Welcome to Stellenbosch University



Take note, new Maties! note, new Maties!Sandra Mulder/Corporate Communications Division<p>​Stellenbosch University (SU) will welcome 5 300 newcomer students to the campuses  this week (21–25 January). <br></p><p>The University is well aware of the fact that the new students arriving this week might feel somewhat disorientated and lost and therefore urges them to participate in the programmes and activities that are put in place to support and guide the newcomers. For more information, visit the website at <a href="/english/welcome/welcome-maties"></a>.</p><p>These orientation programmes over the next week will assist new Maties to familiarise themselves with the campus, other students, residences, classes and other responsibilities. When classes commence on 4 February, the newcomers will be much more at ease with the campus community.</p><p>Before then, the newcomers and parents should double check if they are aware of the following important information: <br><strong>Registration </strong></p><ul><li>The first thing to do is to register for 2019. The self-registration (e-registration) option opened on 14 January and you can register on any computer with internet access. The other option is to self-register once on campus in the Neelsie Student Centre.  Students who are unable to self-register should make use of assisted  registration in NARGA on the Stellenbosch campus, or GERGA on the Tygerberg campus for students in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.  For more info on the assisted registration programme, <a href="/english/welcome/register-now/How-to-register">click here</a>.</li></ul><p><strong>Student fees</strong></p><ul><li>SU does not have a registration fee but the first instalment of student fees is payable before or during registration. Students who receive NSFAS funding are exempt from this first instalment.  The same applies to students who receive other forms of financial aid – any student who presents proof of a bursary or loan covering outstanding debt (if applicable) and the first instalment of student fees may register without payment being required. Students who do not qualify for NSFAS funding, but have financial difficulties, may make arrangements to pay the first instalment over three months. For more info, <a href="/english/Lists/notices/DispForm.aspx?ID=1387&RootFolder=%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fnotices&Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FPages%2Fdefault%2Easpx">click here</a>.</li></ul><p><strong>Applications</strong></p><p><strong></strong></p><ul><li> *Students who have not been able to secure space to study in 2019 are advised to register on the Department of Higher Education and Training's Central Applications Clearing House (CACH) system. The system records information of students who want to enter a university or TVET college without them having to stand in long queues at each institution, and improves their chance of finding a space.​Prospective students can access the CACH by sending an SMS with their name and ID number to 49200, or by visiting <a href=""></a> to register their details.    Applications to study at Stellenbosch University in 2019 closed last year, and we are unable to accept any new applications for this academic year. Applications for the 2020 academic year will open in March 2019.​ <a href="/english/Lists/notices/DispForm.aspx?ID=1386&RootFolder=%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fnotices&Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FPages%2Fdefault%2Easpx">click here</a> ​for  more info.</li></ul><p> </p><p><a href="/english/welcome/welcome-maties/welcoming-event"><strong>Welcoming Event</strong></a><strong> for newcomer students and parents</strong></p><ul><li>The Welcoming Event that will be held in the Danie Craven Stadium on Thursday (24 January), starting at 16:30, promises to be a fun-filled event with students getting to meet, among others, the University's mascot, Pokkel. Apart from being addressed by Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers, and Student Representative Council (SRC) chair, Ms Carli van Wyk, the students will join student leaders on the field on conclusion of the programme to form a massive human “2019". This is representative of them forming part of a new community that they will be part of for the rest of their lives. For the Welcoming programme over the next week until classes commence on 4 February, <a href="/english/welcome/Documents/2019/2019%20Raamwerk%20van%20VWP_Eng%20%20Afr_FINAL%2027.11.18.pdf">click here</a>.</li></ul><p><strong>Dream Launch</strong></p><ul><li>New at the Welcoming Event on 24 January is a march by all newcomers from the Danie Craven stadium to Victoria Street at 18:50 on campus as part of a “Dream Launch" – a symbolic start to students realising their dreams at SU. The procession will move down Coetzenburg Street, cross Van Riebeeck Street into De Wall Street, and turn left in Hofmeyr Street, right into McDonald Street and left into Victoria Street. There will be music stations along the way. </li></ul><p>In Victoria Street, the procession will pass under a banner displaying the words “Your Dream starts here" and will proceed to Admin B near Ryneveld Street. In Victoria Street, newcomers will pin their dreams that they have written down on cards, to the trees. These dreams will be displayed for two days with pedestrians walking past them. Students will return to their residences after they have pinned their dreams to the trees.