Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
Mia Andersen- "Remember your worth and how far you’ve come"
Author: Birgit Ottermann/ Photo by Stefan Els
Published: 01/08/2022

​​​As part of commemorating women's month, we will profile some of the #WomenofSUI. This week we had a chance to chat with Mia Andersen.

 Mia Andersen started out her career at Stellenbosch University International (SUI) as an intern in 2017 before being appointed in 2019 as the Administrator for Short Programmes, Summer Schools, and Affiliates. In 2020, she was appointed as Coordinator in the Unit for International Credentialing within SUI's Africa Centre for Scholarship.

She loves working with and learning from experts and prominent leaders. “I coordinate the external quality assurance processes related to the Independent Examinations Board's International Secondary Certificate (IEB-ISC), a new international school-leaving certificate," Andersen explains. “This includes establishing and coordinating three high-level expert committees who oversee the processes as well as appointing, training and coordinating external moderators to moderate the final examination papers."

When it comes to this year's Women's Day theme 'Generation Equality: Realising Women's Rights for an Equal Future', Andersen says a quote from the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg comes to mind: 'Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception.'

“Working within SUI and the broader SU, I relate to this quote as I believe only when women are equally represented where 'decisions are being made' can we truly start discussing generation equality and strive for an equal future for all. SU has laid a good foundation in the form of policies and processes. I do, however, think there is much more to be done and that a lot of their words still need to be put into action."

Looking at promoting equality within her immediate environment, Andersen says her work with the IEB-ISC is helping to strengthen the right to equal education for all by quality assuring a qualification that is an affordable, African-centered alternative school-leaving certificate.

She acknowledges the mentorship of two exceptional line managers in her time at SUI. “I have been very fortunate. Both are very good leaders, providing guidance and support where necessary without micromanaging. I also admire their ability to always come up with a plan B, and to regard mistakes as a plan A that didn't work out, rather than failure. Both of them inspire me to be a leader in my own space."

Andersen's message to other women this Women's Month is: “It is important to remember your worth, how far you have come and what you are capable of."