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SU’s Prof Opara to lead the world’s agricultural engineershttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4089SU’s Prof Opara to lead the world’s agricultural engineersEngela Duvenage<p><em>CIGR is umbrella body of the world's agricultural engineers</em></p><p>Stellenbosch University distinguished professor and research chair Prof Umezuruike Linus Opara has been elected as the incoming president of the International <a href="http://www.cigr.org/">Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering</a> (<em>Commission Internationale du Génie Rural</em> or CIGR). It is the worldwide umbrella agricultural engineering organisation, and consists of a network of regional and national <a href="http://www.cigr.org/Who-We-Are/member-organizations.php">societies of agricultural engineering</a> as well as private and public companies and individuals globally. </p><p>Prof Opara was elected to the position during the recent <a href="http://conferences.au.dk/cigr-2016/">International Conference on Agricultural Engineering</a> held in Denmark and organised by the <a href="http://www.eurageng.eu/">European Society of Agricultural Engineers</a> under the auspices of the CIGR. </p><p>The election means that he will first serve on the Presidium of the CIGR for two years as incoming president, before taking up the position as president around 2019. He will then serve the CIGR for another two years as past president. Prof Opara is the first engineer from sub-Saharan Africa to be elected into this position and his term coincides with the 90<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the CIGR. </p><p>He will juggle his new responsibilities in tandem with those placed on him as holder of the DST-NRF South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology at Stellenbosch University and as distinguished professor in the Department of Horticultural Science. </p><p>Prof Opara, who has been a SU staff member since 2009, is a recipient of the 2016 <a href="http://www0.sun.ac.za/pgstudies/news/stellenbosch-pomegranate-researcher-honoured-with-african-union-science-prize.html">African Union Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Award</a> for senior researchers. He qualified as an agricultural engineer from universities in Nigeria and New Zealand, and serves on numerous international committees and editorial boards. He is a fellow of the South African Institution of Agricultural Engineers. Prof Opara is also the founding president of the<a href="http://www.pasae.org.za/"> Pan African Society for Agricultural Engineering</a> (AfroAgEng), which was established during a CIGR International Technical Symposium held at Stellenbosch University in 2012.</p><p>His multi-disciplinary research team is the leading group worldwide working on postharvest practices that improve the postharvest handling, packaging and marketing of pomegranate fruit. His research group also tests and develops packaging and quality control methods relevant to the handling and storage of fresh fruits and vegetables such as table grapes, citrus and apples. These efforts are focused on alleviating unnecessary food loss and waste, maintaining quality and adding value in the fruit and vegetable sector.</p><p>Although Stellenbosch University does not have a degree in agricultural engineering <em>per se</em>, Prof Opara says he is looking forward to using the new opportunity presented to him. He hopes it will help to deepen and strengthen the contributions of engineering and related programmes at SU in the agriculture, food and related sectors. </p><p>"The work of individual SU staff and postgraduate students in these areas are widely recognised by our peers, locally and internationally," he says. "Through collaboration and co-supervision we have several PhD and MEng students registered in the faculties of Engineering and AgriSciences working on different research topics in agricultural and biosystems engineering." </p><ul><li><a href="http://www0.sun.ac.za/pgstudies/news/stellenbosch-pomegranate-researcher-honoured-with-african-union-science-prize.html"><strong>Background information</strong></a> about Prof Linus Opara<br> <br></li><li><strong>Photo caption:</strong><br> Prof Linus Opara (left) of Stellenbosch University with the immediate CIGR past president, Prof Tadeusz Juliszewski of Poland. Photo: Supplied</li></ul><p></p>
SU postgraduate students and postdocs visit Parliamenthttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3869SU postgraduate students and postdocs visit ParliamentDivision for Resesarch Development (DRD) / Afdeling Navorsingsontwikkeling (ANO)<p><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">​​<span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">A group of SU postgraduate students and postdocs attended the budget speech vote of minister Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology. The visit was per invitation by Minister Pandor and facilitated by the Division for Research Development. According to Maryke Hunter-Hüsselmann, who accompanied the group, it was a first time in parliament for most, and therefore a very informative experience. The budget speech vote was preceded by an exhibition in the Iziko Museum and a lecture by Dr Marcus Cornaro, EU Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa. Find a summary