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Stellenbosch University Japan Centre launched University Japan Centre launchedCorporate Communication and Marketing | Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking (Daniel Bugan)<p>​Stellenbosch University (SU)  officially launched the Stellenbosch University Japan Centre (SUJC), envisioned to be a leading hub for academic research and cultural exchange between South Africa and Japan.<br></p><p>The SUJC is the culmination of a long-standing collaboration between SU and Japan in research partnership activities that span more than 20 years. Discussions to establish the SUJC began in 2020 and in May 2022 a framework for establishing the Centre was approved by both the SU Rectorate and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo.</p><p>The purpose of the SUJC is to contribute to enhancing South Africa-Japan relations by:</p><ul><li>Promoting Japanese Studies at SU;<br></li><li>Encouraging research and teaching collaboration between SA and Japan in all fields of study through bilateral and multilateral higher education networks at institutional and national levels;</li><li>Hosting educational, cultural, and people-to-people events for the broader community; and </li><li>Collaborating with similar centres in Africa and internationally.</li></ul><p>The SUJC will also engage with the Japanese public and private sectors in South Africa to support bilateral and multilateral academic activities between South Africa and Japan.</p><p>Speaking at the launch event which took place on 11 August, Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said the University is looking forward to engaging with Japanese stakeholders in South Africa and also to strengthen ties with external and continental stakeholders. “The Centre will add value to a greater understanding, deeper collaboration, and quality long-term partnerships between our peoples."</p><p>“A robust research collaboration between SU and Japanese universities in mathematical sciences, chemistry, biology, polymer science, engineering, and the broader social sciences already exists. So, we really want to see bilateral relations in these and other disciplines growing and flourishing."</p><p>De Villiers added: “This partnership with Japan will also help to realise South Africa's technical and vocational education goals. We are struggling with a skills deficit, in addition to a lack of employment opportunities, and we must learn actively and relentlessly to teach new skills for the world that awaits us all."</p><p>Norio Maruyama, Japan's ambassador in South Africa, said he is looking forward to the Centre facilitating collaboration in a wide range of areas, especially in science and technology.</p><p>“South Africa and Japan have a mutual interest to cooperate in the field of science and technology and to seek business opportunities. I am certain that the Centre will provide an excellent platform to exploit these opportunities." </p><p>He said the location of the SUJC in the Western Cape is of great significance.</p><p>“The Western Cape is one of South Africa's most culturally diverse provinces and the presence of excellent wineries and winemakers here is also very important. A lot of Japanese winemakers can benefit from the skills development expertise provided by Stellenbosch University."</p><p>Prof Scarlett Cornelissen of the Department of Political Science serves as the director of the SUJC. She will provide strategic direction and oversight along with co-director Sarah van der Westhuizen.</p><p>Cornelissen, who has a strong link with Japan as a long-time scholar of its culture, language, and relationship with Africa, explained how the Centre came about: “We saw these hubs of activity at SU that were all Japan-related – people doing joint research projects with partners in Japan, students going to Japanese universities on exchange programmes and Japanese students coming to enrol in courses here. We realised that it made sense to bring all these elements together under one umbrella and that was how the SUJC came to be. </p><p>“But it is about more than that: it is also about introducing Japan and Japanese culture to a South African audience," she said.</p><p>Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs, says they are excited for the work that will come from the Centre because it supports much of what the University envisions for its future.<br></p><p>“Although we are rooted in Africa, Stellenbosch University's reach is global. For us, internationalisation has therefore, especially over the past four years, become a strategic priority. This means attracting the best students from across the world, doing research that makes a global impact, and building partnerships and networks across the world," she said.<br></p><p><br><strong><em>More about </em></strong><strong><em>the SUJC</em></strong></p><p><em>The </em><em>SUJC</em><em> is situated in the </em><em>Centre for Global Engagement, SU International, in the Krotoa building. It is hosted within SU International to ensure the institutional reach of the Centre, broad support for academic and cultural activities through the infrastructure available at SU International, and the building of strong partnerships with Japanese higher education institutions in all fields of study.</em><br><em> </em><br><em>The Centre is active in the following four areas:</em></p><p><strong><em>Research</em></strong><br><em> This includes promoting the Japan-South Africa Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement as well as joint research calls; and leveraging binational and international forums and networks to help facilitate collaborative research.</em></p><p><strong><em>Teaching</em></strong><em> </em><br><em>This includes facilitating academic programmes in Japanese Studies; short courses on the Japanese economy, history, and society; as well as Japanese language studies. P</em><em>rogrammes are hosted through events presented by the Centre, as well as related academic departments. </em></p><p><strong><em>Staff and student mobility </em></strong></p><p><em>This involves facilitating bilateral exchanges, student and staff mobility programmes; and partnerships with higher education institutions in Japan. SUJC also disseminates information about Japanese government scholarships and teaching and training opportunities in Japan.</em></p><p><strong><em>Engagement</em></strong><br><em> This involves disseminating knowledge about Japan and Japan-South Africa relations; hosting public lectures, seminars, and symposia; as well as academic and cultural networking events.</em><br><em> </em><br><em><strong>Visit</strong></em><em>: </em><a href="/japancentre"><em></em></a><em>  </em><br><em><strong>Email</strong></em><em>:</em></p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>
Meneshia Koopman-"There is no limit to what a woman can accomplish" Koopman-"There is no limit to what a woman can accomplish"Birgit Ottermann/ Photo: Stefan Els<p>“There is no limit to what a woman can accomplish. Life is not about competing with men; it needs to be a collaboration between men and women – we all have equal playing fields. I believe a woman can become anything she wants if she focuses her energy on the goal."<br></p><p>This is the Women's month message of Meneshia Koopman, an administrator responsible for Reception and Client Services at the Stellenbosch University International (SUI) Services Centre. “A woman can become anything she wants if she focuses her energy on the goal."</p><p>Koopman, who has been working at SUI since 2014, believes the university is already getting a lot right when it comes to achieving gender equality in the workplace. </p><p>The diversity and improvements that can be seen are women appointed equally on every level and position up to senior levels and professors," says Koopman. “I love that there are so many powerful women, like Prof Hester Klopper and Prof Thuli Madonsela, in my workplace – it's very inspiring."</p><p>Working in Reception and Client Services makes Koopman often the first port of call for new international students.</p><p>“My responsibilities include receiving and greeting all clients, students, and delegations. What I enjoy most about my job is my interaction with the students - helping them to feel at ease with a warm reception and assisting with their needs. I see myself as a major advantage in my workplace, being an enthusiastic and charismatic woman who can positively affect open communication and help to encourage others."</p><p>As within any job, Koopman also experiences challenges such as difficult clients, juggling incoming calls and queries, and deciding on the best course of action to take – this often includes on-the-spot decisions on who to direct or escalate a difficult call to, when necessary.</p><p>Koopman singles out her manager Carmien Snyman as a wonderful mentor in her workplace. “I'm still learning so much from her, from finance to my daily tasks. She is there not only for work but also shows a lot of interest in my away-from-work environment. She always checks up and encourages me in everything I do.<br></p><p><br></p>
#WomenofSU: Samantha Walbrugh-Parsadh – “Create opportunities where others see obstacles” Samantha Walbrugh-Parsadh – “Create opportunities where others see obstacles”Corporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking<p>​In an increasingly connected world, tertiary institutions are prioritising internationalisation to enhance their profile and reputation, and Stellenbosch University (SU) is no exception. As head of International Affairs at Stellenbosch Business School, Samantha Walbrugh-Parsadh uses her extensive skills to grow both the Business School's international student body and strategic international partnerships.<strong>  </strong></p><p>As part of SU's Women's Month celebrations, Samantha tells us more about her role and the leadership qualities it requires.</p><p><strong>Tell us more about your role at Stellenbosch University.</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The main purpose of my position is to provide strategic direction to Stellenbosch Business School's internationalisation initiatives. This includes overseeing strategies for maintaining and growing our international student body and international partnerships that are well aligned with our academic project, facilitating the integration of internationalisation with our academic, administrative and support functions, ensuring alignment with the Business School's strategic objectives, and promoting understanding of internationalisation at all levels of the School.<br></p><p><strong>What do you enjoy most about this role?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">I enjoy working with my amazing team to deliver on our mandate, and the support and enthusiasm for internationalisation in the Stellenbosch Business School community, in our faculty and at institutional level. I also appreciate the people I meet from across the globe, the friendships formed over the years, experiencing new cultures and seeing new places. In addition, I am privileged to co-create international opportunities for our students, faculty and professional support staff and their counterparts at other business schools, thereby enhancing opportunities for growth and development in the international higher education sector.   </p><p><strong>What do you think are the key leadership qualities required to fulfil your role?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">For me, the key leadership qualities are empathy, humility, passion, self-awareness, honesty, respect, creativity, resilience, flexibility, communication, accountability, integrity, trust and vision.<br></p><p><strong>Leadership roles are demanding. What keeps you motivated?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">I am passionate about international higher education because it changed my own life, so I want to create similar opportunities for others. I had the opportunity to learn a third language in high school and then spent a year in Germany as an exchange student after matric. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) funded my postgraduate studies. I also represented SU as an Abe Bailey fellow in Britain and spent a year of my master's studies at the University of Salzburg in Austria as a recipient of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship.    </p><p style="text-align:justify;">​​The best motivation for me is to hear local and international students, faculty members and professional administrative support staff speak about their learning experiences during their international benchmarking visits, conferences and other engagements. Another motivation is to see the penny drop as they realise that Stellenbosch Business School and the broader University truly offer world-class education as well as relevant and impactful research. That's when they really understand the importance of internationalisation.   </p><p><strong>What would your message be to the next generation of aspiring female leaders?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Know your value, trust your heart and stay true to yourself. Do not be afraid to make mistakes – learn from them and move forward. Identify a mentor early in your career. Embrace the opportunities available to you, even though they may not have been part of your original plan. Ask for help – it is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Encourage others and celebrate their victories with them. Say thank you to your team and others you work with. Create opportunities where others see obstacles. Be kind to yourself and take a break when you need it. Leadership is a journey; it is not always easy, but it is worth it. Persevere.<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Norma Derby -"Let’s continue cheering for each other" Derby -"Let’s continue cheering for each other"Birgit Ottermann/ Photo: Stefan Els<p>​<strong>​#WomenofSUI​</strong><br></p><p>“It is 27 years since Women's Day was first celebrated in South Africa to commemorate the 1956 march of approximately 20 000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in protest of the pass law, which required black South Africans to carry a passbook ('<em>dompas</em>'). I believe each year's celebration contributes to the overall objectives of celebrating this courageous act while raising awareness of the continued need for equal rights for women in our country," says Norma Derby, Programme Manager: Africa Partnership Development at Stellenbosch University International (SUI).</p><p> “South Africa is by its very nature a patriarchally driven society, which is also reflected at Stellenbosch University (SU). While the university is consciously striving for gender balance, as can be seen in the year-on-year-increase in the percentage of females employed, there should be greater movement," she says.</p><p> Derby has been working for nearly six years in SUI's Centre for Collaboration in Africa (CCA), a centre that aims to create an enabling environment for the campus community to collaborate with other universities and research institutions across the African continent and globally in order to enhance SU's internationalisation portfolio. Her main responsibilities are managing partnerships, student and staff mobility on the African continent, and coordinating or assisting with SU events to have an African focus.</p><p> “The management at SU International is very aware and deliberate in making women feel heard and supported," Derby notes. “This applies to the appointment of staff, filling positions and opening up opportunities to other racial groups as well, especially women filling positions that demand respect based on competency and capacity as well as commitment."</p><p> Reflecting on this year's theme for Women's Day 'Generation Equality: Realising Women's Rights for an Equal Future', Derby says that she strives to support and uplift her female colleagues in her everyday interactions. “I give positive criticism when required and congratulate and celebrate female colleagues, especially the next generation professional women. It's important for me that my fellow female colleagues are self-assured, knowledgeable and always feel supported," she says.</p><p> Asked if she has had any inspiring mentors in her life, she mentions the name of Merle Hodges, the former director of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's (CPUT) International Office and the first female president of the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA) of which SUI is a member.</p><p> “Sadly, my mentor, Merle Hodges, passed away a couple of days ago. She became my mentor in 2017 when I realised I needed to enhance my knowledge of internationalisation in the higher education field. During past annual IEASA conferences, I saw Merle in action, always willing to share her wealth of knowledge on internationalisation through inspirational and dynamic presentations. She was just so open and welcoming to share her knowledge and, through her example, I want to be a role model for the next generation of females too."</p><p> When it comes to strong role models on the SU campus, Derby singles out Prof Hester Klopper. “She serves as a stern, professional but deeply committed woman who leads by example and also serves as an exemplary leader and role model who cuts across racial divides and gender differentiation."</p><p>For Women's Day this year, Derby has the following words of wisdom: “Maya Angelo wrote: 'We can be. Be and be better. For they existed'. Young people, whilst remaining critical, should remember that older generations were not perfect. Let's respect their efforts and contribution to equality for all. To the men, remember that gender equality in the workplace must be acknowledged, and respected and is a team effort. To women, let's remember the quote which is synonymous with Women's Day: '<em>wathint' abafazi, wathint' imbokodo</em>' (You strike a woman, you strike a rock). Let's remain strong, continue cheering for each other, and make strides for the next generation of women to reap the benefits of equality.  <br></p><p>​<br></p>
Mia Andersen- "Remember your worth and how far you’ve come" Andersen- "Remember your worth and how far you’ve come"Birgit Ottermann/ Photo by Stefan Els<p>​<strong>​​​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.</strong></p><p> 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.</p><p>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."</p><p>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.' </p><p>“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."</p><p>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.</p><p>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."</p><p>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." <br></p><p>​<br></p>
Celebrating 20 years of the SU summer school 20 years of the SU summer school SU International<p>​​​What started out two decades ago as an opportunity for mostly American students to gain exposure to South Africa through an academic programme for three to four weeks has grown into a flagship institution on the annual calendar of Stellenbosch University (SU) International. Today, the SU summer school (for those in the northern hemisphere; 'winter school' for their peers in the south) comprises 17 different courses and caters to a much wider audience.<br></p><p>The 33 International students who formed part of this year's June/July cohort <a href="">celebrated the School's achievement</a> formally at an event hosted by SU International in Stellenbosch on 14 July 2022. This special gathering was attended by international students from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and 5 SU student assistants. As well as some of the course lectures. <br></p><p>The summer/winter school is hosted in June and July each year, and the 2022 edition is in full swing. The course offering covers the fields of philosophy, engineering, botany, political science, economics, literature, art and media, history, HIV/Aids, international relations, Chinese studies, multilingualism, linguistics, marketing, global service learning, public health, and doing business in Southern Africa. </p><p>Apart from offering international students a sense and taste of our town, region and country, as well as top-quality lectures, the schoool's also provides our own SU students with a transformative experience through networking with the international guests. As such, it is well aligned with the institutional objective of comprehensive internationalisation, which includes internationalisation at home.</p><p>“We started back in 2001 with one course offering," says Werner de Wit, manager of Short Term Mobility at SU International. “Over the years, the school has grown, with delegates even coming from countries such as China, Singapore and Egypt. In fact, in 2019, just before Covid-19 hit, we had over 45 nationalities represented across our 17 courses. </p><p>“We try to renew the courses every year to keep up with new developments," Werner adds. “We change as times change, so the programme really develops along with society and the world to ensure that our academic offering remains cutting-edge."  </p><p>In keeping with SU's holistic approach to teaching and learning, the well-balanced academic programme of the summer school combines theory and practice in an organic manner. Moreover, the school includes a social programme designed to support the academic programme and introduce our international guests to the cultural diversity of Stellenbosch and the Western Cape. </p><p>For photos of the celebration, click <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;">here.</a><br></p><p>For more on the school, visit <a href=""></a>.</p><p><br></p><p>​ </p><p><br></p>
SU student takes top spot in Chinese proficiency competition student takes top spot in Chinese proficiency competition by Prof Huang Binlan, Chinese co-director of CISU<p>​The<a href="/english/confucius-institute"> Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University (CISU)</a> is exceptionally proud of Stellenbosch University (SU) student Iola Meyer (<em>pictured alongside</em>), who recently scooped first place in the 21<sup>st</sup> Chinese Bridge proficiency competition for university students in South Africa. This is the first time in five years that SU achieves this honour.<br></p><p>The Chinese Bridge (or “Hanyu Qiao") is an annual worldwide competition for primary and secondary-school learners as well as university students – all non-mother-tongue speakers of Chinese – to showcase their Chinese proficiency. The 2022 edition for South African students was held online on Thursday 23 June. <br></p><p>Livestreamed by the Chinese embassy in South Africa from the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the event attracted some distinguished guests. These included His Excellency Chen Xiaodong (Chinese ambassador to South Africa), Prof Tshilidzi Marwala (UJ Vice-Chancellor), Prof Huang Wei (president of the Asia Pacific Engineering Federation), Mr Tang Zhongdong (Chinese consul-general in Johannesburg), Mr Li Xudong (education counsellor, Chinese embassy) and Mr Chen Kan (deputy general manager of Huawei South Africa). (<em>See screenshot below of guests and contestants at the event.</em>)</p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/webinar.jpg" alt="webinar.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:508px;" /><br><br></p><p>​<br></p>
SU holds its own in international rankings holds its own in international rankingsCorporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking [Alec Basson]<p>​Stellenbosch University (SU) continues to hold its own in a competitive global higher education landscape. Having improved its position on the latest <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings</strong></a>, it continues to be regarded as one of the top 500 tertiary institutions in the world. </p><p>In the <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">2023 version</strong></a> released recently, SU is ranked at number 454, compared to last year when it was placed at 482. In terms of the QS rankings, SU occupies the fourth position in South Africa (and in Africa).<br></p><p>Regarded as one of the three top university ranking systems globally, the QS World University Rankings 2023 features over 1 400 universities – the biggest QS university ranking yet.</p><p>These institutions were assessed across the following six categories (or indicators) to effectively capture university performance: academic reputation (teaching and research quality); employer reputation (preparing students for successful careers/providing the most competent, innovative, and effective graduates); faculty-to-student ratio (providing students with meaningful access to lecturers and tutors); citations per faculty (number of academic citations in papers produced by a university in a five-year period); and international student ratio & international faculty ratio (the ability to attract quality students and staff from across the world).</p><p>Commenting on SU's latest achievement, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs Prof Hester Klopper said that although the University does not officially take part in the QS Rankings, it is good to hear that SU improved on its position. </p><p>“Our consistent performance on various international rankings is testimony to the institution's vision of being 'Africa's leading research-intensive university, globally recognised as excellent, inclusive and innovative, where we advance knowledge in service of society'. Considering that universities on the African continent's social, economic, and political contexts differ vastly from that of universities in high-income countries, SU's continued presence on established rankings is an achievement of note," she said. </p><p>In April 2022, SU was also ranked among the top 2 000 higher education institutions in the world by the Center for World University Rankings.</p><p>Over the last few years, SU has been consistently ranked among the best tertiary institutions in the world on various global university rankings including the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings.<br></p><p>​<br></p>
First cohort of Future17 initiative complete course cohort of Future17 initiative complete course Corporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>A diverse group of 130 international students from Brazil, China, the United Kingdom and South Africa has made history by completing the <a href="/english/SUInternational/future17-sustainable-development-goals-programme">Future17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Challenge short course</a> – a first of its kind for Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p>This course was hosted by the SDG/2063 Impact Hub at Stellenbosch University International (SUI). The Impact Hub aims to promote the United Nations' 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals (SDGs), alongside the African Union's Agenda 2063 for a prosperous Africa within the context of international higher education. <br></p><p>The 38 SU students who formed part of the cohort celebrated their achievement informally at an event hosted by SUI in Stellenbosch on 9 June. This special gathering of SU students preceded the official global celebration on 13 June. The other participants were from the <a href="">University of Exeter</a><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;"> (UK)</span>, the <a href="">Chinese University of Hong Kong</a> and the <a href="">University of São Paulo</a> (Brazil). </p><p>The SU group, comprising final year undergraduate as well as postgraduate students, were praised for the innovation, commitment, professionalism and outstanding ambassadorship for SU that they displayed since the launch of the course in March. <br></p><p>The prestigious three-month Future17 SDG Challenge Course is unique because it is driven by a consortium of universities from four countries, assisted by global challenge partners. The aim is to educate and equip students with the knowledge and skills to find innovative ways to turn sustainable development goals into reality, said Corina du Toit, Programme Manager: SDG/2063 Impact Hub, and academic lead for the course.<br></p><p>Among the guests at the SUI celebration was Dr Nico Elema, Director of the <a href="/english/SUInternational/Pages/Centre-for-collaboration-in-Africa.aspx">Centre for Collaboration in Africa</a> at <a href="/english/SUInternational/Pages/default.aspx">SUI</a>. He shared his reflections on the programme and congratulated the students and mentors for overcoming the challenges of the new course, as well as streamlining the processes for the next cohorts. “You have walked the journey with us, we figured out things, and we all learnt many lessons. So, thank you for contributing positively and being ambassadors for the University. You made us proud."<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Future17SDG_2.jpg" alt="Future17SDG_2.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:333px;" /> </p><p>Commenting on the effectiveness of the programme, Dr Munya Saruchera, senior lecturer and interim Director of SU's <a href="">Africa Centre for HIV and AIDS Management</a> in the World of Work, added: “I think the coming together of different universities reflected the microcosm level of how different countries can work together on this global agenda (SDGs). It was interesting how the mentors and students from different cultures and environments engaged effectively." </p><p><strong>Educate and equip</strong></p><p>These SDGs are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the blueprint for partnerships, peace and prosperity for people and the planet – adopted by all United Nations (UN) member states. (For more information, visit the <a href="">UN's Agenda 2030 and the SDGs</a>.)</p><p>Aligned with the 2030 Agenda, the Future17 Course focuses on the UN's SDGs, adopted by 195 UN member nations in 2015, as a framework to help find solutions for the global and interdisciplinary challenges we face while building participants' key employability, critical thinking, hybrid and remote working, and presentation skills. Participants used collaborative and innovative ways to approach challenges, working with the partner universities and mentors assigned by the different institutions.<br></p><p>The SDG challenge partners comprise organisations like NGOs, institutions and companies that conceptualised challenges for the course. Challenges included creating a digital strategy to promote the SDGs to university students, doing market research for urban farms, or recycling soap from hotel chains to create jobs for communities, said Du Toit. <br></p><p>She praised the students for their performance with the assignments. “I sat in on many presentations and was very impressed by the professional standard and quality of work put forward by your groups. Considering that this was a pilot project, we were unsure what to expect – and you certainly helped set the bar very high for the next offerings." <br></p><p>At the SUI celebration event, students had the opportunity to share their course experience with the guests. Encapsulating all the students' experiences, <strong>Sharon Sambaza</strong> (LLM) said: “The Future17 short course was nothing short of a roller coaster, and it was quite an enjoyable ride! I chose to enrol in the course because of my keen interest in issues relating to sustainable development and engaging in a learning experience with students in various parts of the world. My experience during the course was both challenging and rewarding. We learned interdisciplinary concepts crucial in finding innovative solutions to problem-solving, such as design thinking and prototyping."</p><p><strong>Jack Potter </strong>expressed his gratitude for being exposed to the course: “By doing this course, I was exposed to tasks and engagements that I otherwise would not have been. I could learn from and work with people from around the globe who all share a like-minded passion for sustainable development. In the coming years, I will apply this newly gained knowledge practically in conserving wilderness areas and protecting wildlife." </p><p> </p><ul><li><a href="">Applications</a> for the next round of the Future17 short course can be submitted until <strong>25 July 2022</strong>. For more information about the course, click <a href="/english/SUInternational/future17-sustainable-development-goals-programme">here</a>.</li></ul><p> </p><p><strong>Photographer: </strong>Stefan Els<br></p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>
Covid-19 and semester mobility at SU: Exploring new opportunities and semester mobility at SU: Exploring new opportunitiesSU International<p>​</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University (SU) prides itself on being a vibrant Study Abroad destination. The team at SU International follows a one-stop service approach to assisting both incoming and outgoing students on their Study Abroad journey. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Generally, 400 to 500 semester mobility students are received every academic year, with the second semester (July–December) usually having the bigger intake. The 2018 and 2019 intakes were 552 and 499 respectively, with Germany and the Netherlands being the largest feeder countries. This is the result of longstanding and historical partnership agreements and collaborations with these two European countries. (A recent partnership agreement signed with SKEMA Business School in France has brought about a slight shift – read on for more in this regard.) </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Covid-19 pandemic has had a notable impact on higher education in general, and student mobility and higher education internationalisation in particular. With student mobility severely affected by bans on international travel, a prohibition on in-person gatherings and social distancing regulations, SU International saw an unprecedented decline in both incoming and outgoing semester mobility numbers. The 2020 intake shrunk by about 50% to 246 students. To successfully complete the academic year, SU moved swiftly to an online teaching and learning platform, and adopted emergency remote teaching, learning and assessment (ERTLA) to accommodate the new reality. However, most students embark on a semester mobility opportunity precisely for the in-country experience, immersing themselves in the local culture both in and outside the classroom – a need the online mode could not quite fulfil. The switch to ERTLA was not without its challenges either. One study identified a host of challenges experienced by SU students learning online, including “home-related challenges, connectivity and personal challenges, academic-related challenges, and mental health".<a href="file:///C:/Users/interweb/Documents/External%20Comms/Newsletters/International@SU%20Newsletter/2022/First%20Edition/stories%20from%20Hendrien/refiloe_Semester%20Mobility%20and%20COVID-19;%20Exploring%20New%20Opportunities%20(ed).docx#_ftn1">[1]</a> And with additional difficulties relating to immigration, the initial slow roll-out of vaccines, as well as a significant decrease in the online course offering, many students either cancelled or deferred their planned Study Abroad semester. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, as the virus gradually loosened its grip, various restrictions were relaxed, including those on travel and in-person gatherings, which enabled a slow return to on-campus activities. SU moved from ERTLA to augmented remote teaching, learning and assessment (ARTLA) – a combination of in-person and online teaching and learning. For SU International, this meant a rapid increase in the semester mobility intake, recording a record number of incoming semester students for the 2021 academic year. A whopping 421 students registered for a semester mobility programme in the first semester alone – almost equal to the pre-Covid number for a full academic year. And as the second semester had a bigger intake than the first, the numbers for the overall 2021 intake increased by 100%. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">A major contributor to this rapid increase has been the partnership with SKEMA Business School, which accounts for some 50% of the overall number of incoming semester students. These students vary from undergraduate to postgraduate (master') students and follow a specialised set of courses at SU that are taught in collaboration with various partners, such as the University of Stellenbosch Business School, the Sustainability Institute, and the faculties of Economic and Business Management Sciences as well as Arts and Social Sciences. As a result, the partnership has created an opportunity for lecturers from these environments to collaborate with academics from SKEMA on curriculum development. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In addition, as a result of the partnership, France (and no longer Germany and the Netherlands) now accounts for the largest intake of semester students. And since several SKEMA students originate from Francophone countries in Africa, SU International's intake of semester mobility students from the African continent has also increased. Historically, most international students from Africa registered for full degree programmes, with almost none enrolling for a semester mobility programme. This new development presents exciting opportunities to explore possibilities for increasing semester mobility activities among institutions in Africa. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Yet, while the increase in semester mobility numbers is positive, the most exciting opportunity created by this partnership lies in the chance to reimagine and expand internationalisation engagements. Collaboration on curriculum development among academics offers exciting opportunities for scholarly development, research collaboration as well as personal and professional development. The tailor-made courses could enable local (degree-seeking) students to benefit from an internationalised curriculum offering. SU International has already provided opportunities for SU's own BCom International Business students to register for some of these courses as part of the mandatory exchange component of their degree programme. It would be worthwhile to explore the possibility of expanding this to other degree programmes as well, offering students the opportunity to participate in an internationalised classroom and/or benefit from an internationalised curriculum offering. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The opportunities for international collaboration post-Covid-19 are endless if innovative minds gather around a table and deliberate. Granted, there are also countless challenges, particularly facing South African higher education, which may complicate the implementation of new internationalisation activities. However, these can be overcome if we persistently engage and explore together. Let us not miss the opportunity to reimagine and reshape higher education internationalisation by simply returning to the old way of doing things as a traditional residential university.</p><p><br></p><p style="text-align:left;"><a href="file:///C:/Users/interweb/Documents/External%20Comms/Newsletters/International@SU%20Newsletter/2022/First%20Edition/stories%20from%20Hendrien/refiloe_Semester%20Mobility%20and%20COVID-19;%20Exploring%20New%20Opportunities%20(ed).docx#_ftnref1"><span class="ms-rteFontSize-1">[1]</span></a><span class="ms-rteFontSize-1"> Onwuegbuzie, AJ, Ojo, E, Burger, A, Crowley, T, Adams, S & Bergsteedt, B. (2020). “Challenges experienced by students at Stellenbosch University that hinder their ability successfully to learn online during the Covid-19 era: A demographic and spatial analysis". </span><em class="ms-rteFontSize-1">International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches</em><span class="ms-rteFontSize-1">, 12:240–281.</span><br></p><p>​<br></p>
The conversation on globalisation continues conversation on globalisation continuesSU International<p></p><p style="text-align:justify;">SU International contributes in various ways to ensuring a transformative student experience and promoting comprehensive internationalisation at Stellenbosch University. One example is the programme entitled “In conversation with globalisation" — a collaboration with the University of Stuttgart (Germany), St. Xavier's College (India) and the University of Bergamo (Italy). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The programme has been running for almost two decades and is traditionally a blended-learning course with both an online and a mobility component. Due to the pandemic, the physical mobility component could not take place for the past two cycles. Nevertheless, active engagement and fruitful interactions continued through online seminars and work. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The most recent edition kicked off in October 2021, when students started the conversation on politics, the economy, arts and the pandemic — all within the context of globalisation. Seminars were again presented by course coordinator Dr Wolfgang Holtkamp from the University of Stuttgart, although voices from each of the participating countries were also added, with guest lecturers featuring in the various sessions. Students participated through short presentations, and assessment included both written and more creative assignments. </p><img src="file:///C:/Users/interweb/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.png" alt="" style="width:408px;margin:5px;" /><p style="text-align:justify;">At the end of February 2022, the course culminated in a virtual project week focusing on the global pandemic learning curve. The week's programme included participation in the annual Stuttgart Meets Mumbai festival, as well as seminars by Prof Flavio Porta (Bergamo), Ms Ankita Gujar (St. Xavier's) and Dr Chet Fransch (Stellenbosch). The project week ended on a high note with presentation day (<em>see screenshot</em>), where the student groups presented their views on what societies had learnt at various pandemic moments. This included a focus on previous pandemics, the beginning of the current pandemic, the present situation, as well as possible future pandemics. The day concluded with a talk on what nations could possibly focus on in the aftermath of the pandemic. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">At a time when physical engagement was restricted, the programme still managed to link scholars from around the globe and explore a relevant topic that allowed all participants to share their lived experiences.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/conversations.png" alt="conversations.png" style="margin:5px;width:547px;" /><span class="ms-rteFontSize-1"> Image: Screenshot of one of the sessions.</span><br></p>​<p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p>​<br></p>
SU International prepares for this year’s summer school International prepares for this year’s summer school SU International<p></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Since 2001, SU International has been offering an annual school in the months of June and July to coincide with the northern hemisphere's summer. The summer school, which started as a single tailor-made course developed for one specific partner, has since grown into a full-fletched four-week offering with 16 courses, attracting up to 140 students from various countries. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The holistic programme combines theory and practice, while a social component is also incorporated to introduce foreign students to the cultural diversity of Stellenbosch and the Western Cape.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Four streams</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The academic programme comprises lectures, group discussions and field trips in four streams, and is taught by SU's own lecturers and other South African experts. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The first stream, a general elective programme, offers 13 courses. Students have the option to enrol for up to three of these. Courses cover fields such as philosophy, engineering, botany, political science, economics, literature, art and media, history, HIV/Aids, international relations and Chinese studies. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The public health stream, in turn, introduces students to the healthcare system in South Africa. Themes under this stream are informed by key health determinants in the Western Cape, namely HIV/Aids and tuberculosis, non-communicable and infectious diseases, substance abuse, domestic violence, mental and psychosocial health, and sexual and reproductive health. Classroom instruction, readings and presentations are integrated with an experiential component to expose students to healthcare facilities in the Western Cape.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The third stream, focusing on doing business in Southern Africa, explores the unique institutional and policy conditions governing business ventures in the region. The aim is to guide future entrepreneurs and managers as to the challenges that might confront their businesses, but also the opportunities our rapidly growing region offers. Topics covered include the development challenges facing Southern Africa, the growth of the region's emerging markets, and future growth potential. Students get to discuss and debate policy issues in a developing-country context and gain deeper insight into the additional social, environmental and ethical considerations at play when doing business in Africa.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Finally, the global service-learning stream aims to enable social impact and transformation through experiential learning. The course is presented  in collaboration with local schools and non-profit organisations located in historically disadvantaged communities. Comprising both a theoretical and practical component, the course is reading and writing-intensive as well as transdisciplinary. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Engagement with local 'ambassadors'</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The summer school also offers an opportunity for engagement with local students, who join the programme as ambassadors for Stellenbosch and South Africa. A highlight of the programme, this component normally includes a range of cultural and tourist activities. Students learn about life in post-apartheid South Africa and get to experience the rich and diverse culture of the Western Cape.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For more information, watch <a href="">this video</a> and consult our <a href="/summerschools">summer school webpage</a>.  <br><br></p><p>​<br></p>
Returning to mobility to mobilityProf Hester C. Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs​ ​<p>​</p><p>In April, government announced the end of South Africa's state of disaster that had been in place to address the Covid-19 pandemic for the past two years. The announcement not only means that many of the pandemic restrictions are being lifted; it has also ignited a renewed energy in both staff and students at Stellenbosch University (SU) to engage in campus activities.</p><p>SU considers itself a residential university, so we are pleased that all staff and students have been able to return to our campuses. Our students are fully embracing being back on campus and are not only diligently attending class in person, but also taking part in the various campus activities that have resumed – from sport to leisure societies.</p><p>Over the past months, we have also welcomed international students who had been eager to experience Stellenbosch. As a university that continues to expand its global footprint and believes in offering students a transformative experience, we are grateful that we can provide students from across the world with a global education of significant value, both intellectually and as citizens of our globalised world.</p><p>Similarly, SU students again have the opportunity to go abroad to experience what our institutional partners across the world have to offer. While virtual exchanges continued throughout the pandemic and did add value, I'm sure we can all agree that in-person exchanges provide an extra dimension to a global education experience. </p><p>Face-to-face engagements with our varied international partners have also gained momentum. In fact, as you are reading here, I am visiting our partner universities in the United States and Europe to further strengthen our collaboration and explore new opportunities.</p><p>With the worst of the pandemic hopefully behind us, SU is as committed as ever to internationalisation as a key strategic priority as well as a means of positioning ourselves as a significant role-player in higher education globally.</p><ul><li><strong><em>Prof Hester C. Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs</em></strong></li></ul><p>​<br></p>
Our augmented internationalisation landscape augmented internationalisation landscapeRobert Kotze, Senior Director: Stellenbosch University International <p>​​​</p><p style="text-align:justify;">After more than 700 days, South Africa's state of disaster has been lifted. Campus is lively, indoor masking reminds us that some risk still remains.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">When the pandemic struck, it felt as if Internationalisation entered a state of disaster. We were puzzled until we realised that internationalisation is much more than physical mobility. At SU International, we hunkered down for a while, switched on the Ms Teams and Zoom screens, and started building an <em>augmented</em> internationalisation puzzle with some masked pieces but with many more “sweet spot" lively pieces.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This means that for the foreseeable future, our international puzzle will be guided by</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><em>Improved consolidation, Enhanced alignment and Augmented moving forward</em></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <em>Improved consolidation</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">As previously reported, numerous opportunities came our way during the pandemic. These have now been integrated with SU International's annual plan and staff structure after an extensive reorganisation of at the end of 2021. In future, SU International will have four centres (see infographic below)  each having its own focus, yet, collectively advancing the five cross-cutting internationalisation enablers:</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Article%20Images/000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000sui.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:605px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Consolidation efforts entail the following:</p><ul><li>Our Unit for International Credentialing will complete its preparations for the first round of quality assurance of the Independent Examinations Board's new International Secondary Certificate examinations in November 2022. </li><li>The SDG/2063 Hub, which combines the African Union's Agenda 2063 with the global SDG agenda, will deliver the first SU impact report in October 2022.</li><li>Development of our INTERINFO system will be completed to enable the first round of institutional internationalisation data collection. </li><li>The SU Japan Centre will be launched by mid-2022 and will embark on several high-impact projects.</li><li>The first cohort of international undergraduates will be recruited and prepared to enrol in 2022.<br></li></ul><p>Enhanced alignment<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">To ensure comprehensive internationalisation, the following will be major focus areas:</p><ul><li>Embedding international undergraduate marketing and prospect support in an integrated institutional student recruitment strategy</li><li>Achieving greater alignment between the programmes of international incoming and outgoing delegations on the one hand, and the outcomes and objectives of the University's divisions of Corporate Communication and Marketing as well as Development and Alumni Relations on the other </li><li>Leveraging the initiatives of the recently created AUDA-NEPAD Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology and Innovation as part of the continental AUDA and Stellenbosch innovation ecosystem</li><li>Enhancing scholarship development by the African Doctoral Academy and the Emerging Scholars Initiative by linking up with activities at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advance Study (STIAS) and its Iso Lomso programme<br></li></ul><ul><li>Working to incorporate global student learning outcomes into SU's curriculum renewal project​<br><br></li></ul><p>Moving forward in an augmented way</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In addition, we will be looking at the following existing initiatives from a fresh, innovative and informed perspective, augmenting them to move forward with a stronger stride:</p><ul><li>The International Town and Gown Network</li><li>Periperi U, which advances university action on risk reduction and resilience in Africa</li><li>Immigration support for international staff and students</li><li>Reimagining office and work facilities to accommodate an expanded staff complement and the establishment of the SU Japan Centre, among others</li><li>The 2023 summer school for students, which is to feature the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) summer school<br></li></ul><p>We have lots to do, and will continue to engage with our international partners as we tackle these and other projects. At the same time, we're looking forward to our in-person Stellenbosch International Academic Networks (SIAN) meeting in March 2023, where we'll not only celebrate 30 years of internationalisation at SU, but will also have a chance to see you all here on campus, have thought-provoking conversations and enjoy good wine and food!<br></p><p><br></p><p>Robert Kotzé</p><p>Senior Director: SU International<br></p><p><br></p>
New CCA entities to inspire African collaboration CCA entities to inspire African collaboration SU International<p>​<span style="text-align:justify;">At its annual strategic planning towards the end of January, SU International's Centre for Collaboration in Africa (CCA) chose as its motto for the year “Inspiring African collaboration". This the Centre will achieve, among others, through two new entities: the AUDA-NEPAD Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology and Innovation (AUDA-NEPAD CoE-STI) and the Sustainable Development Impact Hub (SDG/2063 Hub).</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Homegrown innovations for homegrown solutions</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The AUDA-NEPAD CoE-STI was jointly established by the African Union Development Agency, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Stellenbosch University (SU) in June 2021. The aim is to leverage the research and science capabilities of the African continent to upscale and commercialise homegrown innovations, thereby responding to Africa's development priorities. Critically, the centre seeks to support the implementation of the African Union's Agenda 2063 through science-backed evidence-based innovations. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The CCA's Dr Nico Elema serves as lead expert at the CoE-STI, while Simohn Engelbrecht is responsible for coordinating the upscale of identified innovations. To date, 35 homegrown South African innovations have been identified. These all emanate from well-established SU and CSIR programmes. Based on widely tested and proven technologies and techniques, the innovations are ready for upscaling or commercialisation across the continent. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Initial innovation categories earmarked for upscaling include advanced agriculture and food, health, water-related networks, biosciences, e-government, information and cybersecurity, aquaculture and agro-processing. (Look out for further articles and progress updates on the respective innovations.) </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Advocating for overall sustainability</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The SDG/2063 Hub, in turn, was established at the end of 2021. Managed by Corina du Toit, the hub seeks to use SU's global network of partnerships and consortia to advocate for both the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the African Union's Agenda 2063 goals in the international higher education sector. At the same time, it aims to raise awareness in the broader SU community of both sets of sustainability goals, as well as SU's role in promoting them. To this end, the SDG/2063 Hub will offer sustainability literacy interventions for SU students, being the thought leaders and policymakers of the future. Another key activity will be to collect sustainability data, measure impact and consolidate resources. One current initiative that is enjoying special attention is the drafting of SU's <em>Times Higher Education</em> impact report. The report, which is due in October, will provide an overview of<strong> </strong>the University's contribution to the overarching sustainability goals. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">To help give effect to the hub's objectives, SU students and mentors (academic staff) are participating in Future17, a virtual SDG-focused challenge presented by QS University Rankings, Exeter University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of São Paulo. The programme started in mid-February and runs until late May, with a second instalment to commence in September. </p><p style="text-align:left;">* For further information on these initiatives, contact the respective programme managers. For the AUDA-NEPAD CoE-STI, e-mail Dr Nico Elema (<a href=""></a>) or Simohn Engelbrecht (<a href=""></a>). For the SDG/2063 Hub, e-mail Corina du Toit (<a href=""></a>). </p><p style="text-align:left;"><br></p><p style="text-align:left;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Sustainability.jpg" alt="Sustainability.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:553px;" /><br></p><p>Image from Future17 Course <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p>​<br></p>
SU to quality-assure new international school-leaving qualification to quality-assure new international school-leaving qualification SU International<p></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University (SU) is proud to be the quality assurer of the International Secondary Certificate (ISC), a new school-leaving qualification developed and offered by the international arm of the Independent Examinations Board (IEB). The first IEB-ISC examinations will take place in November 2022, which means that the first cohort of ISC-qualified students will be applying to university this year with a view to enrolling in 2023.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The IEB-ISC has undergone extensive evaluation. Firstly, it was assessed by Universities South Africa (USAf), who concluded that international candidates who obtain the qualification with merit or at an advanced level,  and are offered a place at a South African higher education institution, will have met the minimum requirements for admission to degree programmes. </p><p>UK Ecctis (previously UK NARIC) too scrutinised the qualification. This institution, which represents the United Kingdom in all matters relating to international qualifications, benchmarked the IEB-ISC and found it to be comparable to reputable international qualifications such as the AS-Levels of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education of Australia, and the Certificate of Secondary Education of Kenya. In addition, they regard the IEB-ISC at Further Studies level as equivalent to the United Kingdom's A-Levels.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">SU's Unit for International Credentialing (SU-UIC) has been working hard to set up the necessary structures, processes and policies to quality-assure the IEB-ISC effectively. A quality assurance governance committee has been established with Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs, as chair. The committee comprises nationally renowned educationalists and leaders from secondary and higher education, as well as former policymakers from the fields of curriculum and assessment. They will oversee the quality assurance of key IEB-ISC processes and the ISC-related work of the SU-UIC. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Moreover, the governance committee will have oversight over two expert working committees, which will be responsible for curriculum and assessment matters and the standardisation of examination results respectively. The former is chaired by Dr Nan Yeld, manager of the implementation preparation plan for the Council on Higher Education's new Quality Assurance Framework for Higher Education in South Africa, while the latter is headed by Prof Sizwe Mabizela, vice-chancellor of Rhodes University. Both chairs also serve on the governance committee. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">To SU, the new IEB-ISC is an affordable alternative Africa-centred international school-leaving certificate. By quality-assuring the qualification, the University hopes to contribute to education globally.</p><p style="text-align:left;">For more information, visit <a href="/SU-UIC"></a> and <a href=""></a>.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p>​<br></p>
Time to use Covid knowledge to speed up HIV vaccine development, says SAMRC head to use Covid knowledge to speed up HIV vaccine development, says SAMRC headSue Segar <p>​​​​​​​The decades-long research into HIV vaccines laid the groundwork that enabled the rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines. Now we need to speed up work in the HIV vaccine field. So says Prof Glenda Gray, chief executive and president of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) as well as a co-principal investigator of the transnational HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN).<br></p><p>Speaking at a webinar co-hosted by the Stellenbosch University (SU) Department of Political Science and the Japanese embassy in South Africa in mid-March, Prof Gray expressed the hope that a reverse process would now occur, namely that Covid vaccines, in turn, would help speed up much-needed HIV vaccine development. “If it weren't for our previous input on HIV vaccines, we would never have been able to pivot our existing platforms – both the Ad26 vaccine regimen and mRNA – to develop very successful Covid vaccines," she said.</p><p>The webinar highlighted both the milestones and challenges in the response to the HIV epidemic, and the implications for global public health going forward. It also cemented relations between South African researchers and their colleagues in Japan. </p><p>Never give up hope</p><p>In her presentation, Prof Gray discussed some of the discoveries in HIV vaccine research in 2021, which she called a “pivotal year for HIV vaccine development". Elaborating on why it has been so hard to develop a vaccine to combat the “40-year unchecked HIV pandemic", she alluded to the enormous genetic diversity of HIV, which exceeds any other known pathogen. However, new technologies from the Covid experience – such as mRNA (a vaccine that uses a copy of a molecule called messenger RNA to produce an immune response) – have brought much optimism for developing a neutralising HIV vaccine.</p><p>Data from the recent AMP (antibody-mediated prevention) study has paved the way to provide high-grade protection from HIV acquisition, and it is now time to “make the public and funders aware of the need for an HIV vaccine", Prof Gray said. “We need to get regimens that elicit broadly neutralising antibodies – antibodies that can act against a wide range of viruses – into clinical trials to maintain momentum in the search for a vaccine." </p><p>She added that there had been huge expansion of HIV vaccine clinical research sites in Africa. “We must never give up hope that we can find an HIV vaccine," she urged webinar participants. “The ultimate discovery in science will be an HIV vaccine, and we should continue to pursue that ideal. It will be the greatest discovery ever made in medical science."</p><p><strong>Japanese research holds great promise</strong></p><p>Another significant contributor to the discussion was Prof Yasuhiro Yasutomi, director of Japan's Laboratory of Immuno-regulation and Vaccine Research. Prof Yasutomi discussed his team's groundbreaking research into a new vaccine technology that eliminated the Aids virus in crab-eating macaques – test monkeys native to Southeast Asia. The research involved a bacterium that secreted an immune-strengthening substance. His team produced a vaccine by mixing genes of this bacterium with genes of a weakened Aids-causing virus.</p><p>The monkeys initially became infected with Aids when the vaccine was administered. However, later tests did not detect the virus, and strong cellular immune responses were induced, he said. In fact, six of the seven vaccinated monkeys subsequently survived infection with a stronger virus that invariably kills victims. Blood and lymph node cells were taken from the six monkeys and injected into healthy monkeys. Four of them were found to be virus-free.