Students are fellow travellers on Stellenbosch University (SU)'s journey of inclusivity and of building a community for all.
This was the message of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU Prof Wim de Villiers to student leaders in the Kruiskerk in Stellenbosch on Monday (4 September 2017). He was speaking at SU's annual Student Leaders' Conference (SU Leads) taking place from 3-4 September.
SU Leads, hosted by the Centre for Student Leadership and Structures in the Division of Student Affairs, annually offers a training and development platform to close to 1 500 student leaders in various structures throughout Stellenbosch University.
The Rector's speech formed part of a range of discussions on various topics taking place during the conference.
Mobile users click here
In his talk, Prof De Villiers described leadership as a journey and told students that the University wants to walk this journey with them.
“Leadership is a profound journey on different levels. I welcome you as fellow travellers, and I look forward to walking with you on the path of leadership here at this University.
“You folks have seized that opportunity … which is the chance we have as leaders to learn more about what is going on in the world around us, but also to influence things, to shape society, to make it a better place for all."
De Villiers emphasised the important input from students as SU moves forward in terms of its new vision and institutional strategy.
“Students are a key stakeholder, and your role as student leader is vital. We need to go forward together. For nearly 100 years, we have been learning, growing and moving forward together. May we as leaders at this university proceed in that spirit," he said.
De Villiers also encouraged the students to debate issues in higher education and at SU that affect them directly.
“We should have these debates, engage in an open conversation, but always do so in a value-driven way," he said.
- Photo: Prof Wim de Villiers speaking to student leaders at the SU Leads Conference.
- Photographer: Henk Oets