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​​​​​​​​Centre for Health Professions Education​ 

Curriculum Design

Graduate attributes

The development of graduate attributes forms an integral part of Stellenbosch University's student-centered teaching and learning strategy.

​ 'Graduate attributes are the qualities, skills and understandings a university community agrees its students should develop during their time with the institution. These attributes include but go beyond the disciplinary expertise or technical knowledge that has traditionally formed the core of most university courses. They are qualities that also prepare graduates as agents of social good in an unknown future.' Bowden, Hart, King, Trigwell & Watts (2000)​

The graduate attributes that students should develop during their studies at Stellenbosch University include:

An enquiring mind​​​

An engaged citizen

A dynamic professional

A well-rounded individual​

At the level of individual programmes, graduate attributes are further defined context-specifically in order to not only reflect the University's graduate attributes, but the SAQA outcomes and disciplinary and industry related specifications as well.


Graduate attributes for undergraduate students in teaching and learning programmes at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

The aim of our graduate attributes competency framework is to provide a transformational learning experience and equip our students with the competencies to address health inequalities through patient-centered and community-based care.


Framework development

The leadership of the Centre of Health Professions Education (CHPE) played a key role in identifying and refining the competencies required by our graduates. A collaborative, inter-professional process was followed at both institutional and national levels and culminated in the adoption and contextual adaptation of the Canadian Medical Education Directions for Specialists (CanMEDs) competency framework by the Medical and Dental Professions Board of the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

Parallel to this process, a document was developed to provide a contextualised description of the graduate competency framework for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University. According to this framework a health professional graduating from SU should be competent to fulfil seven professional roles to assist in meeting the health needs of our country, namely that of Healthcare Practitioner, Communicator, Collaborator, Leader and Manager, Health Advocate, Scholar and Professional. The Graduate Attributes Competency Framework is currently being integrated into the curricula of the various disciplines within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.


The competency framework of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences:

Graduating health professionals should be competent in seven roles



For a full description of the​ framework, click here


Brief summary of each of the roles/competencies required by our graduates: