The Faculty of Health Sciences Endowment Fund
endowment fundSeen at the Faculty Alumni Reunion where the Endowment Fund was launch in 2008 are:
Premier: KZN, Dr Zweli Mkhize , the Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Sabiha Essack: Director of The Willowton Group, Mr Akbar Moosa; and former President: UKZN Convocation, Mr Andre’ Young

A Message from the Dean

Professor Sabiha Essack

From its inception, the Faculty of Health Sciences embraced the challenge of creating a new and vibrant Faculty epitomizing excellence in all aspects of the academic endeavour - teaching, learning, research, scholarship, community engagement, and health service.

The Faculty envisions becoming the Faculty of choice for Health Sciences education, training and research in South Africa by excelling in student-centred education and training, innovative and socially-responsible research, service and outreach that is relevant to the healthcare needs of all health-seeking communities by critical engagement and review by stakeholders in the private and public healthcare arenas.

The Faculty strongly endorses the Higher Education Act, the National Health Act, the Health Charter, the Strategic Framework for the Human Resources Health Plan, and the National Human Resources Plan for Health. As the sole provider of Health Sciences professional programmes in KwaZulu-Natal, it is committed to training healthcare professionals, particularly from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to meet the healthcare needs of the country in the spirit of ''ubuntu'' and ''batho pele''. In addition, the Faculty aligns itself with teaching and research which is relevant to the South African and African healthcare contexts.

The Faculty of Health Sciences has established a ''Health Sciences Endowment Fund'' which will act as a repository for funds collected from the corporate sector, alumni, and friends of the Faculty. The UKZN Faculty of Health Sciences Endowment Fund is an investment in the future of Health Sciences in South Africa and will be managed with careful fiduciary control, and prudent investment. The goal of the Fund is to secure the sustainability of the various professions and disciplines subsumed under the umbrella of Health Sciences and to respond to a number of needs within a Faculty committed to being in the forefront of dynamic national and international healthcare environments.


To be the African Faculty of choice for Health Sciences research, education and training globally



To excel in student-centered, research-led teaching and learning, innovative and socially-responsible research, and, evidence-based practice, service and community engagement in order to optimize the healthcare of all health-seeking communities by critical engagement with and review by national and international stakeholders in the higher education and health arenas



The following are goals for the period 2010-2014:

  • Goal 1:  Underpinning and Overarching Research Ethos  

To create and underpinning and overarching research ethos that facilitates credentialing up to PhD level, engenders the generation and dissemination of knowledge and innovation, enhances the recruitment and optimizes the success of postgraduate students and inculcates research-led teaching and evidence-based practice.

  • Goal 2:  Excellence and Engagement in Teaching and Learning

To entrench excellence in teaching and quality student engagement with learning through contextualized, student-centred curricula with integrated academic development, innovative pedagogies and congruent assessment practices to translate equity of access into equity of outcome.

  • Goal 3:  Community Engagement as Beneficiary and Benefactor

To proactively institute and maintain mutually-beneficial engagement with select local, national and international communities to advance teaching, learning, research and scholarship in the Faculty and to develop capacity on the African continent.

  • Goal 4:  Enabling and Collegial Academic Leadership and Management

To develop transformational leadership that engenders a collegial, nurturing, supportive academic environment that enables staff and students to realize their full potential in an operational framework epitomized by efficacy, efficiency and effectiveness.


Teaching and Learning

The Faculty trains Audiologists, Biokineticists, Dental Therapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Optometrists, Oral Hygienists, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists and Speech Therapists.

All undergraduate and postgraduate programmes exemplify academic excellence, relevance to the South African and African healthcare contexts, diverse education and training platforms ranging from rural to urban and primary to tertiary healthcare, community-based education, experiential learning/externships, diverse, learner-friendly  pedagogies, community outreach and service, innovative research that informs teaching and international and national collaboration. 



The Faculty boasts cutting edge discipline-specific and multi-disciplinary research relevant to the South African and international contexts, has entrenched research partnerships at national and international level, enjoys large grants from national and international funders and has postgraduate training opportunities at Honours, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and Doctoral level with some Masters programmes available in both contact and on-line/web-based formats.  

While all disciplines in the Faculty have established discipline-specific research areas, those related to UKZN and/or national focus areas are inter alia the full gamut of pharmaceutical sciences, traditional medicines from indigenous plants, biokinetics and exercise science, developmental disabilities, rehabilitation, the healthcare continuum (health promotion, prevention, early identification, early intervention, diagnosis and curative and/or palliative care), chronic lifestyle diseases and higher education in the health sciences.


Community Engagement and Outreach

The Faculty has a rich heritage of health service.  Staff and students, in the process of teaching and learning run Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Audiology, Physiotherapy, Optometry and Health and Fitness clinics.  All disciplines offer professional services at clinics and hospitals within the Department of Health while outreach initiatives extend to special and mainstream schools, orphanages and homes for the disabled and aged. 

All disciplines work with communities that are/were previously under-serviced and/or unable to access rehabilitation and therapeutic services and have established partnerships with the communities, non-governmental organizations and provincial departments of health, education and social development.   The discipline of Optometry serves as the Africa Office for the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE). The School of Nursing is designated the WHO’s Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery and the Joanna Briggs Institute Collaborating Centre for Evidence-Based Nursing.  Several disciplines ensure access to healthcare in rural areas by participation on the Transnet-sponsored Phelophepa train.

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