of the budget speech vote below. </span></span></p><div><br class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"></div><div style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>South Africa is not investing enough in science, technology and innovation – Minister Pandor</strong></span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"><br></span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">South Africa is not investing enough in science, technology and innovation. According to the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, if we do not change this trend, we will be overtaken by nations that have less capacity and knowledge resources than we have. Delivering her Budget Vote speech in Parliament this afternoon, the Minister said the failure to address the funding of this sector is causing the country to neglect several sectors that could offer South Africa talent, new products and real contributions to growth. Minister Pandor said that, despite this, the Department is making good progress in building a strong National System of Innovation. However, there are several areas of science in which we could do much more – such as creating new industries, new products and new services – but all these require additional financial resources.</span></div><div><br class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">The Minister said young people have been identified as those most in need of support through skills development and enterprise creation. "We intend to strengthen our efforts to reach the youth."</span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"><br></span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">In this regard, the Department plans to host an inaugural Youth Assembly on the knowledge economy. The Assembly will provide a forum for young people to learn how to create businesses and social enterprises using advances in technology and knowledge. In 2015/16, the DST supported 1 276 youth through the Technology Innovation Agency. This includes support for 52 youth-owned SMEs, 951 youth-owned SMEs that receive support from the Technology Stations Programme, and 273 individuals trained through the Youth Skills Development Programme, with 85 of them receiving international training. The Minister also believes that innovation could play an important role in improving local service delivery and addressing the challenges facing local governments. "We will assist municipalities in creating innovation centres that will work with our agencies, local universities and the private sector. These partnerships will enable us to identify and tackle local and national problems. The Department continues to collaborate with district municipalities to build and strengthen science capacity to advance local economic development," she said.</span></div><div><br class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">Over the last year, the Department has formalised cooperation with the South African Local Government Association and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to tackle local challenges.</span></div><div><br class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">The DST will pilot a grassroots innovation initiative in 2016/17 with a R2 million investment that will focus on supporting innovators and technology entrepreneurs in the informal sector and in marginalised communities.</span></div><div><br class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">The DST's total budget for the 2016/17 financial year is R7,4 billion, of which R2,7 billion in Parliamentary Grants is transferred to the entities reporting to the Department, namely – </span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">•the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – R872 million;</span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">•the National Research Foundation – R883 million;</span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">•the Human Sciences Research Council – R290 million;</span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">•the Technology Innovation Agency – R382 million;</span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">•the South African National Space Agency – R125 million;</span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">•the Academy of Science of South Africa – R23 million.</span></div><div><br class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"><em>Issued by the Department of Science and Technology</em></span></div><div><br class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2"></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">Enquiries:</span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">Lunga Ngqengelele</span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">Media Liaison Officer</span></div><div><span class="ms-rteFontFace-5 ms-rteFontSize-2">082 566 0446</span></div><div><br class="ms-rteFontSize-2"></div>