</p><p><strong>“Vensters"</strong></p><ul><li>A further highlight of the week before classes commence, is the annual “Vensters" event taking place on Friday, 1 February. For these colourful outdoor performances, residences and private student organisations (PSOs) partner up to impress audiences with innovative and creative dance performances around a central theme. The performances take place at 15 min intervals on ten different stages across the Stellenbosch campus. It will kick off at 18:00 and will continue until 22:00.</li></ul><p><strong>Get the </strong><strong><em>Guide for Newcomers 2019</em></strong><strong> booklet</strong></p><ul><li>Newcomers should make sure that they get a copy of this guide when they register or at their first point of contact with faculties or departments. The guide contains information on subjects such as the registration schedule, transport, personal safety, the library, free writing advice and tips on saving water. <br><br></li></ul><p><br></p>
MULTI-SCHOOL SCIENCE CLUB LAUNCHES SCIENCE CLUB LAUNCHESErika Hoffman<p>The Faculty of Education in Stellenbosch was a buzz of activity on Saturday morning January 19<sup>th</sup>, when school learners from Stellenbosch and surroundings gathered for the kick-off of this science club. SUNCEP Science Buddies club is the realization of a dream of SUNCEP, a center within the Faculty of Education that focusses on learning enhancement of school learners and the professional learning of teachers. </p><p>The aim of the science club is to bring talented learners that are interested in science, technology and innovation together in a stimulating environment where they will receive guidance, develop research skills and be supported to successfully engage in completing a scientific research project on a topic of their choice. </p><p>The ultimate aim of SUNCEP Science Buddies club is for the 108 science buddies and their 20 teachers who started this journey, to participate in the regional Expo for Young Scientists competition in August. At this event these teachers will form part of a group of judges that will assess 300 - 400 research projects to determine who will win medals and special prizes. </p><p>SUNCEP as host of the annual Expo for Young Scientists in the Stellenbosch region aims to make 2019 a special year as it commemorates the 20<sup>th</sup> year of the region's existence.</p><p>For more information on the Science Buddies initiative, contact Erika Hoffman at 021 808 3482 or <br></p><p><br></p>
Registration and welcoming – what you need to know and welcoming – what you need to knowCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>Important information regarding registration, student fees and financial assistance at Stellenbosch University is now available to all <strong>first-time entering </strong>and <strong>continuing</strong> students. </p><p><strong>IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR </strong><strong>FIRST-TIME ENTERING STUDENTS</strong><strong>:</strong></p><ul><li>Welcoming programme: see <a href="/welcome"></a> or click <a href="">here</a> for the<em> Guide for Newcomers 2018</em></li><li>Your final admission status is available at <a href=""></a>  </li><li>Online registration is available from 12 January 2018 at <span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;"></span> (>>undergraduate >>administration >>e-Registration). </li><li>Registration Schedule 2018 (<a href="/english/welcome/Documents/2017/Registration%20Schedule%202018.pdf" style="text-decoration:underline;">link</a>) for students who cannot do self-registration. </li></ul><p><strong>Presidential Pronouncement of free higher education for poor and working class students</strong></p><ul><li>Click <a href="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Mail%20prospective%20student%20Jan%202018%20fin%20ENG.pdf" style="text-decoration:underline;">here</a> for a letter by the Registrar to <strong>first-time entering students</strong> containing important information on the Presidential Pronouncement, financial assistance and important NSFAS information, amongst others. </li><li>Enquiries related to financial assistance: e-mail <a href=""></a>, tel 021 808 9111 or visit the  Information desk at Centre for Bursaries and Loans in Admin A Building on the Stellenbosch Campus or the Bursaries and Loans Office in the Clinical Building at the Tygerberg campus</li><li>Make payments: click <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;">here</a>. Send an e-mail to <a href=""></a> to make payment arrangements. </li><li>Read a NSFAS info brochure <a href="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/NewFunding%20NSFAS%20FAQ.pdf" style="text-decoration:underline;">h<strong></strong>ere</a>. <br></li></ul><p><strong>IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR </strong><strong>CONTINUING STUDENTS</strong><strong>:</strong></p><ul><li>Online registration will be available from 12 January 2018 at <span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href=""></a></span> (>>undergraduate >>administration >>e-Registration). </li></ul><p><strong>Presidential Pronouncement of free higher education