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SU Language Policy being revised in 2021 Language Policy being revised in 2021Corporate Communication and Marketing Division / Afdeling Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking<p>​The<span class="ms-rteForeColor-1" style=""> </span><a><em class="ms-rteForeColor-1" style=""><strong>Language Policy </strong></em></a><a><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1" style=""><strong>(2016)</strong></span></a> of Stellenbosch University (SU) is being revised during 2021 as part of the five-year revision cycle prescribed in the policy itself. Section 10 of the Language Policy (2016) stipulates that the policy “lapses five years after the date of its implementation" and that it “must be reviewed during its fifth year of operation". The current policy was implemented in 2017. </p><p>The <a href="/english/Documents/Strategic_docs/2017/SU%20STATUTE.pdf"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1" style="">SU Statute</span></a> stipulates that the SU Council must determine the language policy of SU with the concurrence of Senate and in accordance with section 27(2) of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No 101 of 1997, as amended). The revision process was initiated October 2020 by convening a task team, and proposing a timeline based on the University Almanac for 2021. The objective is to table a final draft Language Policy (2021) for approval by Council on 2 December this year.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Since the Constitutional Court in 2019 found the <em>Language Policy </em>(2016) to be constitutionally justified and the University's process in adopting the policy “thorough, exhaustive, inclusive and properly deliberative", the task team has been requested to take the current policy as the point of departure. The revision will be informed further by the SU Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019 – 2024 which has been adopted and implemented after the Language Policy (2016) was approved.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The task team is considering various other documents and pertinent factors in compiling a first draft, including amongst others the current national policy context; the findings of student and staff satisfaction and language proficiency surveys; demographic information; Language Day reports; language reports to Senate and Council; the implementation costs of the Language Policy (2016) and the role of augmented remote teaching, learning and assessment (ARTLA). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In addition to input from institutional statutory bodies such as the Rectorate, Council, Senate, Institutional Forum and Faculty Boards, as well as legal counsel, the revision also includes two public participation processes. To facilitate the collation of public input, the task team will create a single submission platform via the language webpage. According to the timeline a first draft of the revised <em>Language Policy</em> will be released for public consultation by March/April 2021. The full timeline with milestones, more information and relevant documents will be uploaded to the <a href="/english/Pages/Language.aspx"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1" style=""><strong>language webpage</strong></span></a> (<a href="/language"></a>) as the process progresses during the year. <br></p><p>​<br></p>
Students to engage with global peers about socially responsive universities to engage with global peers about socially responsive universitiesMatie Community Service<p style="text-align:justify;">​On 11 March 2021, Stellenbosch University (SU) students will be able to virtually join their peers on the African continent and abroad to talk about the role that socially responsive universities play in society. The student Social Impact Colloquium will be hosted online by Matie Community Service (popularly referred to by its Afrikaans abbreviation, MGD), housed within the Division for Social Impact and supported by Student Structures and Communities.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This year's colloquium will replace MGD's in-person Social Impact Community Morning, which provides students with an opportunity to learn more about how to participate in social impact projects within the surrounding communities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The colloquium, which takes place between 09:30 and 11:00, will focus on <em>Engaging with Social Impact across the Globe: The role of the university in enabling student-driven social impact</em>. Students and staff can <a href="">secure a spot by booking here</a>.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Students will have the opportunity to unpack what it means to be a socially responsive institution,  and how that impacts student volunteerism and the social impact initiatives students pursue.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The colloquium provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the role of socially responsive universities within a global context, and to discuss what that means for Stellenbosch University based on its Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019-2024, as well as for other universities who will participate in the event," says Ms Reneé Hector Kannemeyer, Head of MGD and the Deputy Director of the Division for Social Impact.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Hector-Kannemeyer, participants will share their experiences and knowledge of implementing student-driven social responsiveness within their respective institutions and the different ways in which their institutions have aligned their objectives to focus on the public good.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The core purpose of a university is the production of knowledge to the benefit of society, therefore the key question will focus on how we are preparing the leaders that come through our universities to be change agents and to make a positive impact on society," adds Hector- Kannemeyer</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Panellists from SU, Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore, Rhodes University, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the University of Zimbabwe will start the discussion on 11 March by sharing a mini-documentary video showcasing their universities' student-driven social impact initiatives. The panellists include Ms Lana Franks, Student Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme Lead at the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of the Western Cape; Ms Anna Talbot, Coordinator of Student Volunteerism at Rhodes University; Ms Thandi Matyobeni, Programme Coordinator of the Rhodes Centre for Social Innovation; Ms Claire McCann, a Mandela Rhodes bursary recipient that is currently completing a Masters in Economics; Mr Hon Maode, Deputy Head of the Office of Service Learning at Ngee Ann Polytechnic; Ms Wamahlubi Ngoma, SRC Vice Chairperson 2019/2020; Mr Phil Mlanda, Co-founder and Programme Manager of the paNhari Programme at the University of Zimbabwe; and Mr Munashe Nyamukondiwa: Student and Project Coordinator of the paNhari Programme at the University of Zimbabwe.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Ngee Ann Polytechnic (first place) and the University of Zimbabwe (second place) were awarded the 2020 MacJannet prize by the Talloires Network of Engaged Universities for their groundbreaking work to respectively integrate service learning within their core curriculum and to empower university students to become “civically engaged citizens through social entrepreneurship and using innovation and business principles to improve the world".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">A recent example of how socially responsive universities can impact society was brought about by the global spread of the Covid-19 virus. Various universities across the world used their collective expertise, science, and research to find solutions to a range of challenges brought about by the pandemic. This involved assisting with understanding, amongst others, the pathophysiology of the Covid-19 virus to creating less invasive ventilators. But Covid-19 is not the only pandemic, says Hector-Kannemeyer, and universities now need to respond accordingly to issues raised at the Global Summit for Socially Responsive Universities held earlier this year.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Global issues identified at the summit included the growing inequality between and within nations; violent poverty in many parts of the world, global warming, unbridled consumption, and a broken human-earth nexus; the degradation of an ethical society; an escalation of political violence, constructions of “the other", and massive migrations; new technology and rapid changes in the world of work; and public health challenges, among others.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Stellenbosch University's vision is to be Africa's leading research-intensive university, to be globally recognised as excellent, inclusive and innovative, and to advance knowledge in service of society, which are aligned to the focus of the Global summit, that of being a socially responsive university.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Some of the questions to be addressed during the colloquium will therefore focus on:</p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li>​​what universities have done to move beyond knowledge acquisition in order to address social needs.</li><li>what innovative ideas universities have implemented to continue their social impact endeavours amidst the pandemic; and</li><li>how to create sustainable hope in Africa by creating conditions that will enable each student to acquire the attributes and skills they will need to contribute to society after graduation.</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;">During the event, students will also learn about methodologies such as design thinking, which they can use in conceptualising and implementing their social impact projects virtually, and engage in a problem-solving activity based on a problem submitted from an SU residence community.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The programme for the day is as follows:</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Official Opening: </strong><strong> </strong>Mr Xola Njengele, SRC Chairperson at Stellenbosch University</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Musical Trio performance: </strong>NewVoice Sextet</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Framing of Colloquium: </strong>Ms<strong> </strong>Reneé Hector-Kannemeyer, Head of MGD and Deputy Director of the Division for Social Impact</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Moderator of conversation: </strong>Ms Reneé Hector-Kannemeyer, Head of MGD and Deputy Director of the Division for Social Impact</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Individual mini-documentary videos:</strong> Stellenbosch University, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and the University of Zimbabwe, Rhodes University and the University of the Western Cape</p><p><strong>Closing Remarks: </strong>Prof Ronelle Carolissen, MGD Governing Board Chair and Professor of Community  Psychology in the Educational Psychology Department at Stellenbosch University<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Musical Trio performance: </strong><strong> </strong>NewVoice Sextet</p><p style="text-align:justify;">For more information, please liaise with Ms Michelle Pietersen at MGD at <a href=""></a>.</p><p><br><br></p>
Internet access and mobile data for academic year 2021 access and mobile data for academic year 2021Prof Stan du Plessis: ICBC Chair<p>Dear Students<br></p><p>Stellenbosch University <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8024"><strong>will be welcoming all our students</strong></a><strong> </strong>on our campuses for the 2021 academic year, subject to national regulations. This raises the question of data provision to students as the University had done in 2020.</p><p>The University provides WiFi internet access to registered students on our campuses with no user charge. Computer User Areas (CUAs) will also be available to registered students via a booking mechanism, subject to limitations of space and the academic time table.  </p><p>Therefore, at this time, there will be no blanket provision of mobile data bundles to students. However, the University will consider the provision of mobile data for students who are unable to return to our campuses due to health considerations, such as co-morbidities. Students who apply for such bundles will be asked to confirm the reason for their application. <a href="">Click here</a> to apply. </p><p>To qualify for a data bundle, you have to confirm your mobile telephone number again on your personal details page (<a href="">update your contact details here</a><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">)</span>. To confirm, you must click on the “Update Information" button at the bottom of the page and check that the notice reflects the date on which you updated.</p><p>Please note that the provisioning of data will only be considered for registered students. Self-registration can be done from any computer with access to internet on <a href=""></a>. For more information, find the link to registration on <a href="/"></a> or please <a href="/english/students/Pages/Registration.aspx">click here</a>. </p><p>In addition, the student laptop loan project will be reactivated this year. Applications can be made via <a href=""></a>. </p><p>Please consult the dedicated <a href="/english/Pages/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Disease-2019.aspx">COVID-19 page</a> on the SU website for useful information, including frequently asked questions (FAQs), as well as a record of all communiques and updates since the start of the pandemic. </p><p>Please take care and stay safe.</p><p><strong>Prof Stan du Plessis</strong><br> Chair: Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC)<br> Stellenbosch University<br></p><p><br></p>
All systems go for academic year 2021 at SU systems go for academic year 2021 at SUProf Stan du Plessis: ICBC Chair<p style="text-align:right;">26 February 2021<br></p><p>Dear colleagues and students</p><p>The Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC) of Stellenbosch University (SU) met earlier today, Friday 26 February 2021. The Chair of the Students' Representative Council (SRC), Mr Xola Njengele, joined the meeting for the first time as a regular member.</p><p>The most important item on the agenda was a decision about SU's approach to learning and teaching this academic year, which formally kicks off in just over two weeks' time with the start of undergraduate classes on 15 March.</p><p>We took note of the decline in the number of coronavirus cases, both nationally and in our province. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic remains a threat. We want to both ensure a successful 2021 academic year and promote the health and safety of all our staff and students. To that end, SU expects our students and staff to conduct themselves with an awareness of social solidarity, mindful of the impact our behaviour has for the health and safety of our University community and the broader community. In this way we can ensure, collectively, that we minimise the risk of spreading the virus, save lives and ensure the success of the academic project. </p><p>The country is still under adjusted Level 3 COVID-19 regulations, and our sector is governed by directions issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). Since the last ICBC meeting on 15 February, our engagement with the DHET has been continuing at the highest level to obtain clarity on the approach for this year. We have been doing so with others in our sector, as part of Universities South Africa (USAf). We take encouragement from indications that there will be recognition of the unique circumstances of each institution, and that a one-size-fits-all approach will not be pursued.</p><p>We have confidence that no maximum percentage of students allowed on campuses or in the student accommodation offered by higher education institutions will be imposed at the national level, as each institution's spatial realities differ and each institution needs to manage access to their campuses and student accommodation in line with their specific carrying capacities and circumstances, within national and local safety protocols.</p><p><strong>SU's approach for the first semester</strong></p><p>We have put in place comprehensive measures to ensure compliance with COVID-19 regulations, and these will be strictly adhered to in the interest of health and safety. That will stand us in good stead as we move from the learning and teaching approach we followed last year, to a new approach this year.