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Join Prof Thuli Madonsela to help students in financial need Prof Thuli Madonsela to help students in financial needDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>Prof Thuli Madonsela, Chair in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Law, is taking action to raise funds for students from working class and middle-class income households who are struggling to keep their higher education dreams alive due to a lack of funds. </p><p>On <strong>Sunday, 22 November 2020</strong> Prof Madonsela and the Student Representative Council (SRC) Chairperson, Xola Njengele, are leading a climb up Table Mountain and on <strong>Saturday, 28 November</strong> they will be leading a walkathon in Pniel, just outside Stellenbosch. </p><p>These events form part of the #Action4Inclusion Campaign, a student funding initiative established earlier this year by the SRC and Prof Madonsela, in an effort to ensure that no student is left behind due to their financial circumstances. All funds raised will go towards the scrapping of debt for working class and middle-class income household students who are struggling to pay their fees. </p><p>"Student debt is a global impediment to access to higher education for many students with some of the students forced to abandon their studies when they are about to complete their degrees. The problem primarily affects students from the so-called missing middle and students from poor working-class backgrounds that have fallen off the NSFAS criteria, often for reasons beyond their control," Madonsela explains.<br></p><p>“The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown us a curveball this year, but with the relaxed restrictions, we are now ready to embark on our planned activities – of course with the necessary safety precautions in place," she adds.</p><p>According to Karen Bruns, Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations, this initiative will indeed complement existing efforts to raise much-need funds for Matie students. "It is heartening to see our students and staff coming together to support one another as we work towards ensuring equal opportunities for all."</p><p>Tickets cost R54 per person for the Table Mountain Climb and R150 per person for the Walkathon and can be purchased on the day of the event or be deposited into the following #ActionforInclusion account: </p><p>Bank: Standard Bank<br> Branch: Stellenbosch<br> Branch code: 05 06 10<br> Account name: University of Stellenbosch<br> Account number: 073006955<br> Reference: R9861 </p><p>Please send proof of payment to <a href=""></a> with your contact details. A ticket will then be issued to you via email, for you to bring with on the day.</p><p>For those who are not able to take part in the planned activities, the option is there to make a donation on the online giving platform, GivenGain. All contributions, no matter how small, are welcomed and will be greatly appreciated. <br></p><p><strong>Programme of Activities:</strong></p><p><strong>Table Mountain Climb</strong></p><p>Date: Sunday, 22 November 2020</p><p>Start: 06:30</p><p>End: 10:00</p><p>Place: Table Mountain (Main Gate)</p><p><strong>Walkathon</strong></p><p>Date: Saturday, 28 November 2020<br></p><p>Start: 06:30</p><p>End: 10:00</p><p>Place:  Pniel Museum </p><p><strong>On the web: </strong></p><ul><li>#Action4Inclusion website:  <a href=""></a></li><li>#Action4Inclusion on GivenGain: <a href=""></a><br></li></ul><p><br></p>
SU Convocation: Call for nominations Convocation: Call for nominationsDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​​​Members of Stellenbosch University's (SU) Convocation have been invited to nominate candidates to serve on the executive committee for a term of three years after three vacancies had arisen on the executive committee of the Convocation. <br></p><p>These vacancies had occurred after the resignation of the President, the secretary and one of the additional members. </p><p>Nominations are open for 30 days and will close on <strong>Thursday, 26 November 2020. </strong>Nominations must be submitted via e-mail to <a href=""><strong></strong></a> on or before the closing date. </p><p>A member can be nominated for election by one proposer, and four other members must second the nomination. The nomination must be accompanied with a declaration by the nominee that he/she accepts the nomination and will abide by the rules for the election and must include a vision statement of no more than 50 words. <br></p><ul><li><h4>​<strong style="text-decoration:underline;">CLICK </strong><a href="/english/donors/Documents/Nomination_Form_2020.docx" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>HERE</strong></a> for the nomination form. </h4></li><li><h4><a href="/english/donors/Documents/ProcedureE.pdf" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>CLICK HERE</strong></a> to read more on the procedure to nominate and elect the Executive Committee of the Convocation.<br></h4></li></ul><p><br></p>
Matie entrepreneurs off to Las Vegas entrepreneurs off to Las VegasDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​​A journey that started in Stellenbosch University’s Metanoia residence in 2017 has culminated in an invitation to attend Agenda Las Vegas, a streetwear tradeshow in the USA in 2021.​<br></p><p>Stellenbosch University (SU) graduate Abdu-Shakoer Baderoen and his two best friends Chad Mockey (also an SU alumnus) and Ethan Beukes conceptualised and established the brand BRAhSSE while they were still students.</p><p>Baderoen graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing in 2018, while Mockey obtained his BA degree in Geography and Environmental Studies in 2019. Beukes studies at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography.</p><p>According to Baderoen, they started BRAhSSE to make a meaningful contribution to post-apartheid South Africa by creating a clothing and accessories brand that celebrates unity in diversity.</p><p>"Brasse is the slang word we use for friends in the Cape coloured community," says Baderoen. To differentiate their brand from the original word, they inserted a lowercase h in the middle, which stands for heritage.</p><p>"Our brand represents a fresh, authentic and honest reflection of contemporary South African culture."</p><p>Street fashion offers the opportunity to use what you have to express yourself, he explains. Some of their designs are inspired by the colours of the Bo-Kaap and the 'Klopse' and popular items include bucket hats, T-shirts and hoodies. In 2018, BRAhSSE formed a collaboration with the soft drink brand Jive to use BRAhSSE clothing in Jive’s advertising and promotional material.</p><p>Every now and again they also create an item to encourage critical engagement about certain issues. Last year they released a T-shirt with the image of a gun shooting flowers, to initiate conversations about issues like gang violence. When COVID-19 hit, they started making masks too.</p><p>Baderoen comes from the Strand, where he matriculated from Gordon High School.</p><p>"I come from a disadvantaged background and stay with my single mother and my sister. When I came to Stellenbosch in 2014, I told myself to make the most of the opportunity that I got to study at Stellenbosch University and try my best to change my circumstances."</p><p>Baderoen was a resident and later house committee member of Metanoia, where he was exposed to a many people from different backgrounds, heritages and cultures.</p><p>"I made so many friends and learned a lot from them. This gave me the inspiration for the brand."</p><p>Baderoen and Mockey have not only built a business together – for the past few years they were also together on the rugby field as SU’s well-known mascot "Pokkel" and the Varsity Cup mascot "Prof".</p><p>"It’s been very special to contribute to the gees at Varsity Cup games, as well as people's happiness and enjoyment of the event. Pokkel and Prof were always up to something. We have some great memories," laughs Baderoen.</p><p>It’s been a tough journey for these young entrepreneurs. The business consumes all their free time but Baderoen can’t afford to leave his day job, as he has to support himself and his family. This has made it difficult for the young, small start-up to get funding from government sources.</p><p>"It’s been very hard to balance everything. Sometimes I want to give up," says Baderoen as his voice breaks. "But I think we also inspire other young people, and that makes me happy."</p><p>They are currently raising funds to attend the Agenda Las Vegas show in March next year.</p><p>"We want to go there and do business so that we can create employment and opportunities for other businesses here. We want to show the youth that anything is possible if you just go after your dreams and try your utmost best to make things happen. Hard work will forever be the key to success.</p><p>“We want to make BRAhSSE a proudly South African brand.”</p><p><strong>To support them, visit:</strong></p><p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong></strong></a><strong>​</strong><br></p><p><br></p>
Anton Lubowski 'the embodiment of the fight for social justice' Lubowski 'the embodiment of the fight for social justice'Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni​​The second Anton Lubowski Memorial Lecture which paid tribute to the anti-apartheid activist and advocate under the theme Social Justice, Quo Vadis - Is Social Justice happening?<em> </em>was held online on Saturday, 12 September 2020.​<div><br><p>The event was presented by Stellenbosch University's (SU) Development and Alumni Relations Division in partnership with the Faculty of Law and Simonsberg Men's Residence.<br></p><p style="font-size:14px;color:#333333;font-family:calibri, verdana, trebuchet, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, "helvetica neue";background-color:#ffffff;">Lubowski was a Stellenbosch student and a Simonsberg resident in the seventies. He initially enrolled at SU in 1972 for a BCom degree but transferred to a BA Law degree in 1973 and graduated in March 1976. <br></p><p>Speakers featured at the event included jurist, academic and media personality Judge Dennis Davis; psychologist and holder of the research chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation studies at SU, Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela; and Dr Ismail Lagardien, a prominent author and commentator. Max du Preez, author, commentator and editor of <em>Vrye Weekblad, </em>was the moderator.<br></p><p>Du Preez, a good friend of Lubowski, said although Anton was a fervent Namibian patriot, he inspired many young South Africans.<br></p><p>“The driving force behind Anton's passionate commitment toward the struggle in Namibia was his fundamental sense of justice. He was prepared to risk his life in the pursuit of social, economic and political justice, and the human dignity of ordinary Namibians."<br></p><p>Du Preez compared Lubowski to another famous lawyer and activists George Bizos who passed away on 9 September 2020.<br></p><p>“They were both motivated by a sense of justice rather than ideology. They were proof that you could indeed have a pale skin and be a red-blooded African."<br></p><p>He lamented the fact that, 31 years after his assassination, the criminal justice systems of Namibia and South Africa have still not provided the Lubowski family with proper closure on why Anton was killed and by whom.<br></p><p>Davis, who was Lubowski's lecturer at the University of Cape Town in 1977, said he has mixed emotions when reflecting on the life of the brave hero.<br></p><p>“I have a considerable amount of pride that in my very first year as a law teacher, I came across Anton as one of my students. It is also true that I have a considerable admiration for him. He was charismatic, he filled a room. <br></p><p>“But there is also a sense of frustration. Here we are in South Africa struggling to develop a new conception of identity to transcend the divisions of race, gender and sexual orientation. If we want to pursue social justice for all, we have to heed the lessons from the life of Anton who understood perfectly well that justice does not have boundaries of colour or gender."<br></p><p>Gobodo-Madikizela said the examples of Lubowski and others like him are the embodiment of the kind of fight for social justice that inspires responsible citizenship. <br></p><p>“Yet today, as the country suffers under COVID-19, we witness again the continuing injustice of an ANC government's lack of accountability. Our country is reeling with rape, murder and inhuman acts that cause untold suffering and which are tolerated by government."<br></p><p>She said the commitment to love and solidarity as exemplified by Lubowski, is what is needed now. <br></p><p>“Love has everything to do with social justice. It is the absence of love and care for the other that results in their dehumanisation. The shining legacy of Anton is his love of humanity. This is the distinctive feature of people like him."<br></p><p>Lagardien expanded on the definitions of social justice ­and argued that dignity and respect should be added to the list.<br></p><p>“We need greater equality to goods and services, equal and effective industrial and political rights and the knowledge and language to defend oneself in a court of law. Then you have to include dignity and respect in that."<br></p><p>He added that greater effort should go into correcting the machinery of social injustice.<br></p><p>“The institutions that we create in a society have the power to reproduce inequality. We need to look at the institutions that reproduce it and fix it. So many of the losses inflicted on the poorest people are a result of deliberate policies."<br></p><p><br></p></div>
SU partners with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to drive student success partners with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to drive student success Corporate Communication and Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking<p>Stellenbosch University (SU), in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, is excited to announce the launch of the Dell Young Leaders programme, enabling Stellenbosch University students from low-income backgrounds to receive increased support towards university graduation. <br></p><p>This month, Stellenbosch University will open applications for qualifying first-year students and select 100 Dell Young Leaders for the inaugural class. Over five years, the programme seeks to benefit 1,000 Maties.  </p><p>Dell Young Leaders come from low-income communities and are the first in their families to attend university, so earning a degree is an essential step towards prosperity. The Dell Young Leaders programme offers support to students in the areas most needed, helping them overcome their individual challenges so they can graduate from university and move onto a meaningful career. To date, 97% of <a href="">Dell Young Leaders</a> have either graduated or are still actively pursuing their studies, and 98% of graduates are employed or are pursuing further study.  </p><p>The Dell Young Leaders programme — which has been running for 10 years in South Africa — will select low-income students enrolled in professional degrees at Stellenbosch University for a top-up scholarship that will cover the gap in their full cost of attendance at university. Students will also receive ongoing targeted and personalised advice and resources on campus from dedicated programme staff. This includes mentorship, academic support, wellness resources, leadership development, career coaching, and graduate job placement. The programme ultimately helps students with challenges they encounter on their journeys to graduation and into the world of work.</p><p>“We are continuously inspired by the driven students in our programme, who overcome immense odds to make not only their life, but the lives of their families and communities, better," said Helen Vaughan, Program Manager of University Success in South Africa, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “We are excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Stellenbosch University, assisting more students as they graduate, secure meaningful employment, and become leaders in their chosen professions." </p><p>In the spirit of ensuring more students thrive, Stellenbosch University has committed to allocating increased scholarship funds of its own to grow the number of students who will benefit from this programme, thereby doubling up on student success. </p><p>“We are excited at the possibility of extending our scholarship offering for students from low-income backgrounds at our university through a comprehensive, multi-layered support programme in partnership with Michael & Susan Dell Foundation's Dell Young Leaders programme," says Prof Wim de Villiers, rector and vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University. “The Dell Young Leaders programme is a vehicle to help SU fulfil its core strategic objectives. At SU, we value our students and are committed to delivering a transformative student experience to each one of them."</p><p>The Dell Young Leaders programme will add to several of Stellenbosch University's ongoing initiatives to drive student success. The addition is part of the university's overall efforts to ensure that the university is accessible to qualifying students from all backgrounds, particularly to those facing barriers to success in university education. The university regards this as a journey — from the first contact with prospective students until they graduate and embrace the role of alumni. </p><p>Karen Bruns, senior director of development and alumni relations at Stellenbosch University noted the perfect fit of the partnership: “This partnership will surely improve outcomes for students who become Dell Young Leaders, and in the long-term benefit their families. This resonates strongly with our intention as a university of having a positive social impact and of ensuring that our students feed into growing the economy of the country with appropriate skills, both from the curricula and alongside formal education."</p><ul><li><strong>The inaugural class of Dell Young Leaders will be announced on November 6. Learn more about the Dell Young Leaders programme on </strong><a href=""><strong></strong></a><strong>.</strong></li></ul><p><br></p>
#Train4Fees campaign crosses the finish line campaign crosses the finish lineDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>Student athletes at Stellenbosch University (SU) who have lost financial backing due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, will soon receive a financial lifeline after sport stars, coaches, alumni and friends of the University went the extra mile to help raise money to pay their outstanding tuition fees. <br></p><p>A total amount of R1, 808, 428 was raised as part of SU's #Train4Fees campaign after a generous donor committed to match funds raised in July and August on a rand-for-rand basis. “We are in the process of finalising the list of student athletes who will benefit, but for now our aim is for at least 45 students to receive financial help," says Hans Scriba, Fundraising Manager at SU's Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR).</p><p>According to Scriba, 109 players, staff and supporters heeded the call and signed up to raise funds for the #Train4Fees campaign, while over 480 donations were received from alumni, supporters and corporate donors. Notably, among the campaign's supporters were Stormers and Springboks Pieter-Steph du Toit, Breyton Paulse and Schalk Brits. </p><p>The campaign's youngest fundraiser, 5-year-old Michael Allcock, managed to complete a 50km walk and raised R9 500, almost double his original target of R5 000. </p><p>"We are so grateful that our greater Maties family have put their hands in their pockets and shown our students tremendous support. All the effort put in over these past three months exceeded our expectations. To be in a position to help our students, is heart-warming and will go a long way in ensuring that no student is left behind," says Scriba.</p><p>Launched on 1 June 2020 by Maties Sport and DAR, the three-month #Train4Fees campaign came to an end on 31 August 2020.  Supporters could either make a donation towards any of the various Matie sporting codes on the GivenGain fundraising platform or sign up to become a fundraiser themselves. Fundraisers could run, cycle, walk or skateboard while asking their network – family, friends, colleagues, or neighbours — to make a donation per kilometre.  </p><p>“It just goes to show that with a little effort, we can all make a huge difference," Scriba adds.</p><p>Ilhaam Groenewald, Chief Director of Maties Sport, says this very important initiative was one of the most exciting experiences during the lockdown period. “It brought us together as a team to deliver a positive result for our student athletes."<br></p>
Inspiring alumnae launch new network for Matie women alumnae launch new network for Matie womenDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​Stellenbosch University's Development and Alumni Relations Division on Wednesday (26 August 2020) launched a new initiative that aims to enable networking among Matie women from diverse backgrounds and industries around the world.