Welcome to Stellenbosch University




Matie netball player on her way to England netball player on her way to EnglandMaties Sport Media<p>The fact that she will soon be leaving for England to take part in their netball super league has not completely sunk in for Charmaine Baard.</p><p>Charmaine, goal shooter for Maties and for the South African team that took part in the Fast 5 netball tournament in Australia in October last year, has signed a contract with the Surrey Storm team. </p><p>“I feel so blessed. It's an unbelievable opportunity," she said last week when she was on campus to attend a week-long course for her honours degree in language education. </p><p>This former Brackenfell High School learner will receive her teaching degree in March. </p><p>She could not graduate at the end of last year because she missed her final exam papers as a result of her netball duties in Australia. She had to make use of the second exam opportunity and she received the invitation to join Surrey Storm as she walked out of her last exam on 24 November.</p><p>This invitation gives her a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that all the hard work and sacrifices have paid off.</p><p>Charmaine, who wanted to improve her goal-shooting skills in 2017, believes all the Maties netball players benefit from the coaching and resources offered by Maties' high-performance unit.</p><p>“Talent means nothing if you don't work hard," says Charmaine. “But there are so many opportunities if you are prepared to work hard and persevere."</p><p>It is not easy to study and participate in your sport at a high level.</p><p>“You have to say no to certain things. It is important that each person find their own balance, and when they find it they shouldn't let it go. What works for one person does not necessarily work for someone else."</p><p>Charmaine will head straight to campus on the day that she arrives back in South Africa in July to start her next week of honours classes. As a registered postgraduate student she also qualifies to represent Maties in the Varsity Netball tournament again if she is selected.<br></p>
Faculty of Education honours its graduates of Education honours its graduatesPia Nänny<p>Close to 550 degrees were awarded to graduates by Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Education on Tuesday, 5 December. This number included eight PhD candidates.<br></p><p>Among the graduates was Aimée van Reenen, the recipient of the Faculty of Education's Dean's Bursary. </p><p>“I'm very excited about begin a graduate. I worked hard for four years and I'm looking forward to start teaching and enriching children's lives," she said.</p><p>Charl du Toit, Paralympian and World Champion in the T37 class, who won two gold and one silver medal at the World Para Athletics Champs in London in July, received his BEd Honours degree.</p><p>Another graduate was MK Nompumza, who was recently awarded a Mandela Rhodes Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to individuals that reflect a commitment to the principles of education, reconciliation, leadership and entrepreneurship for postgraduate study at South African universities or tertiary institutions.</p><p>MK was “so, so happy" about receiving his BEd degree and will pursue an honours degree in Education Development and Democracy in 2018. </p><p>Two Chancellor's awards were awarded to staff in the Faculty.</p><p>With some 200 publications from his pen, distinguished professor Lesley le Grange is the most productive researcher in the history of the Department of Curriculum Studies. His innovative work in the field of curricula and teaching makes him instrumental in the University's pursuit of excellence through ongoing curriculum renewal.</p><p>Dr Trevor van Louw's outstanding work as director of the Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP) mirrors his personal conviction that education is key to development and liberation. Under his capable leadership, SUNCEP has established a solid national footprint in the field of educational development. The Centre's two university preparation programmes SciMathUS and HOPE@Maties offer learners an opportunity to improve their Grade 12 marks and turn their dream of accessing higher education into reality.<br></p><p><br></p>
Teaching is a privilege – Prof Nuraan Davids is a privilege – Prof Nuraan DavidsPia Nänny<p>Teaching is a privilege and an immense responsibility – one that Prof Nuraan Davids, chair of the Department of Education Policy Studies in the Faculty of Education, does not take lightly.<br></p><p>It was recently announced that she is the recipient of a Stellenbosch University Distinguished Teacher Award. The function was held on 28 November.</p><p>Earlier this year, Prof Davids also received a commendation for excellence in teaching and learning from the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA).</p><p>“I was attracted to teaching because of my own inspirational and phenomenal teachers. This award recognises the immense value and pride which I attach to my teaching. It is not only richly rewarding, but also inspire​s me to do better.</p><p>“My teaching thrives on engaging, deliberating and debating with my students. I don't think students realise the value that they bring into classes – that as I teach, I learn from them.</p><p>“Above anything else, teaching is a privilege, because a teacher or lecturer is in a position to influence and shape what and how students think. As a teacher I have the privilege of playing a meaningful role in students' lives – in how they see themselves, and what they aspire to become. With this privilege comes the immense responsibility that teachers truly have the capacity and opportunity to bring either hope and self-belief, or disinterest and despondency. </p><p>“Teaching, therefore, has to be accompanied by love, compassion, respect and care. What I say matters, how I treat my students matters – because I will be remembered not only for what I teach, but for how I made my students feel about themselves. This cannot be taken lightly and it is a recognition which truly separates teaching from most other professions."</p><p>Prof Davids is as passionate about research as she is about teaching and regards the two pursuits as intertwined and mutually contingent.</p><p>Besides being honoured as a teacher, she also recently received the news that she was awarded a C2 rating by the National Research Foundation (NRF). A C2 rating is awarded to applicants who are regarded as established researchers.<br></p>