for poor and working class students</strong></p><ul><li>Click <a href="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Mail%20current%20student%20Jan%202018%20fin%20ENG.pdf" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>here </strong></a>for a letter by the Registrar to <strong>continuing students f</strong>or important information on the Presidential Pronouncement, financial assistance and important NSFAS information, amongst others. </li><li>Enquiries related to financial assistance: e-mail <a href=""></a>, tel 021 808 9111 or visit the  Information desk at Centre for Bursaries and Loans in Admin A Building on the Stellenbosch Campus or the Bursaries and Loans Office in the Clinical Building at the Tygerberg campus</li><li>To make payments, click <span style="text-decoration:underline;">here</span>. Send an e-mail to <a href=""></a> to make payment arrangements.​</li></ul>
Jonathan Jansen appointed at Stellenbosch University Jansen appointed at Stellenbosch UniversityCorporate Communications / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​​The public intellectual and former vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, Prof Jonathan Jansen, has accepted a position at Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p>Jansen (61), an A-rated scientist with the National Research Foundation, will take up the position of distinguished professor in the Faculty of Education, where he will be teaching and conducting research on school governance, management, leadership and policy. He will also serve as a mentor to postgraduate students. </p><p>Announcing the appointment, Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said the institution would greatly benefit from Jansen's expertise as foremost author, thought leader and education specialist. “Prof Jansen is arguably one of the leading pedagogues of our time, but also the proverbial voice in the wilderness, addressing not only the state of the nation, but – equally important – the state of education in our beloved country." </p><p>Prof Nico Koopman, Vice-Rector: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, added: “Prof Jansen is a scholar at heart. We are confident that his research expertise will have a meaningful social impact on all levels of the education system in South Africa."  </p><p>Equally pleased at the prospect of welcoming Prof Jansen to SU's Faculty of Education, Prof Yusef Waghid, acting dean of the Faculty, said: “Prof Jansen's appointment offers tremendous opportunities for colleagues to engage with him in deliberative, responsible and courageous conversations – dialogues relating to what a university is and ought to do. I am optimistic that Prof Jansen's intellectual voice and passion for education will have a positive impact on the scholarly work with which the Faculty is associated. This is another opportunity to enhance our quest for our quest for a meaningful and just schooling system" </p><p>Commented Jansen: “I am very excited about this opportunity to work at one of the best universities on the continent and with some of the leading educational researchers in the field. I do hope to make a small contribution with my colleagues to making research count in the transformation of schools and in preparing the next generation of scholars."</p><p>Jansen, a recipient of three honorary doctorates and a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2016/17, will take up the position at SU as from 1 November.​<br><br></p><p><strong>MORE ABOUT PROF JONATHAN JANSEN</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jonathan Jansen is a senior professor formerly associated with the University of the Free State, South Africa. Apart from having served as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2016/17, he is also the president of both the South African Institute of Race Relations and the South African Academy of Science.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">He started his career as a biology teacher in the Cape after he had completed his science degree at the University of the Western Cape. He went on to obtain an MS degree from Cornell University and a PhD from Stanford. Jansen also holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Vermont and Cleveland State University. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2013, he was awarded the Lifetime Achiever Award for Africa at the Education Africa Global Awards in New York, as well as the University of California's Spendlove Award for his contribution to tolerance, democracy and human rights. The next year, he won the Nayef Al Rodhan Prize from the British Academy for the Social Sciences and Humanities<em> </em>for his book <em>Knowledge in the Blood</em> (published by Stanford University Press).  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">More recent publications by Jansen include <em>Leading for Change</em> (Routledge, 2016), <em>As by fire: the end of the South African university</em> (Tafelberg, 2017), <em>Interracial intimacies on campuses</em> (Bookstorm, 2017) and <em>Song for Sarah</em> (Bookstorm, 2017). Products of his pen to appear in 2018 include <em>Inequality in South African schools</em> (with Nic Spaull, published by Springer), <em>Politics of Curriculum</em> (as editor) and <em>Now that I know</em>, a book on South African families who were separated by the racial laws of the 1950s.<br></p><p><br></p>