</p><p>We intend moving from last year's ERTLA to ARTLA this year – from <em>Emergency</em> Remote Teaching, Learning and Assessment to <em>Augmented</em> Remote Teaching, Learning and Assessment. What does that mean? </p><p>We will be following a differentiated approach in which there will be a mixture of face-to-face tuition, online and hybrid learning components. Faculties, departments and support divisions have engaged in intensive and detailed planning. Information about which modules will be presented in which format – whether face-to-face, online or hybrid (a combination of both) – will be placed on the University's website as soon as possible so that students and staff can check and make the necessary arrangements. </p><p>We will be inviting all our students back to our campuses. And the appropriate return of staff members to our campuses – in consultation with their line managers – will make it possible to provide ARTLA. However, there will be flexibility across the institution on the application of ARTLA. There will not be a uniform approach followed by all faculties. </p><p>An extensive initiative – the Extended Learning Spaces (ELS) programme – is underway to install technology in venues to make the streaming and recording of lectures possible. This initiative will be rolled out over the next few months to increasingly allow for the recording and streaming of lectures.</p><p><strong>Loan laptops</strong></p><p>The student laptop loan project will be reactivated this year. Applications can be made via <a href=""><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1"><strong></strong></span></a>.</p><p><strong>Residences</strong></p><p>We will be proceeding with plans to take students into our residences. All students who have been allocated placement in a residence will be able to move into their residences on the communicated dates. In addition to strict protocols that students would need to adhere to in our residences, we have made provision for isolation spaces should these be required.</p><p><strong>Offers and registration</strong></p><p>Following the release of matric results earlier this week, final offers to provisionally accepted students are going out today (an SMS to ask them to check <a href=""><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1"><strong></strong></span></a>). Prospective first-years can view their admission status by logging in with their username and password. </p><p>Registration has already started. More than 20 0000 senior and returning students have already registered online. </p><p>Newcomer first-year undergraduate students will be able to start registering online on Monday 1 March. Self-registration can be done from any computer with access to internet on <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1"></strong></a>. For more information, find the link to registration on <a href="/"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1"></strong></a> or please <a href="/english/students/Pages/Registration.aspx"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">click here</strong></a>. </p><p><strong>Welcoming Programme</strong></p><p>The <a href="/english/welcome/Pages/default.aspx"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Welcoming Programme</strong></a> for newcomer first-year students starts on Tuesday 2 March. <a href="/english/welcome/Documents/2021/2021-Framework-Raamwerk-van-Eng-Afr-FINAL.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Click here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1"> </strong>for the programme.</p><p><strong>Safe conduct</strong></p><p>As stated before, we will require our students coming to campus and residences to agree to a code of conduct, including not participating in risky off-campus activities. We are calling on all our students – whether they stay in university or private accommodation – to behave responsibly and adhere to COVID-19 protocols.</p><p><strong>Health, safety and well-being</strong></p><p>Health and safety are top priorities for Stellenbosch University. We have put measures and protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and are rolling out communication campaigns with three core components: </p><ul><li>Wear your mask (#maskup)<br></li><li>Maintain a safe physical distance (#avoidcontact)</li><li>Wash your hands and clean surfaces (#sanitise)</li></ul><p>Vaccines offer some hope, but they are not yet widely available. Therefore, we must remain vigilant. If all of us act responsibly, we can prevent health services from being overwhelmed and stricter levels of lockdown being instituted, which we want to avoid. </p><p><strong>Collaboration with all stakeholders</strong></p><p>SU, as a responsible institution and a good corporate citizen, is joining municipalities and business communities surrounding our campuses to promote adherence to COVID-19 regulations and protocols. Together, we can keep our University and towns and businesses open and functioning to the mutual benefit of all.</p><p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p><p>In this time of great uncertainty and volatility, we nevertheless strive to provide the best possible service to all our stakeholders.</p><p>Stellenbosch University offers world-class learning and teaching and unique campus experiences. By working together, we believe we can provide these opportunities and at the same time promote health and safety. </p><p>Together we can look forward to the 2021 academic year and strive for the success I know we can achieve in our academic programmes, our research, social impact and in the lives of each member of the extended SU family.</p><p>Please take care and stay safe.</p><p><strong>Prof Stan du Plessis</strong><br><strong> ICBC Chair</strong></p>