Mandela Rhodes scholarship awarded to Education student Rhodes scholarship awarded to Education studentPia Nänny<p>​Barely a month after receiving two Rector's Awards – one for excellent leadership and one for excellent service delivery – Education student MK Nompumza received news that he has been awarded a Mandela Rhodes Scholarship.<br></p><p>The overarching mission of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation is to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa, by providing excellent educational and training opportunities to individual Africans with leadership potential; as well as by creating a network of well-rounded leaders of talent, effectiveness and integrity across African society.</p><p>The scholarship is awarded to individuals that reflect a commitment to the principles of education, reconciliation, leadership and entrepreneurship for postgraduate study at South African universities or tertiary institutions. The heart of the leadership development programme is delivered primarily through a series of residential workshops.</p><p>“I am honoured to be a part of the 2018 class of Mandela Rhodes scholars," said MK.</p><p>“I feel that being awarded this scholarship, out of many other young African leaders, gives me an opportunity to reflect upon my leadership journey to date; and it inspires me to continue leading the change that I want to see."</p><p>MK, who will receive his bachelor's degree in Education in December, has made use of every opportunity that came his way over the past four years. </p><p>He was elected as the chairperson of the Education Student Committee in 2015/2016 and was instrumental in the design and implementation of a Leadership in Education short course. For the past two years, he acted as the coordinator of this course presented by the Faculty of Education in collaboration with the Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert Institute for Student Leadership Development.</p><p>He travelled abroad to attend an international summer school at Humboldt University in Berlin and was also involved with a partnership research project on planning and policy for bi- and multilingual schools.</p><p>His dream is to become a true facilitator of learning in which ever school he teaches one day.</p><p>“I believe that the rapid changes that we see occurring in South Africa require young leaders who are innovative thought-leaders – something which I aspire to be. I see being a Mandela Rhodes scholar as an opportunity to develop as a leader, and to take my experiences and the lessons learnt to benefit and do more for and within the schools, communities and leadership positions that I find myself in."</p><p>MK will pursue an honours degree in Education Development and Democracy in 2018. <br></p>
Departmental chairpersons promoted to associate professors chairpersons promoted to associate professorsPia Nänny<p>​​​​​​​Two departmental chairpersons in the Faculty of Education – Dr Nuraan Davids, chairperson of the Department of Education Policy Studies, and Dr Michael le Cordeur, chairperson of the Department of Curriculum Studies – were promoted to Associate Professors earlier this year. <br></p><p>Dr Davids completed her PhD in 2012 and was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Education Policy Studies in 2013. Her primary and foundational research area is Philosophy of Education and her research interests include democratic citizenship education, Islamic education and ethics in education.</p><p>She is passionate about both teaching and research and doesn't see them as two separate endeavours but rather as two important pursuits that are intertwined and mutually contingent.</p><p>“I am honoured and humbled by this promotion. The invitation from my Faculty to apply came as a wonderful surprise. It feels good to know that my passion and commitment as an academic are being recognised by the university. My goals are to make worthwhile contributions to my research area, to get students to think anew about themselves, those they encounter, and to recognise the profound privilege of teaching."</p><p>Dr Le Cordeur completed his PhD in 2004 and was appointed as a lecturer at SU in 2009. </p><p>His main research interests include language in education, enhancing reading ability, mother tongue education and language and identity.</p><p>He is passionate about providing access to higher education for those students from previously disadvantaged students.</p><p>“That is why I am involved in projects such as Rachel's Angels and the Brugbou-project through the SBA (Stigting vir Bemagtiging deur Afrikaans). Learners cannot excel at school if they do not understand the language of teaching and learning and this leads to all sorts of problems, for example reading challenges. </p><p>“This promotion is an endorsement that I am on the right track as far as my research and my teaching is concerned. It provides the necessary funding to continue and even expand my research on the above-mentioned foci."</p><p>Prof Ronelle Carolissen, Vice-Dean: Learning and teaching in the Faculty of Education, was promoted to Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology.<br></p>
