The Language Policy (2016) of Stellenbosch University (SU) is being revised during 2021 as part of the five-year revision cycle prescribed in the policy itself. Section 10 of the Language Policy (2016) stipulates that the policy “lapses five years after the date of its implementation" and that it “must be reviewed during its fifth year of operation". The current policy was implemented in 2017.
The SU Statute stipulates that the SU Council must determine the language policy of SU with the concurrence of Senate and in accordance with section 27(2) of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No 101 of 1997, as amended). The revision process was initiated October 2020 by convening a task team, and proposing a timeline based on the University Almanac for 2021. The objective is to table a final draft Language Policy (2021) for approval by Council on 2 December this year.
Since the Constitutional Court in 2019 found the Language Policy (2016) to be constitutionally justified and the University's process in adopting the policy “thorough, exhaustive, inclusive and properly deliberative", the task team has been requested to take the current policy as the point of departure. The revision will be informed further by the SU Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019 – 2024 which has been adopted and implemented after the Language Policy (2016) was approved.
The task team is considering various other documents and pertinent factors in compiling a first draft, including amongst others the current national policy context; the findings of student and staff satisfaction and language proficiency surveys; demographic information; Language Day reports; language reports to Senate and Council; the implementation costs of the Language Policy (2016) and the role of augmented remote teaching, learning and assessment (ARTLA).
In addition to input from institutional statutory bodies such as the Rectorate, Council, Senate, Institutional Forum and Faculty Boards, as well as legal counsel, the revision also includes two public participation processes. To facilitate the collation of public input, the task team will create a single submission platform via the language webpage. According to the timeline a first draft of the revised Language Policy will be released for public consultation by March/April 2021. The full timeline with milestones, more information and relevant documents will be uploaded to the language webpage (www.sun.ac.za/language) as the process progresses during the year.