Social Work
Welcome to Stellenbosch University



The vision, mission, values and graduate attributes of Stellenbosch University and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences serve as the kingpin for positioning the Department of Social Work in its management, general functioning, curriculum and programme offering.

Support for the strategic positioning of Stellenbosch University

We support the University's strategic positioning for the 21st century as set out in the current Institutional Intent and Strategy, which commits the University to creating and sustaining “an environment of inclusivity, transformation, innovation, diversity, and maintaining excellence with a focus on the future".

Affirmation and conduct against discrimination

The Department is committed to ongoing and rigorous efforts to promote values that are responsive to social development, human rights, social inclusion, and the needs and aspirations of local communities, congruent with University policies prohibiting discrimination. We affirm and conduct all aspects of our teaching and learning, research and social impact without discrimination on the basis of race, colour, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family status, disability, religion, language and political affiliation.  Therefore, we encourage an educational and working environment characterised by open communication, participation and a sense of community.

Subscribing to the Global definition of social work

“Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing" (International Federation of Social Workers [IFSW], the International Association of Schools of Social Work [IASSW].

Commitment to the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development

“We commit ourselves to supporting, influencing and enabling structures and systems that positively address the root causes of oppression and inequality. We commit ourselves wholeheartedly and urgently to work together, with people who use services and with others who share our objectives and aspirations, to create a more socially-just and fair world that we will be proud to leave to future generations. We will prioritise our endeavours to these ends: promoting social and economic equalities; promoting the dignity and worth of peoples; working toward environmental sustainability; and strengthening recognition of the importance of human relationships" (International Federation of Social Workers [IFSW], the International Association of Schools of Social Work [IASSW], and the International Council on Social Welfare [ICSW]).​