<br></p><p>Known as the Stellenbosch Women Alumnae Network (SWAN), the initiative aims to bring women graduates together through mentorship programmes, leadership training and round-table discussions. </p><p>According to Karen Bruns, Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations, SWAN was formed to prove that Stellenbosch women can be just as successful as philanthropists and active citizens as their male counterparts. <br></p><p>“Stellenbosch University has through the decades delivered fantastic women graduates to the business world, arts and culture and science and technology, as well as fantastic innovators and entrepreneurs," said Bruns. “We know that Matie women are extremely well-connected, have strong opinions on things and have worked hard to make their mark in our communities, our country and on the global stage. We want the SWAN network to grow and aim to run regular SWAN meetings with our alumnae in South Africa and around the world."</p><p>Dr Nthabiseng Moleko, an alumna who advocates for women's rights on the Commission for Gender Equality where she is the Deputy Chairperson, facilitated the inaugural SWAN event. <br></p><p>She challenged the participants to use their skills and knowledge to help provide solutions to issues such as gender-based violence and the economic crisis in the country.<br></p><p>“For too long we have left things to everyone else. We need to start picking up the baton as civil society and as academics," said Moleko. “Our education should be used to transform the world and to make the world better in our respective callings and sectors of work."<br></p><p>Dr Marlene le Roux, CEO of the Artscape Theatre, co-founder of the Women's Achievement Network for Disability and twice Stellenbosch University Alumna of the Year, was the keynote speaker at the event.<br></p><p>The disability and women's rights activist shared her experiences in the workplace with regards to ethics, human resource and cultural practices.<br></p><p> “As women we are confronted with discrimination, humiliation, and inequality. But how can we bring about change in a positive way? As a leader I feel that we need to concentrate our efforts on young people. We need to use our backgrounds, challenges and positive influences to mentor young people so that they do not experience the same difficulties that we have been experiencing.</p><p>“From a cultural perspective, we as leaders also need to look at the importance of everybody in the workplace, not only directors and the executive members. The policies need to be fair. How do we accommodate different cultural and religious practices in the workplace? What type of leave do we take into consideration? An employee will appreciate you more if you allow them to choose one or two practices which is important to their belief system and implement it as the leave days they take.  It is extremely important to remember that we are not born with culture, religion or even language for that matter. These are learnt and acquired influences in our lives impacting and determining our behaviour and reactions to other learnt cultures, languages and religions.</p><p>"When we factor some of the above in with our employees, the employee in turn gives you 150% more because you care and you made an effort to understand them and to engage with them.</p><p>“Thirdly, we cannot bring about gender empowerment if we do not bring men to the table as well. We need to have robust discussions with men on how we make changes and how we are going to stop this evil in society." <br></p><p>Le Roux added that the workplace is not just a place for different language and cultural groups to huddle together, but an ideal opportunity for a diverse workforce to talk and share things that are important. We need to learn to practise positive cultural interactions and understanding.<br></p><ul><li>Join SWAN on <a href="" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>​</strong></a>, where we will share information on all upcoming networking opportunities and shine the spotlight on more outstanding Matie women. <br></li></ul><p><br></p>
Multiple votes of confidence in SU votes of confidence in SUWim de Villiers<p><span style="text-align:right;">​Dear member of the SU community</span><br></p><p>When days are dark, friends are few – at least according to the classics. Stellenbosch University (SU) has turned this old adage on its head amidst the turmoil and difficulties that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing national state of disaster and prolonged period of lockdown.</p><p>I am happy to report that we have recently received substantial support from individual donors, industry leaders as well as local and international trusts and foundations, signalling their unwavering confidence in SU as a leader in higher education on our continent.</p><p>We are immensely grateful for this support, which will help us nurture close relationships with our stakeholders as a national asset serving the whole of society. Allow me to briefly cite a few telling examples, while at the same time acknowledging each and every donation, large or small. In doing so, I follow the example of American television host David Letterman, who always used to close the <em>Late Show</em> with a “Top Ten List". Here is my selection of recent highlights:</p><p>(1) The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), a philanthropic non-profit organisation based in the US, has made a significant grant to SU for tailored academic and psychosocial support for students who are vulnerable and at risk of not graduating or moving on to their next year of study. This will bolster the academic support that we provide to our students to ensure that they stay on course with their studies, despite challenges they might face. </p><p>(2) This has been complemented by a substantial donation from the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust in support of SU's rapid and successful switch to emergency remote teaching, learning and assessment in order to complete the academic year successfully. The grant provides design capacity for online learning materials, enables the development of online assessment protocols, and ensures a well-coordinated tutor and mentorship programme. </p><p>(3) The Harry Crossley Foundation has confirmed a special COVID-19 grant, which will enable us to further expand the tutoring provided to students at SU. Tutoring and mentoring have been linked to academic success the world over, and this has certainly been our experience at SU as well.