The Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP) was established in 2013 with the purpose of adding value to the education in South Africa. Its focus is to address the challenges relating to teacher professional learning and improved access for learners to institutions of higher learning. Coupled with research, the focus is also on recording and sharing best practices, resulting in addressing these challenges in an integrated, holistic, systemic, synchronised, and sustained approach.
The Centre has a dynamic operational structure, accommodating the following components, namely Teacher Professional Learning (TPL), Learner Enhancement (LE), University Preparation Programmes (UPP) and Research, each managed by a component head. Although SUNCEP activities are grouped within separate components, component heads and their teams are committed to creating synergy between components. This commitment underscores SUNCEP's firm belief that educational development is a highly complex process that requires well considered, on-going, multi-layered interventions (focussing on all role-players) to bring about positive change. It is further believed that experience gained, and insights developed should be shared with peers and the rest of the education fraternity. This mandate is fulfilled by our research component via research initiatives, publication, presentations at both national and international conferences, as well as through the supervision of postgraduate students.
Through innovative University Preparation Programmes (UPPs), in the form of first opportunity programme and second opportunity bridging programmes (SciMathUS), students who have the potential to study successfully at Higher Education institutions (HEI's) are supported holistically to access opportunities to study at these HEI's.
In order to sustain the success of the programmes above, SUNCEP offers Learner Enhancement (LE) initiatives to enhance the academic performance of learners from Grades 7 to 12 in a number of rural Education Department districts in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces. These learners receive supplementary tuition in core subjects such as Mathematics and Sciences with the aim to improve their chances to access higher education, either directly or through our UPP programmes.
With sustainability at the heart of all SUNCEP programmes, the centre firmly believes that teachers in their own schools should ultimately lead educational development. It is with this in mind that SUNCEP offers Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) initiatives running concurrently or independently with the supplementary learner support processes. In this component, SUNCEP offers professional learning programmes, both as full qualification courses, such as our Advanced Diploma in Education programmes and accredited, aligned and endorsed short courses to currently serving teachers in Mathematics, Natural and Physical and Life Sciences. In addition, courses are offered in Educational Leadership and School Management to education officials, such as district advisors, school principals, deputy principals and heads of departments. SUNCEP offers teacher professional learning courses in a blended format, consisting of face-to-face contact sessions, telematics sessions and interactive e-lessons or fully online. These tools play an integral role in the communication between SUNCEP and the teachers and amongst the teachers. This leads to the creation of professional learning communities, which can sustainably support themselves after completion of the project. Mentoring forms an integral part of the post teaching process. For more information on the teacher professional learning courses on offer, please peruse the attached brochure.
SUNCEP also has a strong Research component, headed by a component head, and has a proud research output in the form of research reports, presentations at international and national conferences and articles/book chapters published in accredited journals and opinion pieces in various prestige's news platforms.
SUNCEP currently resides in the Faculty of Education – the Director reports directly to the Dean of the Faculty. This strategic positioning affords SUNCEP the opportunity to draw on the expertise of and to co-operate with staff members of the four Faculty departments.
For further information on SUNCEP, please visit our website (http://www.suncep.sun.ac.za) and kindly peruse our most recent editions of the SUNCEP Annual Reports.
The structure of the centre is explained best in the following organogram:
Gallery of SUNCEP Directors
Dr Benedict Khoboli: 2020 -
Dr Trevor van Louw: 2013 - 2019