Information Governance
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
Access to Information for Research and Other Purposes​

 Access to Information for Research

Institutional permission (sometimes referred to as gatekeeper permission) serves as a key control to ensure that Stellenbosch University, and its researchers, comply with and give effect to South African privacy-related legislation.  To help meet these goals, the University requires that any individual must first obtain institutional permission from the Division for Information Governance before:

  • conducting research on University-held personal information and/or institutional information; and

  • recruiting University students, staff, alumni, partners, and other stakeholders (based on their affiliation with the ​University) as research participants.

To apply for institutional permission visit 

If you have any queries or need any assistance with submitting a request for institutional permission, contact

For more information you may read the Regulations for recruiting Stellenbosch University​ persons as research participants and for conducting research on Stellenbosch University-held personal and institutional information.​​



1.      Why must I apply for institutional permission? 

The ethical norms and standards followed at Stellenbosch University dictate that, when looking to conduct research with or on an institution's people or data, the researcher must first obtain institutional permission before commencing with the data collection. By law, Stellenbosch University must protect any personal information it collects, stores, or uses. The institutional permission process is one means through which we meet our privacy and information sharing goals; it helps ensure that any research conducted on University-held personal information happens within the bounds of applicable legislation.

2.      How does institutional permission differ from ethical clearance? 

There is naturally some overlap between institutional permission and ethical clearance procedures as both promote the respect and protection of the rights and well-being of human research subjects. Yet the focus of each procedure differs, with institutional permission focusing on Stellenbosch University's responsibilities in addition to the technical execution of the research, such as access rights to our data, data extraction, and information- and cybersecurity procedures. Ethical clearance is a prerequisite for institutional permission, for when taken together, both procedures collectively ensure that researchers have considered all of the potential impacts that their research may have on its human subjects. 

Promotion of A​​ccess to Information Act (PAIA)

Stellenbosch University is committed to promoting transparency, accountability, and effective governance. As part of our efforts to give effect to the right of access to information, we have published our PAIA manual in:



isiXhosa ​​

Our manual details how to submit a request for information under PAIA. 

The forms for doing so are available for download below or at the website of the Information Regulator (click to access)​

Form 2: Request for Access to Record

Form 3: Outcome of Request and of Fees Payable

Form 4: Internal Appeal Form

​​If you have any enquiries or need assistance with submitting an application in terms of the Act, contact ​​