</p><p>(4) DeepMind, a London-based world leader in artificial intelligence research and its real-world applications, has announced that its first postgraduate scholarships in Africa will be awarded to students at SU. The company forms part of Google. These scholarships will boost much-needed postgraduate research in applied mathematics, statistics, electrical and electronic engineering and computer science on our continent.</p><p>(5) MSDF has also made a major grant towards the digitalisation of the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) of Tygerberg Hospital, a close partner of our Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The ground-breaking system will capture data through the use of cameras, tablet computers and voice and electronic notes onto a central database that will enable specialists to monitor patients remotely. The benefits of this investment will continue to be felt long after the current pandemic has abated.</p><p>(6) We are delighted by the enthusiastic response to our <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">#MaskedMasterpieces</span> </a>public art project, which is helping to bring visitors back to Stellenbosch under level 2 of the lockdown regulations. Contributions of time, talent and treasure continue to stream in from corporates, individuals, alumni and friends of the University (including Investec and Stellenbosch Mayor Gesie van Deventer, to name just a few). All funds raised will go towards bursaries for students in the “missing middle".</p><p>(7) A big shout out-to all our loyal staff members who have contributed selflessly to the University – not only through their tireless efforts in learning and teaching, research and innovation and social impact, but also through donations to the <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">SU COVID-19 Relief Fund</span></a>, which was launched in May. Some have upped their regular donations to the University; others donated for the first time. Thank you, colleagues! </p><p>(8) Well done to our youngest fundraiser, five-year old <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Mikey Allcock</span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </span>(his mum, Candice Egan, works in our Development and Alumni Relations Division.) This intrepid youngster has walked 50 km in support of SU's #Train4Fees campaign! The aim is to raise funds for a diverse group of 75 student athletes who have lost financial backing due to the impact of COVID-19. The campaign has received phenomenal support so far – more than 100 individuals have created fundraising projects and more than 400 donations have been received, prompting an extension of the deadline to 31 August. Visit <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"></span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </span>for more information.</p><p>(9) Record amounts have been raised from donors this year. Donations received for the period January to June 2020 are 51% higher compared to the corresponding period in 2019. </p><p>Our deepest gratitude to our donors for their assistance in this challenging time. We consider it an endorsement of the quality of SU's academic offering, the calibre and outputs of our research projects and the importance that we place in support to our students. </p><p>(10) Which brings me to my final point – another vote of confidence in SU, this time not by donors but by prospective students who want to enrol with us. Since the opening of applications for undergraduate studies in March, we closely monitored trends to determine whether the coronavirus pandemic would have a negative impact on our numbers. But it was quite the opposite. Completed applications increased by 9%, and our provisional offers to candidates by 7%.</p><p>We will not waver in our commitment to deliver sought-after graduates equipped to help our country, our continent and the rest of the world meet future challenges. The confidence shown in us also obliges us to maintain our impeccable institutional reputation for good governance and business ethics. I am sure I speak for the whole SU community when I say these are responsibilities that we proudly assume.</p><p>Sincerely,</p><p><strong>Prof Wim de Villiers</strong><br><strong> Rector and Vice-Chancellor​​</strong></p>