</p><p>Prof Yasutomi said the team hoped to begin clinical testing on humans within the next five years. Tests will initially be done in Japan in the form of a tailor-made vaccine for individual patients, after which the team plans to produce a more general vaccine to be trialled in a larger group. At that stage, he would like to involve African countries.</p><p>He called for strong cooperation between Japan and South Africa in the quest to find an HIV vaccine. “Maybe our next step for clinical trials will be in your country," he said. “We need African people's help, not only as research participants, but to assist in combating HIV globally."</p><p><strong>Timely and relevant</strong></p><p>Akihiko Uchikawa, minister and deputy chief of the Japanese mission to South Africa, said the webinar was “timely and relevant against the current background of the global pandemic and its impact on HIV patients".</p><p>He added that South Africa had a history of fighting the disease and was regarded as a frontrunner in HIV patient care. For this reason, his embassy wanted to ensure that South Africans also knew about the latest research results from Japan. “This seminar may present possibilities for further collaboration between our countries in this field. </p><p>“The embassy of Japan would like to continue its contribution to academic exchange and collaboration between Africa and Japan, through SU as the hub of communication and activity. This partnership is even more relevant with the upcoming eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development scheduled for August," he said. “I hope today's discussion will serve as a stepping stone for a confluence of expertise, both in the context of Japan-South Africa relations and having a global impact on the future of humankind." ​<br></p><p>Click <a href="">here​</a> to watch the webinar.<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Agreement to improve vaccine carrier technology to improve vaccine carrier technologyCorporate Communication and Marketing | Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking <p>​​​Improved vaccine carrier technology can play a key role in ensuring individuals have access to better healthcare.<br></p><p>This is the intended goal of a group of researchers at Stellenbosch University's (SU) Faculty of Engineering and Impact Licensing Initiative, a Belgium based non-profit organisation, who will collaborate on a project that will focus on the acceleration of the innovation of vaccine carrier (devices used to transport vaccines) technology.</p><p>On 7 April 2022, the University, represented by Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies, signed an agreement with Impact Licensing Initiative, represented by Mr Johan Moyersoen. This organisation, which is funded by the Flemish government, aims to bring technologies into societal markets in a scalable and economic way.<br></p><p>The Minister-President of Flanders, Mr Jan Jambon, attended the signing, which took place at the University. Jambon said they were excited about the agreement and collaborating with SU on an initiative that benefits communities globally.</p><div>Moyersoen said currently vaccines go to waste due to not being kept at the correct temperature. The project aims to develop vaccine carrier technology that can keep vaccines cold for an extended period and thus address the wastage.<br></div><div><br></div><p><strong>Project phases</strong></p><p>SU project lead Prof Sara Grobbelaar, from the Department of Industrial Engineering, says the improved technology will also help to establish whether the cold chain was broken and if the product has been delivered to the patient. </p><p>“A lot of vaccines go to waste and that is why we are looking at an outcomes-based aspect to make sure that when funders pay for the delivery of the resource, it reaches the intended audience instead of paying for inputs such as vials of vaccines.</p><p>“We also want to look at how we can create a social franchise model where local companies can use the technology and participate in last mile delivery service provision. The long-term implementation goal is to look at developing integrated information systems around tracking last mile delivery through technologies."</p><p>The project will incorporate research and service activities and comprises four phases, spread over a two-year period.</p><p><span style="text-align:justify;">The first phase will see the University collaborate with Flemish colleagues to set up and monitor a pilot test of vaccine carrier technology in South Africa; followed by phase two, which will focus on the implementation of the vaccine carrier technology and conceptualising the outcome-based delivery model.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The third phase will focus on how to localise the implementation of the initiative. As part of this phase, the University and potential entrepreneurs and stakeholders will co-create an implementation model to roll out the technology and related outcome-based delivery model.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the final phase,<strong> </strong>the University will complete a feasibility study through input from the technology providers in Flanders and industry partners in South Africa for the creation of local manufacturing and maintenance of the cold chain technology. The result is to define technology and production requirements, as well as a business case for investors.</p><p><strong>Collaboration</strong></p><p>Grobbelaar says the project will also include collaboration with colleagues in the Faculty. This includes Prof Louis Louw (supply chain expert) and Dr Euodia Vermeulen (data science expert), with input from colleagues from the Department of Logistics such as Prof Leila Goedhals-Gerber (cold chain expert). They also identified project partners – global pharmaceutical companies and logistics players – who will provide support to test and help implement the project ideas for the supply chain intervention.</p><p>Grobbelaar says the project complements the work they are doing in health systems engineering and will improve access to healthcare in Africa.</p><p>“We want to make sure that people can receive medicines on time, in the right quantities and in the right condition, which is really important. We think this initiative will help to build capacity in South Africa and at our University to assist with the development of technologies, to test the use of these, to look at the feasibility of these in the long run and create entrepreneurial models to sustain them. We will also gain insights through our research, which we will be able to publish in the public domain for the public good."</p><p><br><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/AllItems/Signing%20agreement%20Launchlab%20and%20Belgium%20gov%20(3).JPG" alt="Signing agreement Launchlab and Belgium gov (3).JPG" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:400px;height:267px;" /><br></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong>Photo: </strong>Prof Eugene Cloete (SU's Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies​) and Mr Johan Moyersoen (General Manager, Impact Licensing Initiative) signed the agreement in the presence of Dr Geraldine REYMENANTS (General Representative of the Government of Flanders in South Africa), Mr Jan Jambon (Minister-President of Flanders), Mr Didier Vanderhasselt (Ambassador, Embassy of Belgium in Pretoria), Prof Sara Grobbelaar (Industrial Engineering), Mr Shane Bennet (CEO Snomaster) and Prof Louis Louw (Industrial Engineering). <strong>Photographer:</strong> Sandra Mulder<br><br></p>
PhD graduate contributes to the development of smallholder farmers graduate contributes to the development of smallholder farmers Corporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder​Dr Obvious Mapiye is convinced that his childhood experience with animal and crop farming on a smallholding laid the foundation for his current achievements, which includes completing his doctoral studies and conceptualising the creation of a software solution to enhance smallholder farming systems.<br><br>This week, Mapiye was awarded an PhD in AgriSciences specialising in Sustainable Agriculture at Stellenbosch University's (SU) April graduation. His PhD studies led to the development of digital advisory software called the Livestock Management Database System (LMDS). This system is designed to help farmers access useful and data-driven agricultural information and guidance according to their specific farming activities.<br><br>The system, which can be accessed from any smart device, recently earned Mapiye a 2022 translational fellowship from Innovus, a division of SU that is responsible for technology transfer, entrepreneurial support and development and innovation. <br><br>The translational fellowships provide Master's or PhD students who recently graduated or are close to completing their studies the opportunity to develop and commercialise the innovation resulting from their research. The objectives of the programme are two-fold – to translate the world-class research performed at SU into innovative products and services that positively impact society; and to enable recent graduates to pursue an entrepreneurial career upon graduation while developing entrepreneurial, technology transfer and commercialisation skills.<br><br>In addition to the fellowship, Mapiye's project also received a seed fund injection of R690 000 from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), for commercialisation of the LMDS.<br><br>“I am very excited. Honestly, graduating with a PhD at SU means much to me. I put in extra effort to complete [my studies] and faced many challenges, including a lack of financial assistance at the beginning of the course and the Covid-19 restrictions, which derailed the field activities. I had to carefully cultivate the skills of time management, self-discipline and multitasking into the whole research process," said Mapiye.<br><br><strong>Learning journey</strong><br><br>Mapiye, who hails from the Mhondoro Ngezi farming district in Zimbabwe, said his upbringing inspired his academic career.<br><br>“I was involved in rearing cattle, chickens and goats and helped to grow vegetables and grain crops at home. This background nurtured my passion for promoting the growth and development of smallholder farming systems through research and innovation. I planned my academic career accordingly."<br><br>In 2005, he graduated with a National Diploma in Agriculture from the University of Zimbabwe's (UZ) Gwebi College. After two years of gaining work experience as a greenhouse tomato production manager, he enrolled for a BSc in Agricultural Economics at UZ which he completed in 2012. He then joined Fintrac Inc's Zimbabwe Agricultural Income and Employment Development programme (ZimAIED), where his concern regarding the sustainability of smallholder farming intensified.