Stellenbosch University Choir wins big at international Choir Games University Choir wins big at international Choir GamesCorporate Marketing/Korporatiewe Bemarking<p>The University Choir of Stellenbosch under the baton of André van der Merwe, was the biggest winner at the eighth International Choir Games held in Russia. The Games came to an end today.</p><p>The Choir won first places and gold medals in three categories. In the category for sacred á Capella, it received a score of 92%; in the category for Spirituals 94%; and, in the category for contemporary music 98%. This is the highest score awarded in any of the 27 categories in which choirs competed in over the last ten days. With this achievement, the SU Choir keeps its first place on the Interkultur list as best international non-professional choir – a position the Choir has been holding since 2012. </p><p>A further bonus was the special CD contract for the coveted <em>Choirs of the World </em>series. </p><p><span style="line-height:20.8px;">"The win is a bonus," said Van der Merwe. "My point of view is always that winning is not the only goal. To me it is much more enjoyable to challenge myself and the team to explore the music with integrity. When the music comes first, it communicates in a powerful way. In the end it is all about challenging oneself to experience how your culture takes shape in the international context.</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">"</span><br></p><p>The International Choir Games are held biannually and this year more than 300 choirs from 36 countries competed. This is the biggest choir competition in the world. Interkultur earlier announced that the ninth International Choir Games in 2018 will be in Tshwane, South Africa.</p><p>The SU Choir consists of 120 students and André van der Merwe has been leading the choir for 12 years. <span style="line-height:1.6;">"The choir members were true ambassadors for Matieland and South Africa," Van der Merwe continued. "Choir music does not only bring our own cultures together, but also demonstrates to international audiences that music brings people closer to one another. I am immensely proud of the choir - success is never a one man show.  Hidden behind the glory of achievement is a system of outstanding management, team work and commitment."</span></p><p>The Choir is expected to arrive at Cape Town International Airport in two groups – on Tuesday 19 July and Friday 22 July.</p><p>- More information to follow</p><p>- Photo: World Choir Games Facebook site<br></p>
SciMathUS helping students achieve their dreams helping students achieve their dreamsCorporate Communications/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie (Rozanne Engel)<p>​<br></p><p>There is a well-known Confucius quote: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." For students participating in the Science and Mathematics at Stellenbosch University (SciMathUS) Programme, this quote is especially significant.</p><p>SciMathUS students are not only given a second chance to qualify for higher education through the programme but they are also given an opportunity to participate in the SciMathUS Graduate Employability Initiative (SGEI), which helps them make informed career decisions and exposes them to the dream job they love.</p><p>The SGEI is a collaborative effort between SciMathUS, based at Stellenbosch University, and Thyme2B, a career and employability coaching company. The goals of the SGEI are to support current SciMathUS students to make informed career choices and to build and enhance their self-confidence and their people and soft skills. A next phase includes assisting fFormer SciMathUS students in developing and expanding their social networks during their higher education journey and supporting them in making the transition into first-time employment.</p><p>According to Dr Elza Lourens, a SciMathUS facilitator and the one who spearheads the SGEI, helping students with career choices and building social networks are vital to their career success. “Research shows that accessing the job market becomes increasingly difficult if a prior possible work network is not built. With the SGEI, we want to help students explore their passion and help them to decide on careers that will be best for them in the long term."</p><p>The SGEI was founded in March this year and is still in its pilot phase pending funding to continue helping SciMathUS students in the future. The initiative has helped the 100 current SciMathUS students with career choices and the development of networks. One of those students is Karabo Thobejane, a current SciMathUS student interested in Astronomy and Astrophysics. He was able to visit the South African Astronomy Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town to talk and spend the day with astrophysicist Mrs Shazrene Mohammed.</p><p>“Mrs Shazrene was very friendly and explained how things work in the career field of Astronomy. I was also fortunate to chat with other SAAO staff, astronomers, PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows at the SAAO. SciMathUS has so far been very critical to my growth. I learned that knowledge without understanding is worthless," says Thobejane.