Change the world

17/03/2021

Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Mandela University’s Department of Computing Sciences has received funding from The British Council Creative Commission as part of Project-ArC – an international consortium of 12 universities that will collaborate to deploy local initiatives for Climate Change accountability and responsibility.

South Africa has been facing an energy crisis and water shortages for several years. As energy supply falls behind the demand, the national grid is threatened with destabilisation. As a result of the energy issues, the country has encountered rolling blackouts and load shedding.

The Department of Computing Sciences at Nelson Mandela University is using its resources and skills to try and address these challenges. In doing so, the Department has been awarded funding from the British Council Creative Commission as part of a global project of 12 collaborating universities on addressing Climate Change issues.

The Department was successful in its application to the open call to "Climate change and COP26” The project, Project-ArcC, is a consortium of 12 universities that will collaborate to deploy local initiatives for climate change accountability and responsibility. The Department will work with the Department of Environmental Sciences on this project, due to their expertise on climate change.

According to the HOD of Computing Sciences, Prof Brenda Scholtz, "our department is the only one in South Africa that offers research and teaching programmes that focus on environmental information systems. This focus was introduced about a decade ago, based on the department’s collaborative projects with German universities.”

The project aims to produce sustainable outputs that can help to further develop climate change awareness and to trigger young people to reflect on how their actions impact climate change. The world is undergoing a technological revolution - the 4th Industrial Revolution - that is radically impacting the way we live, work, and relate to one another. Covid-19 has accelerated this impact and the urgency to focus skills and projects in this direction. Students in the field of computing sciences have scarce skills that are in demand and they can significantly contribute to addressing climate change issues.

Project-ArcC will focus on the following core themes:
1. Integrating e-learning in traditional education models.
2. Introducing flexible work arrangements using remote working models.
3. Rethinking travel and commuting needs.
4. Assessing possibilities for more efficient use of energy.
5. Evaluating consumption habits and waste reduction.

Contact information
Prof Brenda Scholtz
Associate Professor & HOD
Tel: 27 41 504 2079
brenda.scholtz@mandela.ac.za