SU strengthens academic and psychosocial support for students strengthens academic and psychosocial support for studentsDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>​Stellenbosch University (SU) is providing additional support to undergraduate students to stay on track with their studies and better adapt within the changed context of virtual learning as South Africa continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.<br></p><p>“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it many new challenges and risks that the University has been working hard to mitigate. When on-campus activities were suspended towards the end of March, we rapidly switched to online learning. Classes resumed online on 20 April, thanks to the tireless efforts of teaching and support staff," SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers said.</p><p>“We remain acutely aware of the challenges that our students face in adapting to this new and largely unfamiliar mode of learning during the lockdown period. So, we are doing everything we can to ensure that all of our students – and especially those who are vulnerable – can successfully complete the academic year."</p><p>Laptops have been made available on a loan basis to socio-economically disadvantaged students and data bundles have been procured for all students to access the internet.</p><p>Staff training to provide engaging content has also been a key priority. Furthermore, the capacity of SUNLearn, the University's study management system, has been boosted to handle the increased demand now that most activities are taking place online. Systems have been streamlined to make it easier for students to access the necessary resources and information.</p><p>In addition, the University's Centre for Student Counselling and Development is now providing online and telephonic services to those who need academic, emotional or emergency assistance during these times.</p><p>A grant provided by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, a US-based philanthropic non-profit organisation, will go towards tailored academic and psychosocial support for students who are vulnerable and at risk of not graduating or moving on to their next year of study. The grant will bolster academic support to ensure that every student stays on course, despite the challenges that they may experience. “We are grateful to the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, whose support strengthens our interventions to help our students succeed," De Villiers said.</p><p>Dr Thashlin Govender, Programme Director at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said, “There is a need for organisations to come together, collaborate and invest in programmes that help university students succeed. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is committed to working with like-minded partners, such as SU, to provide students with the continuous support they need to overcome the challenges they may face along their journey."<br></p>
Preschooler raises funds for Maties #Train4Fees campaign raises funds for Maties #Train4Fees campaignDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>Michael Allcock (5) is in the home straight of walking 50 km in support of Stellenbosch University's #Train4Fees campaign. In fact, the campaign's youngest fundraiser might even add a few kilometres to his goal now that the campaign's end date has been extended to 31 August.<br></p><p>Launched on 1 June 2020 by Maties Sport and the Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR), the campaign aims to help student athletes who have lost financial backing due to the impact of COVID-19. </p><p>To date R837,512 has been raised, and Michael has reached 75% of his R5 000 target.</p><p>According to his mom, Candice Egan, the preschooler's age – five – played a role in the decision to set targets of 50km and R5000.</p><p>Egan, who works in the Development and Alumni Relations Division, describes Michael as a very curious, very energetic boy who is interested in what goes on around him.</p><p>When he heard her discussing the #Train4Fees campaign, he decided that he “also wanted to play".</p><p>“I thought it might be a good way of getting rid of some excess energy, and all for a good cause," says Egan.</p><p>Michael wears a fitness tracker for their walks through their neighbourhood as he likes to take different routes.</p><p>“That way we know how far he has gone – usually between 1.5 and 2.5 km per walk."</p><p>Although he doesn't completely grasp the #Train4Fees concept, Michael – who attends Barkly House Pre-Primary School in Kenilworth when there isn't a pandemic – has a vague understanding that what he does will help “big kids go to school".</p><p>Egan would like her children to learn the importance of sharing and develop empathy for people who are less fortunate. As they grow older, they will hopefully realise that anyone can make a difference by doing the little that they can, she adds.</p><p>With the extended end date, the campaign now has a new fundraising target of R2 million.</p><p>"We currently have over 300 student athletes who have applied for financial assistance and we would ideally want to help all of them," says Hans Scriba, Fundraising Manager.</p><p>So how can YOU get involved? </p><p>You can sponsor any of the fundraisers on the Maties GivenGain platform in your chosen sport - rugby, soccer, cricket, netball and hockey – or support other sporting codes on the Maties Sport Page – or you can sign up to become a fundraiser for #Train4Fees, by either running, cycling, skateboarding or power walking yourself … whatever fitness training you enjoy.</p><ul><li><strong>#Train4Fees on Maties Alumni</strong> <strong>website:</strong> <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"></a></li><li><strong>#Train4Fees on GivenGain</strong> website: <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"></a></li><li><strong>​Michael's GivenGain page: </strong><a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"></a></li></ul><p><br></p>