SPL (School of Public Leadership)
Welcome to Stellenbosch University


Our Vision

The vision of the School of Public Leadership is to be a leader in learning for sustainable African and global futures.

Globally and especially in Africa, good governance and service delivery challenges are complex and in need of visionary leadership to chart innovative ways forward.

The School of Public Leadership (SPL) at Stellenbosch University (SU) provides solutions through unique research, graduate, postgraduate and executive programmes adding public value for the public good within a global and African context.

Students, many of whom are mid-career leaders and managers, are guided to incorporate solutions for all levels of society in the workplace. Especially challenging are the contemporary “wicked” challenges such as climate change, resource constraints, unemployment, poverty and inequality. These issues impact in all domains and spheres of governance and they demand sophisticated governance solutions and they provide the context as well as special focus of the SPL leadership development initiatives.

The SPL relates dynamically, intellectually and professionally to the three pillars of effective and ethical public leadership – good governance, environmental management and sustainable development .At the SPL rigorous research is the proven method of finding solutions to problems and all programmes offered by the SPL are research and evidence based. The SPL is constantly generating useful knowledge that is implemented in the governance space for the benefit of South African and global citizens.

The SPL is an African Governance Centre of Excellence with a formidable capacity in governance, leadership and development knowledge and professional practice.

Our Mission

Our mission is to develop and equip our future knowledge generation. 

At the SPL we prepare graduates for leading roles in public and civic organisations to tackle development and governance challenges. Our graduates are equipped with the knowledge, competencies and values required to build sustainable African societies within a rapidly changing and complex world. Emphasis is placed on the ability of graduates to craft and facilitate an open civic public realm wherein dialogue and contestation can thrive thanks to a culture of tolerance, modesty, solidarity and compassion.

To this end, the SPL’s teaching, research, consulting and community interaction are designed to foster excellence, social entrepreneurship, reflexive leadership and effective management. We excel in developing the competencies needed to work within complex, multidisciplinary networks and diverse operating environments.

SPL academics are renowned and accomplished researchers, teachers and knowledge experts in the fields of governance, leadership, public policy, public management, sustainable and integrated development and environmental management. The dedicated team of academics keeps abreast of the latest global, regional and domestic research developments, gaining first–hand experience in international best practices in knowledge generation and also producing knowledge resources of a consistently high quality.

Knowledge transfer is undertaken through undergraduate, postgraduate and executive courses that examine the developmental and management challenges facing South Africa. Through networking the School has acquired reputable academic connections abroad and locally, through links with some of the world’s leading Schools of Public Affairs in the United States, Europe and African and a network of South African tertiary institutions that are developing innovative, accessible and appropriate solutions for our region. In this way the School is involved in hands–on policy development, management consulting, research, community services and project evaluation. This offers students real–time insight into the latest trends and developments in this rapidly changing arena. ​​​