</p><p>Apart from career opportunities, the SGEI also helps develop students' people and communication skills in order to be able to ask the right questions and promote themselves effectively. According to Anuschka Bennet, a current SciMathUS student interested in Architecture and Civil Engineering, going through the SGEI has given her a sense of confidence, encouragement and fulfilment.</p><p>“The SciMathUS programme is definitely an enriching environment for people who are keen on developing their academic and critical thinking skills. I have developed an immense sense of diligence in SciMathUS, the programme has really helped me open up my mind to the unending opportunities there are in tertiary studies and showing me many different career fields," says Bennet.</p><p>The SGEI offers various workshops, coaching sessions, assessments, group interventions and conversations, to provide SciMathUS students with enough information to make informed decisions about their choice of career.</p><p>For more information on the SGEI and the SciMathUS programme, contact Dr Elza Lourens at 021 808 2608 or <a href=""></a>. <br></p><p>​</p><p>Photo: SciMathUS students visit a Radiologist.<br></p>
Dr Leslie van Rooi appointed as Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation Leslie van Rooi appointed as Senior Director: Social Impact and TransformationKorporatiewe Kommunikasie / Corporate Communication<p>Dr Leslie van Rooi, Head of the Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert Institute for Student Leadership (FVZS Institute) at Stellenbosch University (SU), was recently appointed as Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation. He will assume his duties on 1 July.  </p><p>Van Rooi will have the overall responsibility for the SU Museum, the SU Woordfees, the Social Impact Division, and the Transformation Office. His portfolio also involves support to the Vice-Rector: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, Prof Nico Koopman.</p><p>In addition, Van Rooi will be responsible for implementing the SU Social Impact Strategic Plan, including an institutional transformation plan, Among other things, this will involve establishing strategic internal and external partnerships to achieve the goals provided under these plans, measuring and strengthening SU's progress and impact relating to transformation and social impact, and preparing SU for continuous renewal.</p><p>Koopman says Van Rooi is well-equipped to shoulder these responsibilities: "We are very grateful that a person of his calibre will be holding this important position. This position, which was previously that of Senior Director: Community Interaction, now operates within the new social impact and transformation framework. Dr Van Rooi has sound expertise and experience of these themes. We are excited that he will be serving the University's aspirations of being a transformative institution that will have a transforming impact on society."</p><p>Van Rooi held the position of Head of the FVZS Institute, situated in the Student Matters Division, for eight years. "This made it possible for me to liaise with students at SU and young people all over South Africa at various levels. At this level, Social Impact and Transformation – also by teaching and learning, and in practice, for example in our residences – created concrete opportunities for students to think innovatively about our institution and their role in society."</p><p>Although SU has made progress with transformation at many levels, Van Rooi believes there are still many challenges ahead. "Our relevance to and impact on society as a whole are still restricted to a certain extent in that we still do not fully appreciate the value and impact of transformation at various levels. </p><p>"I think my portfolio has an important role to play here. The activities of the divisions that are part of my responsibility can jointly and in partnership with other SU environments be the driving force for current and innovative initiatives. For this reason, I believe the SU Woordfees – including WOW, Buya! and the University choir – and the SU Museum, similarly to other SU entities, are excellent vehicles for radical social impact in various fields, and could be extended even further." <br></p><p>​</p>
SU's movers, shakers and spinners heed the #Move4Food call's movers, shakers and spinners heed the #Move4Food callDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p><em>They were spinning, cycling, walking and running... Stellenbosch University (SU) students, staff and alumni have come out in full support of the student-led #Move4Food campaign - raising close to one million rand in cash and donations thus far. </em></p><p>This initiative aims to raise R10 million (cash and goods) in 100 days to ensure that for the next three years, no SU student will have to study on an empty stomach. </p><p>"The response has been phenomenal," says Karen Bruns, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations at SU. "We are so grateful to everyone who has decided to #Move4Food and we urge others to take up the challenge to help our students reach their R10 million target." </p><p>Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor showed his support for this campaign by running the full Sanlam Cape Town Marathon of 42.2km in a time of 4:16:16 on Sunday. Prof De Villiers, who has raised almost R128 000 thus far, was one of 110 staff members, alumni, students and friends of the University who registered for various races hosted by the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon as part of the #Move4Food campaign. </p><p>"We are proud to be led by a man who'll go 42.2kms and more to raise money for hungry students," Bruns adds.