SPL (School of Public Leadership)
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Message from the Director


The School of Public Leadership is about learning for sustainable African futures.

With learning we mean gaining knowledge through research, transferring knowledge through teaching and both gaining and transferring knowledge through social learning in our communities.

Our learners range from young undergraduate full-timers to quite senior mid-career leaders and managers. And as researchers, our permanent and extraordinary part-time academics remain eager learners as well.

Our learning is about leading co-produced actions of positively creating and protecting public value and the public interest, and turning around negative global and African trends regarding poverty, inequality, over-consumption and ecological decline. The learning at SPL serves to incorporate solutions for all levels of society. Emphasis is placed on the ability of graduates to function as change agents in the public domain, with actions characterized by a culture of tolerance, modesty and compassion, but also a spirit of competitiveness.

To this end, we zoom in on three interrelated learning areas:

  • Executive Public Governance, which includes competencies of leading, making policy, organizing, delivering and evaluating public services;
  • Environmental Management, which takes a multi-disciplinary look at ecological sustainability amidst ever-increasing demands on natural resources;
  • Sustainable Development, which takes a trans-disciplinary look at the desired roads to travel towards a brighter future for all.

We have a range of learning programmes designed in content and mode of presentation to suit the needs of our different student groups:

Undergraduate modules in public and development management form part of the Stellenbosch-based residential degree offerings. An entry-level Diploma in Public Accountability presented in flexible mode caters for both school leavers and mid-career students working towards a first qualification while living off-campus.

Post-graduate Diplomas in Sustainable Development, Environmental Management, Public Finance Management as well as an Honours Degree in Public Management, all presented in flexible mode, provide qualification options for a second qualification while working. Each of these programmes are followed by a master's degree in the particular field of specialization, and all master's programmes are topped by our doctoral Programme in Public Management and Development Planning.

Many of the modules in all of these programmes are also presented as short courses serving as continued professional learning opportunities.

We, the faculty, staff and associates of SPL are eager to receive you in our learning environment, whether it is on the beautiful Stellenbosch Main Campus, the professional management oriented Bellville Park Campus in Cape Town, the socially and ecologically sensitive Lynedoch Eco-village, or right there where you are, bringing us to you through interactive telematics and e-learning.

Prof Johan Burger.

Director School of Public Leadership