Stellenbosch pomegranate researcher honoured with African Union Science Prizehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3437Stellenbosch pomegranate researcher honoured with African Union Science PrizeEngela Duvenage<p>​​​​</p><p>The African Union (AU) has bestowed one of its highest scientific honours upon agricultural engineer and postharvest technology expert Prof Umezuruike Linus Opara of Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He received the AU Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Award for senior researchers at the annual African Union Summit in Ethiopia, which concluded last week. <a href="http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/pr_24_-_african_union_kwame_nkrumah_continental_scientific_awards_2015_edition.pdf">Chemist Prof Nyokong Tebello of Rhodes University</a> in South Africa was honoured in the category for women in science.</p><p>Prof Opara, who hails from Nigeria, is holder of the DST-NRF South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology, and distinguished professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at Stellenbosch University. He has been a SU staff member since 2009 and is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).</p><p>His multi-disciplinary research team is the leading group worldwide working on postharvest practices that improve the postharvest handling, packaging and marketing of pomegranate fruit. Prof Opara is recognised globally as the leading individual researcher on postharvest technology of pomegranates.</p><p>His research group also tests and develops packaging and quality control methods relevant to the handling and storage of fruits and vegetables such as table grapes, citrus and apples. These efforts are focused on alleviating unnecessary food loss and waste in the fruit and vegetable sector. His team also recently investigated the preservation and quality of fish, and the use of cassava flour to make bread with. </p><p>"It is an honour to have one's work recognised on such a continent-wide scale, but credit should also go to my research team and industry for supporting my ideas and research interests," says Prof Opara, who graduated in agricultural engineering from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He holds a PhD from Massey University in New Zealand. </p><p>"Scientific research can play a crucial role in enhancing the profitability and sustainability of agribusiness," notes Prof Opara. "This award is particularly special because it also recognises the impact of our research on building human capacity in South Africa and Africa as a whole."</p><p>Since joining Stellenbosch University in 2009, Prof Opara has mentored the studies of 18 PhD and 21 MSc students from 15 African countries. In 2015 he also received an <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=2876">IMPRESSA award</a>.</p><p>He is the honorary vice president of the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR) and honorary chair of the CIGR Section VI: Postharvest Technology and Agro-Processing. He also chairs the International Society for Horticultural Science's Vegetables Section (Roots, Tuber, Edible Bulbs, Brassica & Asparagus) and previously served on the advisory board of international organisations such as the Horticulture Innovation Lab of the Feed the Future Programme in the USA.</p><p>Prof Opara is the founding editor-in-chief of the <em>International Journal of Postharvest Technology, </em>and has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and industry journals. He has given over 150 oral presentations at international conferences, including several invited keynotes addresses and served in expert panels related to food security, value addition and agricultural transformation.</p><p> </p><p><strong>More about the African Union </strong><strong>Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards</strong></p><p>The AU awards programme has since 2008 honoured the scientific achievements, valuable discoveries and findings of top African scientists. Previous South African winners include HIV researcher Prof Abdool Karim of the University of KwaZulu-Nata   and Prof Mike Wingfield of the University of Pretoria.</p><p>For more information, see <a href="http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/pr_24_-_african_union_kwame_nkrumah_continental_scientific_awards_2015_edition.pdf">http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/pr_24_-_african_union_kwame_nkrumah_continental_scientific_awards_2015_edition.pdf</a></p><p><strong><br>Photograph caption</strong></p><p>Prof Linus Opara (middle) of Stellenbosch University received the African Union (AU) Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Award at the AU Summit in Ethiopia. With him are the newly elected AU Chairperson, Mr Idriss Deby Itno of the Republic of Chad, and Dr Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma, Chair of the AU Commission. Photo: Supplied</p><p> </p><p>​</p>
SU celebrates African University Day http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=3164SU celebrates African University Day Amanda Tongha<p style="text-align:justify;">​​​​​Stellenbosch University (SU) joined higher education institutions on the continent celebrating African University Day on 12 November. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Commemorated by the Association of African Universities (AAU), the day has been celebrated by higher education institutions since 2006. This year's theme was "Internationalization of Higher Education" with the AAU inviting higher education institutions to create platforms for intellectual discussions and debates on the key issues African universities should focus on. </p><p>"Internationalisation is now an integral part of higher education in all parts of the world and in many instances, a major driving force for change in universities. African universities, should therefore adopt new internationalisation strategies," the Association said in a media release. </p><p>"We need to contextualise and prioritise our activities by giving preference to national, regional as well as global activities. In a world that is inevitably globalised, working and collaborating with institutions in all parts of the world, on clear, agreed terms, can only be enriching for universities and students in Africa," it stated.</p><p>At its headquarters in Ghana, tertiary education institutions and other higher-education stakeholders discuss the topic. The Ghana event was be hosted by the Ashesi University, Berekuso. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Celebrating the day, staff and students at SU reflected on successes and challenges at universities in Africa in video clips posted on social media and other communication channels.</p><p>"Stellenbosch University has an active and multi-layered international engagement, not only in Africa, but also around the world," Christopher Muller, Coordinator: Africa Academic Networks at the Postgraduate and International Office (PGIO), said in one of the clips. </p><p>In another clip Dr Cindy-Lee Steenkamp, Director of the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, spoke about the Partnership for Africa's Next Generation of Academics (PANGeA) doctoral scholarship programme which has success throughput rate of more than 97% enrolled candidates. </p><p>PANGeA, is a collaborative network of leading African universities developing research capacity in the arts, humanities and social sciences. It also believes in bringing African expertise to Africa's challenges through the development of collaborative doctoral programmes. The partnership includes the universities of Stellenbosch, Makerere, Botswana, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Ghana and Malawi and is expanding into francophone Africa with the potential inclusion of the universities of Yaoundé I and Cheikh Anta Diop.</p><p>​Prof Linus Opara, distinguished professor in Postharvest Technology at the SU, spoke about outcomes of international engagements, while student leaders Tino Muzofa and Joshua Yeatman talk about the challenges for graduates on the continent today.</p><p>​Watch <a href="https://vimeo.com/145396845">these</a> and other video clips <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl7Vd4ZGzmM1GQLm2QkCzUg/videos">here</a>: <br></p>
Researcher in agricultural engineering honoured with an IMPRESSA Awardhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=2876Researcher in agricultural engineering honoured with an IMPRESSA AwardEngela Duvenage<p>​<span style="line-height:1.6;">​An excellent agricultural engineering researcher who is also helping to build Africa's human resource capacity – that's Prof Umezuruike Linus Opara, holder of the DST-NRF South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology, and distinguished professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at Stellenbosch University. He was recognised as such on Saturday with an IMPRESSA 2015/2016 Award by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). </span></p><p>The award was presented to him in Windhoek in Namibia during the RUFORUM annual general meeting of RUFORUM, a continent-widel network of 46 African universities in Eastern, Southern, Central and Western Africa. The IMPRESSA Award recognises impact research and science in Africa, and honours outstanding university scientists <strong>who have made a significant contribution in the field of agricultural research and science for development in Africa</strong>, including human and institutional development.</p><p>"While I am delighted that my work has been recognised on a continent-wide scale, the award equally recognises Stellenbosch University and the small team of dedicated and productive students and staff I have worked with over the years," he acknowledges humbly.</p><p>Since joining Stellenbosch University in 2009, Prof Opara has set up a state-of-the-art research laboratory that develops and tests various postharvest technologies and advancements.</p><p>He works on a wide range of products - from the postharvest handling and storage of fruit and vegetables such as table grapes and apples and pomegranates to fish preservation and the use of cassava flour as an alternative bread making option.</p><p>In particular, Prof Opara is recognised as the world's leading researcher of matters relating to postharvest technology suitable for pomegranate fruit. The National Research Foundation recently estimated that the efforts that his team has put into develop handling technologies for this anti-oxidant rich fruit work has provided R65 million of direct and indirect benefits to South Africa's fledgling pomegranate industry.</p><p>Forty graduate students (19 PhDs and 21 MSc students) and four postdoctoral fellows from over 15 African countries have since benefitted from the training and mentorship in agricultural science and engineering research he has provided at Stellenbosch University.