15 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists receive Stellenbosch University bursaries Eskom Expo for Young Scientists receive Stellenbosch University bursariesErika Hoffman<p>Stellenbosch University as well as Eskom Expo for Young Scientists value and nurture the research talents and skills of brilliant school learners, and both want to help develop the important skills necessary to take our country forward in the 21<sup>st</sup> century. It is by providing opportunities to think creatively, ask questions and explore beyond the day-to-day learning in the school classroom, that learners' interest in STEMI education is stimulated.</p><p>The South African International Science Fair (ISF) was hosted on 3-6 October 2017 in Boksburg. More than 600 learners from the 35 Expo regions in South Africa, as well as visiting participants from Zimbabwe, Ghana, Zambia, Brazil, Kenya and Lesotho participated. </p><p>The standard and excitement under learners was high with not only gold, silver and bronze medals to be won, but also more than 4 million rand's special prizes! Stellenbosch University was one of 36 organisations, societies and universities that offered bursaries to deserving ISF participants. </p><p>Fifteen Gr 10 and 11 learners who impressed the judges with their problem solving and research skills, each received R50 000 first year bursaries from SU. These bursaries can be taken up once the learners are accepted for the course they applied for.  The selection criteria were amongst other things: projects had to come from different provinces, learners should have done their projects individually and not in pairs, and the projects had to have won a gold or silver medal. </p><p>In the image above (in carousel) are the fifteen very happy learners who received bursary awards from Stellenbosch University. Dr Trevor van Louw (Director, SUNCEP) and Mrs Erika Hoffman (Stellenbosch regional expo coordinator, SUNCEP) awarded the bursaries on behalf of the university. Among the deserving learners one comes from North West province, two from the Eastern Cape, two from the Free State, two from the Northern Cape, one from the Western Cape, four from Kwa Zulu Natal, one from Limpopo, one from Mpumalanga and one from Gauteng province. </p><p><br></p>
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>
Education student receives two Rector’s Awards student receives two Rector’s AwardsPia Nänny<p>​​​When MK Nompumza, a fourth-year Education student, registered at Stellenbosch University in 2014 he did so with the resolution that he will take full ownership of his journey at this institution.<br></p><p>Growing up in the Eastern Cape, he came to Stellenbosch with the predictions of naysayers in his ears: That as a black male he wouldn't be able to flourish. That he would have no influence or the ability to make an impact. That there is no way that he could possibly stand out.</p><p>These assumptions were all proven wrong. On Thursday, 5 October, MK received not one, but two Rector's Awards for excellent achievement: one for excellent leadership and one for excellent service delivery. <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5176" target="_blank"><strong>Read article about event here</strong>.</a><br></p><p>“I'm feeling very honoured because I think these awards say that we recognise your efforts, your leadership in this space and your contribution."</p><p>His proud father Vusumzi Nompumza travelled from King William's Town to Stellenbosch to share the moment with his son.</p><p>MK admires his father who had to leave school at primary school level to look after livestock on a farm.</p><p>“He used newspapers and anything else he could lay his hands on to teach himself English. Now he is successful in business, successful in farming and he is a leader in his community. He has showed me that regardless of your circumstance, education is within your reach and that some initiative from your side is needed too."</p><p>During the past four years, MK has made use of every possible opportunity that came his way and created some of his own. </p><p>He was elected as the chairperson of the Education Student Committee in 2015/2016 and was instrumental in the design and implementation of a Leadership in Education short course. For the past two years, he has acted as the coordinator of this course presented by the Faculty of Education in collaboration with the Frederik van Zyl Slabbert Institute for Student Leadership Development.</p><p>“I have to give credit for the space that allowed me to take this initiative," MK adds.</p><p>He travelled abroad for the first time to attend an international summer school at Humboldt University in Berlin and was also involved with a partnership research project on planning and policy for bi- and multilingual schools.</p><p>His dream is to become a true facilitator of learning in which ever school he teaches one day.</p><ul><li>MK is graduating at the end of the year and has applied for an honours degree in Education Development and Democracy. <br></li><li>Photo: MK and his father, Vusumzi Nompumza​​<br></li></ul>
Students challenged by Leadership in Education short course challenged by Leadership in Education short coursePia Nänny<p>​Informative, inspiring, relevant, challenging, empowering and thought-provoking. </p><p>These were some of the check-out words used by course participants during the final session of the Leadership in Education short course hosted by the Faculty of Education in collaboration with the Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert (FVZS) Institute for Student Leadership Development at Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p>More than one participant mentioned that they learned a lot and suggested that some of the course topics be included in the Faculty's mainstream offering.</p><p>The content stimulated thought and challenged them to think differently about education and their role as educators, they added.</p><p>The Leadership in Education short course is one of three faculty-specific short courses facilitated by the FVZS Institute.</p><p>The aim of this co-curricular course is to help participants gain insight into the leading and transformative role that prospective and in-service educators can play in improving various aspects of South African education. </p><p>Themes included: Teachers as agents of social change; South African education through a constitutional lens; Social impact and the economics of education; Language in education and Decolonising the South African curriculum.</p><p>Participants handed in a course portfolio that displayed the integration of the course-related themes into their practical lesson preparation, presentation and observation in their school-specific context and the South African schooling system at large.</p><p>Course coordinator MK Nompumza, who was instrumental in the design and implementation of this short course in 2016, was very happy with the outcome of the course.</p><p>“I believe the participants really gained significantly from participating in this course. If I had to summarise the aim of this course in one sentence, it would be to make prospective students aware that they exist within in a broader context."</p><p>During the sessions participants discussed, among other things, the role that educators can play in bringing about social change and the widely accepted notion of education playing a vital role in lifting people out of poverty, empowering women and the youth, and promoting human rights and democracy.</p><p>They also explored South Africa's quintile system and the notions of private vs public schooling in the South African context. <br></p>
‘We need to get foundation right’ – panellists at Education Research conference‘We need to get foundation right’ – panellists at Education Research conferencePia Nänny & Nic Spaull<p>​​​​​​​A panel discussion on “The practice of improvement: Getting from here to there" was one of the highlights of the annual Quantitative Applications in Education Research conference hosted by ReSEP, a research group on Social Economic Policy situated within the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University (SU), on 28 and 29 September.<br></p><p>The panellists – Prof Jonathan Jansen, Prof Brahm Fleisch, Prof Peliwe Lolwana and Dr Itumeleng Molale – discussed the South African education system in terms of what went right, what went wrong and what could be improved.</p><p>Although there were some positive improvements since 1994 – more schools were built and every child in South Africa now has access to education – the speakers could each identify an area where further improvement is possible.</p><p>Prof Fleisch, an associate professor from the Division of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the School of Education at Wits, feels that a greater focus could have been placed on instructional practice while Prof Lolwana, former CEO of Umalusi, cautioned that the system has allowed the gap between the haves and the have-nots to grow. </p><p>“Poor children, even though they have access to schools, still don't know how to use education effectively to access opportunities," she added.</p><p>Dr Molale, former head of the Department of Education and Sport Development in the North West Province, believes that dismantling teacher education (teacher colleges) without a proper alternative was a big mistake, and Prof Jansen, previous Rector of the University of the Free State, thinks that enormous damage was caused by the implementation of outcomes-based education.</p><p>Prof Fleisch echoed this sentiment: “We made a big blunder with our curriculum reform. We should have focused explicitly on the early grades and gotten that right first."</p><p>The Chair of the session, Dr Nic Spaull, referred to Prof Servaas van der Berg's presentation earlier during the conference titled “How we've progressed" where he emphasised the improvements in TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) between 2003 and 2015, and also the large increase in black matriculants receiving high-level passes in mathematics and science.</p><p>Dr Spaull then asked the panellists to give possible reasons for the improvement in learning outcomes between 2002 and 2015. Some of the reasons given by the speakers were the stabilisation of the education system after 1994 and an improvement in teacher knowledge.</p><p>However, Prof Jansen was not impressed with the figures presented to him.</p><p>“We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. In SA, we're always catching up. That is why Brahm is right. Our big mistake was to focus on the wrong end of the system. If you don't get the foundation right, you will continue to play catch up."</p><p>Prof Fleisch said that they were all in the business of improving SA's education system. </p><p>“How do we get where we want to go," he asked. "We've done a lot of things based on wishful thinking rather than evidence. Let's stop that. Let's stop wasting money on things that don't work. Let's start looking at things that do work and concentrate our resources there because that's the only way we are going to move forward. Wishing – because it seems so important – is not enough."</p><p>For Prof Jansen, this means building the foundations of the school system with two interventions: the national programme in literacy and national programme in numeracy.</p><p>The conference drew 110 participants from a range of backgrounds including education researchers, policy-makers and PhD students.</p><p>During a video address, Minister of Basic Education Mrs Angie Motshekga expressed her support for the ongoing research conducted within the ReSEP group: “I want to acknowledge the invaluable role played by the Research on Socio-Economic Policy team in producing such rigorous research and the important links they maintain with the Department of Basic Education (DBE). We hope that this partnership continues in years to come, and is also extended to previously disadvantaged universities in order to increase the production of high quality, policy relevant research within the sector."</p><p>The two international keynote speakers were David Evans from the World Bank who spoke on “Getting the most out of our teachers: Lessons from recent quantitative research" and Yuri Belfali from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) who spoke on “International assessment for excellence and equity: Experiences from PISA for Development". Both were well received by the audience eliciting a number of questions about the role of international assessments in education policy making and the politics of teacher reform in developing countries.</p><p>Finally, on the last day there were two parallel sessions where PhD students presented their PhD proposals and ongoing research, getting feedback from the participants.<br></p>