FMHS launches first postgraduate toxicology diploma in Africa launches first postgraduate toxicology diploma in AfricaFMHS Marketing & Communications / FGGW Bemarking & Kommunikasie – Anina Visser<p></p><p>In January 2021, Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) launched a new postgraduate diploma in Medical Toxicology. This diploma is the first postgraduate training programme in medical toxicology in Africa and marks an important milestone for both the university and the broader healthcare community. </p><p>Over the past few years, there has been a growing demand in academia and the healthcare industry for expertise in medical toxicology – the field of medicine dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of patients who have been exposed to either venom or poison. In response to this need, the Division of Clinical Pharmacology successfully developed and launched a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Toxicology. </p><p><strong>A focus on toxins unique to the African continent</strong></p><p>“There is currently a shortage of trained staff with knowledge of poisoning, especially of poisoning by means of chemicals that are unique to the African continent," says Carine Marks, director of the Tygerberg Poison Information Centre​. “The proposed programme in toxicology will aim to address the need to provide training opportunities in this scientific field in both South Africa, and in the broader African continent." </p><p>The application process for this diploma started in 2016, according to Marks. Until then, toxicology was only taught to undergraduate students in the BSc Physiotherapy and MBChB programmes, but from this year onward this field of study will be open to postgraduate students as well. </p><p>“Candidates completing the course will have the practical skills to assist in the diagnoses and management of patients exposed to poisonous chemicals," Marks explains. “They will be able to work in medical facilities where they will be able to advise other healthcare professionals on the management of poisoned and envenomed patients."</p><p>The entry criteria for this 18-month course is a BSc or MSc qualification (NQF Level 7 or above) from an accredited institution as approved by the FMHS. For example, this year's class of 21 students consists of medical doctors, PhD participants, biomedical technologists, pharmacists, paediatricians and emergency medicine specialists, among others. Besides appealing to qualified healthcare professionals, this diploma also aims to reach students from other African countries to establish a diverse student community that benefits the entire continent.<br></p><p><strong>A closer look at spiders, snakes and scorpions</strong></p><p>In Marks' opinion, one of the highlights of this course will be the fifth and final module, which will focus on exposure to biological chemicals such as those found in the venom of snakes, spiders, scorpions and in poisonous plants. “We are planning to make this module available as a short course as well," she says.<br></p><p>Although this postgraduate diploma is the first of its kind, it is supported by well-established institutions such as Stellenbosch University and the Tygerberg Poisons Information Centre. Education has always been a strong focal point for this centre. <br></p><p>In 2018, Marks was part of the international team that updated the <a href="">World Health Organisation's Guidelines for Establishing a Poison Centre.</a> Collaboration within the WHO further enables the Tygerberg Poisons Information Centre to be a leading partner in innovative toxicology training and research. “South Africa has a legally binding global agreement to protect public health. Our poison centre has the obligation to detect and respond to events caused by toxic agents, and to inform the WHO if impact on public health is thought to be serious, unusual or intentional, and whether there is a significant risk of spread or release, with the potential to spread across national borders." </p><p>Against this backdrop of international collaboration and resourcefulness, the course promises to provide world-class training to students wishing to expand their knowledge in the very important field of toxicology.  For more information, contact the programme coordinator and chair Carine Marks: <a href=""></a></p><p> <br></p><p><em>Caption: </em><em>Carine Marks, Arina Du Plessis, Tracy Kellerman, Alma van der Merwe, Victoria Mathane and Cassius Phogole are some of the lecturers presenting the new postgraduate diploma in toxicology.</em></p><p><em>Photo credit: Wilma Stassen</em></p>
Top matriculants of 2020 to study at SU matriculants of 2020 to study at SUCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel]<p>​​​​<br></p><p>Stellenbosch University (SU) will once again become the home to a number of South Africa's top matric learners of 2020.</p><p>Reynhardt Buys from Pearson High school in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape is the top matriculant for 2020 and will commence his studies in Actuarial Science at SU this year.</p><p>Buys walked off with the top spot in the quintal level five section of the 2020 matric exams and scooped third place countrywide in mathematics. </p><p>According to Buys he did not follow any particular recipe for success, but instead made sure he would study immediately when he came home from school, which helped him to achieve the top spot.</p><p>“I'm really proud of myself and the hours of work that I put in. When all my friends were out partying, I'd be at home sitting with my books and doing the work diligently, so in that regard I'm very proud of myself," said Buys.