</p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">Prof Opara's interest in making research work for farmers and agribusinesses has over the years taken him to several countries in Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Thanks to support from many development agencies he has been able to implement in-country training programmes in among others the Kingdom of Tonga, China, Mali, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sultanate of Oman and Cambodia. </span></p><p>Prof Opara serves on the advisory board of international organisations such as the Horticulture Innovation Lab of the Feed the Future Programme in the USA. He is the honorary vice president of the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR) and honorary chair of the CIGR Section VI: Postharvest Technology and Agro-Processing. He also chairs the </p><p>International Society for Horticultural Science's Vegetables Section (Roots, Tuber, Edible Bulbs, Brassica & Asparagus).</p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">He is the founding editor-in-chief of the </span><em style="line-height:1.6;">International Journal of Postharvest Technology, </em><span style="line-height:1.6;">and has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and industry journals. He has given over 150 oral presentations at international conferences, including several invited keynotes addresses and served in expert panels related to food security, value addition and agricultural transformation.</span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">This member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) graduated in agricultural engineering from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and holds a PhD from Massey University in New Zealand.</span></p><p><strong><br></strong></p><p><strong>Photograph caption</strong></p><p>Prof Linus Opara (right) received the IMPRESSA Award from Prof Levy Nyagura, outgoing Chairman of the Board of Trustees of RUFORUM and Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe. Photo: Supplied.</p><p><strong>Media enquiries:</strong></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">Prof Linus Opara</span></p><p>South African Chair in Postharvest Technology</p><p>Department of Horticultural Science, Stellenbosch University</p><p>opara@sun.ac.za</p><p>+27 21 808 4064</p>
FAO-SU workshop focuses on food manufacturing technologies in the Southern Hemispherehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=2754FAO-SU workshop focuses on food manufacturing technologies in the Southern HemisphereEngela Duvenhage<p>​​<span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">​Food manufacturing technologies, including packaging and storage options to reduce food loss, will be discussed when Southern Hemisphere experts gather at Stellenbosch University on 27 and 28 July 2015. The closed workshop is organised in conjunction with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Division of Rural Infrastructure and Agro-industries (AGS), the South-South Cooperation Team (TCSS) and the FAO Representation team in South Africa.</span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">"It provides a platform to exchange perspectives and to make recommendations about the development, transfer, acquisition and use of innovative technologies that add value during the processing stages, enhance food quality and reduce postharvest losses," explains workshop organiser Prof Umezuruike Linus Opara, Distinguished Professor of Postharvest Technology and holder of the South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technologies at Stellenbosch University.</span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">Participants will share experiences and discuss the latest value addition techniques used in various Southern Hemisphere countries for the small to medium scale processing of agricultural produce such as cereals, roots, tubers, fruits and vegetables. Innovations in packaging and cold chain management that address food safety and help reduce food losses will also be put on the table.</span></p><p>"Action areas and concrete steps will be identified through which the FAO and other partners can facilitate appropriate processes in developing countries," says Dr Tobias Takavarasha, FAO representative in South Africa.</p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;text-align:justify;">Among the workshop participants are Mr Joseph Mpagalile (FAO Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division), Dr Amauri Rosenthal (Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research), Prof Noureddine Benkeblia (University of the West Indies, Jamaica), Prof Steven Underhill (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia), Dr Lusike Wasilwa (Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation), Prof Xin-An Zeng (South China University of Technology) and HE Dr Rashid Al-Yahyai (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman). At the end of the workshop, follow-up actions will be developed to promote collaboration, networking and transfer of technologies between South-South countries.</span></p>