<br><br>Mapiye said he became more focused on developing solutions that could assist farmers with upscaling their production, and in 2015 he joined SU's MSc in Sustainable Agriculture programme. His interest in supporting farmers through technological innovations saw him join a multidisciplinary development team at SU's Faculty of AgriSciences, comprising Prof Kennedy Dzama (Department of Animal Sciences, SU), Dr Annelin Molotsi (Department of Animal Sciences, SU), and Prof Godswill Makombe from the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science. Joubert de Wet, Innovus' technology transfer manager who is coordinating the commercialisation of the LMDS, completes the team. Through its development work, the team focused on improving the sustainability of commercial-oriented smallholder cattle producers in South Africa.<br><br>“I realised that the development and introduction of innovations like the LMDS are possible. The use of such information and communication technologies (ICTs) will enable us to revolutionise existing extension systems by helping them deliver timely and appropriate advisory services with minimum costs being incurred," he said.<br><br>Part of the research project, which focused on understanding the perceptions of cattle farmers in the North-West about the usefulness of the developed LMDS, also received funding from SU's Division for Social Impact and the National Research Fund's Thuthuka programme, which allowed Mapiye to complete his fieldwork.<br><br><strong>The future</strong><br><br>Mapiye plans to remain in Stellenbosch to further develop his project with Innovus. Firstly, a minimum viable product (MVP) of the LMDS needs to be designed and tested in a real-life situation before the system can be commercialised. He said a digital tech developing company has already been identified to create the software of the LMDS.<br><br>Mapiye envisages that the LMDS will help broaden farmers' knowledge about their specific farming activities and build on their skills to increase their productivity, competitiveness and sustainability. The system can help upscale smallholder livestock production through improved availability of farm data and hence accessibility to timely and tailored information.<br><br>“Deployment of the LMDS will present an opportunity to transform the South African agricultural extension model from largely supply-centred to demand-centred and participatory. The productivity and sustainability of farmers will increase, and subsequently employment creation and food security for the country and the region," Mapiye explained.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><div><div><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":160,"335559740":259}"><strong>Photographer</strong>: Stefan Els</span></div><div><br></div></div>
Norwegian/Stellenbosch research programme makes a comeback research programme makes a comebackCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking-Sandra Mulder<p>The INTPART programme promotes collaboration on higher education, research, and innovation  between South Africa and Norway. Five universities, three Norwegian and two South African obtained resource funding for one INTPART project to enable reciprocal student and faculty mobility to develop and strengthen entrepreneurship education in close collaboration with the regional ecossystems.  The five partners started out in the first workshop in 2019, and  has made a comeback after the pandemic halted the programme for almost two years. <br></p><p>Filled with excitement and enthusiasm, the first group of nine Norwegian students from the Nord University Business School (NUBS) and  Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), arrived at Stellenbosch University (SU) recently (5 March) with the aim to conduct comparative research for their master and PhD theses within themes such as entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial ecosystems, technology transfer office (TTO) activities, sustainable entrepreneurship, and sustainable construction.</p><p>“This is the first opportunity for SU to host the Norwegian students at SU since the agreement was signed in 2019," said Mr Adolph Neethling, SU's lecturer at the Department of Business Management in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, who manages the programme with Prof Inger Beate Pettersen from the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Bergen from their respective countries.<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/2D1A8171.JPG" alt="2D1A8171.JPG" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:400px;height:267px;" /><br></p><p>Four students from respectively SU and the University of Pretoria (UP) – which is the second group of students from South Africa, have already departed for Norway this week to engage in a three-month internship program in Bergen, Norway. Likewise, five Norwegian students have arrived in Stellenbosch and will  complete a three-month internship in Stellenbosch. </p><p>"The students are excited and grateful that they could be travelling to continue their studies," said Prof Pettersen who accompanied the students from Norway to South Africa.</p><p>In keeping participants on track with the programme, the Department hosted last week a get-together event with South African students who returned from their expeditions in Norway during the lockdown of 2020. At the same time, SU welcomed the Norwegian students to South Africa.</p><p> "They are the first group to come to South Africa since the program's start in 2020. The Intpart programme could not occur last year because of the pandemic restrictions. So this is a special happening for them," said Prof Pettersen.</p><p>Prof Pettersen will return this week to Norway to welcome the SU students who arrived there. </p><p>At the get-together event last week, the Norwegian students were introduced to two alumni, Ms Minette Siebenhagen from SU and Ms Paleesha Naidoo from UP. They shared their learning experiences as the first Intpart students from South Africa that had gone to Norway in March 2020. They arrived there a few days before the global lockdown and could not leave Norway until they could travel. Gladly they completed their internship program  while trapped in Norway, said Prof Pettersen.</p><p>These alumni agreed that the programme helped them see more opportunities and exploit more opportunities while processing challenges, learning new cultures, and raising their awareness of themselves. The exchange has also exposed staff and students to cultural differences, which has been an enriching experience.</p><p><strong>Intpart community</strong></p><p>The participants in the programme, including the alumni who are still involved and supportive, are forming a community, said Prof Pettersen. The close partnership is one of the envisaged goals of the programme: connecting countries and advancing knowledge sharing, comparative research, and collaboration. This way, we help build a global village that works together in solving challenges affecting the world, said Prof Pettersen. </p><p>According to Prof Pettersen, the programme must help students acquire through this engagement an entrepreneurial mindset and be equipped with knowledge and experience within different cultural and industrial landscapes.</p><p>Mr Neethling added that the engagement is also not for academics only and fruitful discussions have taken place between Dr Anita Nel and Mr Joubert De Wet from Innovus and Mr Nils-Eivind Holmedal, a TTO executive from the regional TTO in Bergen together with Prof Pettersen and a Master's student also working at the TTO in Bergen, Norway.   </p><p><strong>Programme origins</strong></p><p>The Intpart is also described as a matchmaking and bilateral platform between universities and industries. This specific Intpart project  was  backed with 4,5 million Norwegian Kroner  (R7.5 million).</p><p>Mr Neethling said that the initial collaborative agreement was for three years, and the partners are looking at ways of entering a new agreement to build on the collaboration established thus far.</p><p>The programme's mandate is to foster partnerships between universities  and industry actors in Norway and Brazil, Russia, India, China or South Africa (BRICS) striving to advance research, higher education and innovation," said Pettersen. </p><p>Elaborating on the program's mission, Mr Neethling added that with this programme, they want to advance research and connect to companies from all sectors and help create solutions to industrial and societal challenges.</p><p>Prof Pettersen said other universities in Norway have a similar partnership agreement with the other Brics countries.</p><p><strong>Exchange students</strong></p><p><strong><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/SU%20and%20Norway%20(27).JPG" alt="SU and Norway (27).JPG" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:334px;" /><br></strong></p><p>The two SU students who have left for Norway are Maret Swart and Joss Hansmeyer.<br></p><p>The five Norwegian interns, Gard Eriksen,, Iselin Østvedt, Kristine Flatøy , Jørgen Skaftun and  Anders Eri will do three-month internships at startups in and around Stellenbosch. They are focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation studies.</p><p>SU's Launchlab and industry consultants associated with SU have assisted students with finding and connecting to startups and spinoff businesses relevant for internships and for their research. </p><p>Mr Neethling said that with this programme, postgraduate students are working with industry teams from all sectors in the host country and at the same time get opportunities from early-stage to late-stage research, technologies and expertise for consultancy.  </p><p><strong>Other developments</strong></p><ul><li>SU's Mr Kelvin Ivankovic, one of the four students trapped in Norway during the 2020 lockdown, has been offered a bursary to complete his PhD in Norway.</li><li>South African students will travel to Norway to conduct comparative research for their master theses later in 2022. </li><li>Universities are committed to joint supervision of PhD students </li><li>Faculty from all five universities will join in a workshop in September 2022 to work on a special issue for publications. </li><li>In July 2022, all five partnering universities will participate in a two-week-long innovation workshop in Pretoria, with 40 students from various universities creating new business ideas collaboratively.</li></ul><p> </p><p>Main banner: The students, alumni and staff present at the get-together were (from left to right)  </p><p>Svein-Inge Solås, Henrik Tvinnereim, , Martin Olaf Quist, Kristian Wikse, Oda Camilla Rykkje, Paleesha Naidoo, Kelvin Ivankovic, Adolph Neethling, Minette Sieberhagen. </p><p>Photographer: Sandra Mulder<br></p><p> </p><p><br><br></p>