</p><p>While some ran the marathon, alumni, staff and students also did other things since the launch of this campaign on 20 August. Alumnus, Folkers Tullki-Williams, based in Helsinki, hiked the 375km across Estonia to raise R10 000 for #Move4Food, becoming the first South African to complete this hike.  </p><p>Staff member, Desmond Thompson, did the Coast2Karoo Cycle Race - completing it in 5:23 for #Move4Food. Thompson reported that he had “plenty to be grateful for - no falls and no punctures". </p><p>Last week students staged an awareness-raising 24-hour spin-a-thon on 12 stationary bikes in the Neelsie Student Centre. They cycled over 8 000 kilometres throughout the day and night, with music, energy and passion. This event drew attention to the huge lunchbox created by Engineers Without Borders Maties, a student society made up of 2nd and 3rd year engineering students. </p><p>A total of 15 095 items of non-perishable food were deposited into the lunchbox over the 24 hours - exceeding the target of 15 000 food items. A major contribution of 10 800 meals delivered by the PPS Foundation helped to further boost the collection, along with a significant contribution of products by the Spar franchise in the Neelsie. </p><p>According to Cheryl Benadie, Donor Relations Manager at SU, the #Move4Food movement is creating unity amongst our student body. “As this campaign evolves, it is inspiring to see Maties gain a greater understanding of the silent struggles faced by fellow students – and their dedication and passion to do something about it is contagious."</p><p>Benadie says the food items will be distributed by the social workers on our Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses. “This will offer a welcome respite as the limited students' NSFAS funds tend to have run out by the start of the fourth term, causing poor exam performance and prompting dropping out of their programmes by food insecure young people from financially stressed households".</p><p>On 22 September, the Maties Equestrian Club rode through Stellenbosch, handing out pamphlets and raising awareness about #Move4Food. They are also going to grow vegetables using their energy and inexhaustible supply of horse-produced fertiliser to contribute to the cause.</p><p>A Residence Rugby Derby and residence LevelUp Dance4Food video challenges were further activities in the Move4Food student campaigning.</p><p>"Our students have spent months bringing this campaign to life and I am proud that the Development and Alumni Relations Division has been able to support them in doing so," says Bruns.</p><p>"The fundraising challenge is now out there, our first million rand in cash and in donations has been raised. We'd really like to raise nine million more!"</p><p>Bruns says challenges have been put to alumni in Asia, Europe, the UK, and the Americas. "We still have a very ambitious target to reach, so get on board! Whether you run, spin, dance, surf or donate your lunch money, you can still #Move4Food."</p><p>The #Move4Food campaign ends on International Giving day or “Giving Tuesday", on 27 November 2018.</p><ul><li>Make a small contribution towards #Move4Food. <a href=""></a> </li><li>For more information on this campaign, visit <a href="/english/donors/Documents/Move4Food_ENG.pdf"></a> </li><li>Videos: <a href=""></a> </li><li>Photo gallery: <a href=""></a> ​<br></li></ul><p><br> </p>
R2.9m grant for first-ever postgraduate programme in fire engineering ​ grant for first-ever postgraduate programme in fire engineering ​Development & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p>Stellenbosch University's Fire Engineering Research Unit (FireSUN) has received a financial injection of R2.9 million that will be used to develop Africa's first-ever postgraduate programme in fire engineering - ultimately providing the expertise needed to keep the African continent safe in the case of fire.<br></p><p>The risk of deadly fires, especially in informal settlements, remains a constant in South Africa due to the close proximity of housing structures, open fires and the use of paraffin for cooking and staying warm during the winter months. Devastating blazes – such as the fires in Imizamo Yethu near Hout Bay and in Knysna in 2017 – also regularly make the headlines. </p><p>The FireSUN unit was established in 2017 and aims to reduce the impact of fire by undertaking research and building the capacity and expertise of fire and structural engineers. The team, located within the Department of Civil Engineering, is the first university research group focused on fire safety in Africa. </p><p>The R2.9 million grant was received from the <strong>Lloyd's Register Foundation</strong>, a charity with a mandate to protect life and property, support education, engineering-related research and public engagement. These funds mean the FireSUN team can now expand their work by offering postgraduate degrees (MEng and PhD) in fire safety engineering (FSE) and structural fire engineering (SFE). "This represents an exciting development for fire safety engineering in South Africa, and Africa as a whole," says Dr Richard Walls, who heads up SU's FireSUN team. </p><p>"Research shows that South Africa has one of the highest fire related death rates per capita worldwide, many of which occur in informal settlements," says Walls.  </p><p>"With the growth of the African population and the local mining, manufacturing and resource processing industries the associated fire risks of the continent are rapidly increasing, along with the need for fire engineering professionals. To this end a masters in engineering (MEng) and PhD degrees in fire engineering will develop the engineering capacity the continent needs," he explains.</p><p>Dr Tim Slingsby, Director of Skills and Education at Lloyd's Register Foundation, says they are delighted to support Walls and SU in the development of Africa's first ever fire engineering postgraduate programme. “We look forward to seeing the outcomes and impact of this work spread to other institutions and to workforces, providing the continent with a much needed, highly technical capability and capacity to improve safety."<strong>  </strong></p><p>Two taught modules in FSE, namely (a) fire dynamics, and (b) structural design for fire safety will be created. These modules will be rolled out in 2019 and 2020, and will be available to students and industry practitioners. Existing modules within the Department of Civil or Mechanical Engineering will also be utilised. As the research team grows and more funding is obtained, additional taught modules, such as performance-based fire design, will be developed. </p><p>"The formal fire engineering programmes will have a significant impact on providing the expertise needed to keep the African continent safe in the case of fire, be it for the residential, mining, industrial or transport sectors," Walls says. </p><p>“To improve the safety of those living in informal settlements, there is a desperate need to develop a thorough understanding of how fires behave in those environments, and what products will (or won't) be suitable. As our populations rapidly expands, and the number of people living in informal settlements doubles in the coming decades, it is inevitable that better fire safety solutions will help save lives. Already the roll-out of smoke alarms by the Western Cape Disaster Management Fire & Services – and facilitated by Patrica Zweig and Dr Robyn Pharoah of the Research Alliance for Disaster & Risk Reduction (RADAR) at SU - has saved lives in areas such as Wallacedene," he adds. </p><p>“As any good fire engineer will tell you – fire engineering is an incredibly broad field with a large variety of specialist topics such as fire dynamics, suppression system design, evacuation, structural fire design, emergency response, detection and much more," explains Walls. </p><p>The FireSUN team has already undertaken various research projects in areas such as informal settlement fire safety, structural fire design, industrial structural design and petrochemical facility fire safety. These projects include a current investigation, sponsored by Santam, looking at the 1000 homes that were burnt down during the Knysna fire disaster in 2017, as well as working alongside the Western Cape Disaster Management, Fire & Rescue services to investigate how smoke alarms can be used in informal settlements.</p><p>Walls concludes that funding to do their life-saving work is essential. "The development of fire engineering research and education is expensive, but essential for our country. It would not have been possible to launch our postgraduate programme next year without the assistance of the Lloyd's Register Foundation. Also, previous funding received from the Global Challenges Research Fund has allowed us to establish our current fire research team, and fire testing competency, which will now be built upon."</p><ul><li><em>Watch a video here</em><em>: </em><em><a href=""></a></em></li></ul><p><br> </p>
Alberto obtains first Master’s in Disaster Risk Science and Development obtains first Master’s in Disaster Risk Science and DevelopmentCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>​Alberto Francioli, a staff member of the Research Alliance for Disaster and Risk Reduction (RADAR), on Thursday (22 March 2018) graduated with the first-ever MPhil in Disaster Risk Science and Development at Stellenbosch University (SU).  Francioli, who is also a volunteer firefighter, received his degree at the fifth ceremony of SU's 2018 March graduation. His supervisor was Dr Robin Pharoah from RADAR.<br></p><p>Francioli's study set out to identify the energy sources being used by low-income households in Lwandle, Nomzamo and Asanda Village in Somerset West and Strand. In particular, he wanted to investigate whether residents continue to frequently employ dangerous non-electric energy sources such as candles, paraffin and even firewood despite the access to electricity. Francioli says the aim was to determine the factors influencing these choices, the implications these energy choices have for fire risk, as well as the measures households employ to mitigate the risk of fire.