A modern Centre for Teaching and Learning at Stellenbosch University (SU) will soon become a reality. This is thanks to a donation to the value of R50 million from Mr Jannie Mouton, SU alumnus and founder of the investment management company, the PSG Group.
The University, as well as the Department of Higher Education, have also made contributions to this project, which is likely to start in 2017. The new Centre will be located between the Neelsie Student Centre and Polymer Science Building on the Stellenbosch campus. The goal is to revitalise education at SU by creating an interactive, future-oriented and student-centred learning environment.
"To date, this donation is truly the highlight of my tenure as rector. Not only is it the largest contribution by any individual donor, but this support, in the midst of a very difficult period for Higher Education, is a great compliment to Stellenbosch University," Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said.
"It is our vision to be a University that is responsive to the learning experience of a technologically-equipped student body as well as the changing needs of the society in which they operate.
"In its design, tools and technology, the Centre will be a contemporary space with a low carbon footprint that is more accessible to a growing student body that has varied goals and requirements," De Villiers added.
Mouton, a loyal supporter of the University, has since 2007 been managing the PSG/Jannie Mouton Bursary Loan Programme at the institution. Mouton (in his personal capacity) and the PSG Group each donated 100 000 PSG shares to the University in 2007 to be used as education assistance to reward merit in the form of loans or bursaries to disadvantaged and/or gifted students. Dividends and further contributions from Mouton and PSG have made it possible to award 95 bursaries and loans.
"My heart is still with my alma mater and I will always be loyal. I believe in making a positive difference in society to the benefit of our future generations and this is how I do it.
"For me this donation is more than an investment in a contemporary learning space that will enrich the learning experiences of our students. This is an investment in the future and the continued excellence of Stellenbosch University as a world-class institution of higher learning," Mouton said.
Photo: Artist impressions of what the building could look like.