, citizens are now confronted with a deadlier and highly transmissible Delta variant. This new virus mutation impacts on already over-burdened and under-resourced health systems. More alarming is that on day 460 of the lockdown, less than 1% of the South African population was fully immunised. In June less than 0,9% of the African continent has been immunised, compared to 28,2% of the Canadian and almost 50% of the United States' populations.


Perennial grasses are the answer for veld restoration

In a water-scarce country like South Africa with growing demands for grazing, cultivated perennial grasses could be the answer to protecting the veld and providing nutrition for animals.
"Droughts, scarcity of rain and overgrazing have caused a lot of degradation of the veld, and therefore veld restoration is a priority for farmers and he animals that depend on grass for survival."
This is according to Ntokozo Msiza, PhD candidate in animal science at the NWU.


Middle English fires the imagination of top-rated researcher

With a B2 rating from the National Research Foundation, Prof David Scott-Macnab is the highest rated researcher currently employed in the Faculty of Humanities. To receive a B2 rating, an academic needs to have published a substantial body of research in top-tier, high-impact international journals, books and chapters in books. Prof Scott-Macnab specialises in Middle English research, and since 2006 he has received a B2 rating three times in a row, the most recent in 2021.


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How interpretation affects Bible reading in Africa

The way in which Scripture is read and interpreted has a major effect on what people read in the Bible. This also determines their approach to concerning and topical issues with which the faithful struggle. This is the focus of the research by Prof Marius Nel on the Pentecostalist movement.


Watch out for contaminated meat sold on the streets

The wide range of bacterial species found in ready-to-eat meat sold on the streets of Johannesburg indicates that consumers of this meat could be at risk of food poisoning. This is according to the findings of a study conducted by Dr Mpinda Edoaurd Tshipamba, an NWU master's graduate in the subject group Animal Health.


New PhDs are music to the ears

Uncertainty reigns and doubt about the future is fostered in all but the most optimistic minds. What has remained a constant is the NWU's superlative research output and our researchers' indefatigable pursuit of excellence.

At the May and June graduation ceremonies, 136 PhDs were awarded, with more ceremonies to follow. Although there have been few opportunities to support live performance art during our various lockdown stages, we can still find solace in their digital guises.


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