Task team considers input on first draft of revised
SU Language Policy (2016)
The task team for the revision of Stellenbosch University's (SU) Language Policy (2016) is currently considering the input received on the first draft of a revised Language Policy after the first public participation period closed on 12 April 2021.
SU invited interested parties to comment on the first draft of the revised Language Policy from 20 March to 12 April 2021. The University earlier this year announced that its Language Policy (2016) 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.
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 used the current policy as the point of departure for compiling the first draft of the revised policy for the public participation process.
The revision will be informed further by, amongst others, the SU Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019–2024 which has been adopted and implemented after the Language Policy (2016) was approved, as well as the Language Policy Framework for Public Higher Education Institutions determined in terms of section 27(2) of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act 101 of 1997 as amended).
The SU Statute stipulates that the SU Council must determine the language policy of the institution with the concurrence of Senate and in accordance with section 27(2) of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act 101 of 1997, as amended). The revision process was initiated in 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.
The Language Policy Revision Task Team will collate all input received during the first public participation opportunity and compile a response report. All submissions will be considered but it may not be possible to include all comments in the second draft of the revised Language Policy (2016 ). The first draft of the revised Language Policy (2016) along with the response report will be discussed by various statutory bodies during May and June. The task team will subsequently compile a second draft which will be made available for further input in the second semester of the year.
As the Language Policy (2016) by virtue of section 27 (2) of the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997 stipulates that Council determines the Language Policy of Stellenbosch University with the concurrence of Senate, the milestones in the timeline focus on Senate, the Institutional Forum and Council, as well as the two public participation processes.