Akademia launched Faculty of Natural Sciences and announced its new qualification
Akademia officially launched its Faculty of Natural Sciences at a prestigious event at the CSIR in Pretoria on Thursday 30 June. At the launch of the faculty, the institution also announced the news of a brand-new qualification, BSc (Computer Sciences), that will be offered via the full-time contact model at the Centurion Campus from 2023.
This institution has been offering BSc (Mathematical Sciences) successfully under the auspices of the Faculty of Natural Sciences since 2021. The addition of the new qualification in the computer sciences now also offers a special opportunity for students who would like to become qualified computer scientists.
According to Prof Hannes Rautenbach, dean of this faculty, natural sciences are traditionally and commonly known as an integral part of the university setup. It is therefore important that it also forms part of Akademia’s ecosystem. “The new faculty offers us the opportunity to think new and innovative about establishing and developing new qualifications, and we strive to be an excellent faculty for the Afrikaans-speaking natural sciences community in our African home.”
He also mentioned that they consulted wide with the industry, academics and subject specialists. This is to ensure that the faculty’s qualification is not only taught to a high standard, but that it also compares well with, if it is not better than, similar existing qualifications.
The Faculty of Natural Sciences is also unique because of the privilege that lecturers and students have to expand their subject knowledge in Afrikaans. Another unique aspect is the two-pronged approach in the learning process. The faculty aims to not only teach students excellently on a theoretically level but also to build the students’ characters in the practice of natural sciences.
Rautenbach said that one should consider a qualification in Natural Sciences for the following two reasons. “Firstly, a love for nature and the bigger Creation; and secondly, the pursuit to use knowledge about nature to the benefit of humanity’s living quality.” He also said if any of these aspects resonates with one, natural sciences will be a good career choice.
Akademia’s BSc (Computer Sciences) qualification aligns with the fast-developing field of computer technology and capacity. According to Rautenbach, computer sciences can be defined as a science that is concerned with the use of mathematics and algorithms; and to do last-mentioned by means of computers. “It includes the understanding of the theory and abstract concepts regarding problem solving and calculation, and the development and use of computer code and the programming skills to solve problems and to do calculations.”
Rautenbach mentioned that in this qualification emphasis would be on the fundamental building blocks of the computer sciences, the basic principles of algorithm development and object-oriented programming. “As outcome qualification the programme should deliver a person that is well-informed about the fundamental aspects of the computer sciences, and who will therefore also be ready to take up a career in the computer world.
To be considered for admission to Akademia’s BSc (Computer Sciences) programme, a National Senior Certificate (NSC) is required with endorsement for admission to degree studies with a minimum of 50% for Afrikaans and 60% for Mathematics. 2023 applications for this field of study are already open.
The new faculty has big plans for the future that will include various qualifications in physical sciences (physics and chemistry), biological sciences (botany, zoology and molecular cell biology) as well as the integrated natural sciences such as agriculture and earth sciences.