QS Rankings: SU agriculture and forestry experts the most influential in SAhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=2555QS Rankings: SU agriculture and forestry experts the most influential in SAEngela Duvenhage<p>​​<span style="line-height:1.6;">​​Where studies and research in agriculture and forestry are concerned, Stellenbosch University (SU) ranks as the most sought after and influential institution in South Africa. It is also ranked among the top 100 institutions worldwide in these fields, according to the </span><em style="line-height:1.6;">QS World University Rankings by Subject</em><span style="line-height:1.6;"> for 2015.</span></p><p>SU is considered one of the world's elite institutions in 10 of the 36 subjects featured on the list. This authoritative annual ranking serves as a useful guide for prospective international students. It indicates which universities are the most sought after and influential in specific fields of study. Institutions are measured based on their academic reputation, how highly regarded they are by employers, and their research impact.</p><p>According to Prof Danie Brink, acting dean for the Faculty of AgriSciences at Stellenbosch University, the results indicate the quality and applicability of the research undertaken in the faculty.</p><p>He thanked staff, co-workers, industry partners and postgraduate students for their contributions towards making Stellenbosch University a leader in agricultural research.</p><p>"We want to be increasingly involved in agricultural endeavours both in South Africa and Africa as a whole. Through our research and training we wish to contribute to the development of applicable technology, human resources and policy, in order to unlock the available potential in a sustainable manner for the benefit of society," explains Prof Brink.</p><p>Most studies and research in agriculture at SU are conducted within the eleven departments of the Faculty of AgriSciences. These include the Departments of Agronomy, Forest and Wood Science, Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Genetics, Soil Science, Horticultural Sciences, Agricultural Economics, Plant Pathology, Animal Sciences, Food Science, and Viticulture and Oenology. The faculty is furthermore also home to the Institute for Wine Biotechnology and the Institute for Plant Biotechnology, as well as four SARChl Chairs – in meat science, wine biotechnology, plant biotechnology and postharvest technology.</p><p>The Department of Forest and Wood Science in the Faculty of AgriSciences is the only tertiary institution in South Africa to offer both graduate and postgraduate courses in wood product sciences, forestry and natural resource management. It attracts many postgraduate students from other African countries.</p><p>According to Dr Pierre Ackermann, chairperson of Forest and Wood Sciences, the Department's success is due to the fact that activities are focused on the full value chain within forest and wood sciences, and not merely parts thereof.</p><p>"The Department is also in the unique position to effectively service forestry and processing industries locally and in the rest of Africa. This is done through capacity development programmes and research conducted by a small but talented team of lecturers and researchers," he says. "Our continued cooperation with European and North American institutions further underlines the Department's credibility."</p><p>Seven South African institutions (UCT, Wits, UP, UKZN, Rhodes, SU and UJ) took part in the latest QS ranking. The SU consistently appears in the top five positions nationally. It scored top honours in Agriculture and Forestry; second in Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Mathematics, third in Medicine, Environmental Sciences, Development Studies and Geography and fourth in English Language & Literature as well as Law.</p><p>On an overall international level, SU is ranked in the following positions, performing best in Development Studies at #46; followed by Agriculture & Forestry - #51-100; English Language & Literature - #151-200; Geography - #151-200; Law - #151-200; Biological Sciences - #251-300; Medicine - #251-300; Environmental Sciences - #251-300; Chemistry - #301-350; and Mathematics - #301-350.</p><p>"Rankings can be problematic in certain respects, but they are the global academic currency of our time. The achievement is however a clear indication that Stellenbosch University is indeed a world-class institution that can compete with the best in the international arena. I would go as far as saying that the SU brand is still undervalued. The achievement is also an endorsement of the academic and research excellence of an institution that has distinguished itself as an active and relevant role player in a global context," SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers said.</p><p><strong>Extra information:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="/english/Documents/Stellenbosch%20University_QS.pdf?Web=1"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Click here</strong></span></a><strong> </strong><strong>for an overview of SU's scores.</strong></li><li><strong>For more information on the QS World University Rankings visit:</strong><strong> </strong><a href="http://www.topuniversities.com/"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>www.topuniversities.com</strong></span></a><br><br><strong>Media enquiries:</strong><br><br>Prof Danie Brink<br><br>Acting dean: Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University<br><br><a href="mailto:db@sun.ac.za"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">db@sun.ac.za</span></a> or <a href="mailto:jer@sun.ac.za"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">jer@sun.ac.za</span></a><br><br>+27 21 808 4792</li></ul>