<br></p><p>He held focus group sessions with residents and also used a household survey to collect information on household energy use strategies, perceptions of safety and accessibility of energy sources and experiences of energy related fires from residents living in different types of dwellings. </p><p>Francioli points out that approximately 67.2% of households make use of energy stacking i.e. they alternate between electricity and paraffin to meet their daily energy needs. <br></p><p>“A potential consequence of this energy stacking approach is that the majority of households continue to face the risk of a dwelling fire caused by non-electric energy sources." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Unsurprisingly, fires in areas such as Lwandle, Nomzamo and Asanda Village have been attributed to the usage of unsafe and potentially hazardous forms of energy such as candles for lighting, paraffin for cooking and boiling water and firewood for heating of dwellings. It has often been prescribed that key to curbing dwelling fires among low-income residential areas is to increase people's access to electricity." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, Francioli's research also found that dwelling fires caused by electric sources also appears to be on the rise, particularly among formal households and their backyard dwellings situated on their property.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Fires in informal settlements are very costly to low-income families and cause massive destruction in their lives." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Francioli says some households in these informal settlements continue to use paraffin and fire wood because electricity is too expensive.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“While electricity is the predominant energy source used, households may be unable to fully utilise it because of financial constraints or issues regarding physically accessibility to and quality of electrical connections."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Sometimes for very large households it is cheaper to use paraffin to cook and to provide heating in winter." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Francioli points out that despite being frequently exposed to many potentially hazardous electric and non-electric energy sources, many households do implement a number of measures to mitigate to reduce their exposure and mitigate the risk of experiencing a dwelling fire.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“These included, among others, the use of a minimum of electrical appliances simultaneously, to avoid over loading of electrical connections (i.e. overheating or creating sparks which can ignite nearby flammable materials); ensuring when using non-electrical energy sources such as paraffin or candles they are placed away from other flammable materials and constantly supervised; keeping young children away from non-electric energy sources (in case they knock them over or play with them), educating them about the dangers of such energy sources and how to use them in a safe and proper way; and keeping constant vigilance for signs of fire or impending fire in their own home as well as their neighbours."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Commenting on the significance of his degree, Francioli says disaster risk is an incredibly important subject. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“It's a crucial and multidisciplinary field that can be applied to agriculture, infrastructure, transport, urban planning, even economics and psychology and a whole realm of possibilities. Hopefully, more people will hear about and become interested in disaster risk as a subject because it's about safeguarding us against the possibility of future disasters." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Francioli says he plans to publish his findings in academic journals.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Photo</strong>: Alberto Francioli with his degree.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Photographer</strong>: Anton Jordaan<br></p><ul><li>RADAR was established at SU in 2013, building on 17 years of applied disaster risk scholarship by its predecessor, the Disaster Mitigation for Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (DiMP). RADAR's research, teaching, policy advocacy and community outreach efforts emphasise urban risks, as well as hydrometeorological threats and fire. RADAR is also part of a consortium of 12 Universities across Africa, Periperi U (Partners Enhancing Resilience for People Exposed to Risk), which focus on enhancing research and building capacity through academic programmes in the field of disaster risk. <br></li></ul><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Alberto Francioli</p><p>Research Alliance for Disaster and Risk Reduction (RADAR)</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 9401</p><p>Cell: 084 208 1870</p><p style="text-align:justify;">E-mail: <a href=""><strong></strong></a><strong> </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>                   ISSUED BY</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Martin Viljoen</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Manager: Media</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Corporate Communications</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p style="text-align:justify;">E-mail: <a href=""><strong></strong></a> </p><p> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p><br></p>