Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
All the best for 2021
Author: Wim de Villiers
Published: 07/01/2021

Dear members of the Stellenbosch University (SU) community
How time flies! The new year is already a week old, so let me without delay wish you all the best for 2021. This is no glib talk – if the last 12 months have taught us anything, it is to truly appreciate the preciousness of life. May this year be good to us all.
The University re-opened on Monday after the end-of-year break, and some staff members and students are already hard at work. Others are making the most of the opportunity to rest up some more for the year ahead, which will no doubt be as demanding as 2020 – if not more so.
Unfortunately, a number of staff, students and other members of the extended University family have passed away over the holidays. We are deeply saddened by all of these losses and wish to convey our heartfelt sympathy to their loved-ones.
The coronavirus pandemic is still wreaking havoc the world over, and we have not been spared its destructive effects. The good news is that a number of vaccines have been developed (we are proud of SU’s contribution to one of the trials;
click here to read more), and we hope that South Africa will get equitable access sooner rather than later. In the meantime, though, let us remain vigilant and observe all guidelines. Helping to halt the spread of COVID-19 should be everyone’s main concern.
As I reported in December (
click here), our University did very well under difficult circumstances in 2020. Thank you, again, to everyone for their selfless contributions. And congratulations to all who succeeded against the odds.
This year, our overarching priorities remain the same as last year – to succeed with the academic project and to remain sustainable as a leading higher-education institution.
As we said in spelling out the implications of the new Level 3 regulations for SU last week (
click here), we hope to resume all University activities to the fullest extent possible as soon as we can – within the constraints posed by COVID-19, of course. The health and safety of our staff and students come first.
The new regulations are due to expire on 15 January, but as the President indicated in his address on 28 December, the measures will be reviewed at that time on the basis of the state of the pandemic in the country.
A meeting of SU’s Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC) has been called for 18 January, so that we can carefully consider all pertinent issues and take well-informed decisions on the way forward for the University. Rest assured that we will keep you posted.
None of us can foretell the future, but we can draw strength from knowing that we will be there for each other, come what may. Let’s go forward together, masiye pamphili, saam vorentoe!
Prof Wim de Villiers
Rector and Vice-Chancellor