</p><p>Another top matriculant who will make Maties her home this year is Sonica Roux from Hoërskool Outeniqua in George in the Western Cape. She took the third spot in the quintal level five section of the 2020 matric exams.</p><p>Roux wants to be a doctor and will be studying medicine at SU. “I've always been interested in medicine and helping other people. There has been a lot of developments in this field over the years, which is something that really excites me. I look forward to studying at one of the top universities in the country and cannot wait to meet the other students," says Roux.</p><p>Some of the other top matriculants on their way to SU is Daniel Alwyn Gouws from Hermanus High School. He is Western Cape's top matriculant in mathematics. Gouws will be studying Electronic Engineering. The top matriculants from the North West and Limpopo provinces will also be joining SU. Jana geyser from Potchefstroom in the Nort West will be styuding medicine, while Diana van Niekerk from Pietersburg Highschool in Polokwane, Limpopo, will be studying occupational therapy at SU. ​<br></p><p>Two top matric pupils from Durban, Ryan Wood and Ishan Jewnarain, who both received seven distinctions, will also commence their studies at SU this year. Wood, from Glenwood High School, will be studying medicine and Jewnarain, from Northwood School, will be studying Actuarial Science. <br><br></p><p>​<br></p>
Update on SU's plans for the first semester on SU's plans for the first semesterProf Stan du Plessis Chair: ICBC​<p><br><br></p><p style="text-align:right;"><em>16 February 2021</em></p><p>Dear colleagues and students</p><p>The Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC) of Stellenbosch University (SU) met for the second time this year on Monday 15 February 2021. </p><p>In line with our previous decision on 18 January, we are still hoping to have as many students as possible back on campus for the start of undergraduate classes on 15 March. To this end, we are putting in place both flexible plans for learning and teaching, as well as extensive health and safety measures. </p><p>However, there seem to be some contradictions between the regulations issued after the introduction of the original level-3 restrictions in June last year and a new communique sent to universities after the adjustments announced in December, which need to be resolved.</p><p>We have had extensive engagements with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on the possible amendment of the prevailing directives published on 8 June 2020, and are awaiting urgent feedback. Our proposed return-to-campus plan is in line with the DHET's communique of 31 December 2020. In addition, we have applied to DHET for permission to deviate from the level-3 directives.</p><p>We understand that this uncertainty is disruptive, which is why we are continuing our urgent discussions with the DHET. We will also be joining the rest of the sector in a meeting of Universities South Africa (USAf) on Friday (19 February), where we hope to obtain more clarity.</p><p>In the meantime, we have undertaken extensive scenario planning based on the decisions of the DHET, USAf and government with regard to COVID-19 regulations.</p><p><strong>Who will be brought to campus?</strong></p><p>As a university, we are committed to the academic project and confirm our intention to:</p><ul><li>allow for as many newcomer first-year students as possible to be on campus; </li><li>accommodate students on campus who lack a conducive learning environment elsewhere; and </li><li>follow a differentiated approach in faculties to accommodate students who need to be on campus for clinical and other practical work, as well as our postgraduate students who already returned to campus earlier this year.</li></ul><p><strong>Final decision</strong></p><p>The ICBC will meet again on 26 February, when we will take a final decision on returning students to campus, and staff to the workplace. We hope to be able to accommodate as many students as possible on our campuses to enable the transformative student experience and unique university life SU is known for.</p><p>However, even if we can accommodate only some of our students on campus, we will make sure that all students have an opportunity to complete the academic year successfully, as we did last year when COVID-19 first struck.</p><p>In December 2020, SU celebrated the academic achievements of 5 701 students who graduated despite tremendous obstacles. We are immensely grateful for the hard work and dedication of our students, lecturers and support staff that made this possible.</p><p><strong>Augmented remote teaching, learning and assessment (ARTLA)</strong></p><p>This year, we want to follow a differentiated model of learning and teaching called ARTLA, which will combine contact tuition for smaller groups of students with online elements. Faculties and departments will decide on the exact mix of learning and teaching modes to be followed for each module – including the extent of face-to-face, online or hybrid approaches – depending on the desired module outcomes. This approach allows for flexibility to accommodate the different circumstances of our various academic environments.</p><p><strong>Extended Learning Spaces (ELS) project</strong></p><p>To make ARTLA possible, SU embarked on the Extended Learning Spaces (ELS) project in November last year. This ambitious, complex initiative aims to fast-track the installation of advanced equipment in 183 schedulable venues to enable lecturers to stream and record lectures, as well as interact with students who are not physically present. </p><p>We are currently in the contracting and procurement phase, after which the delivery of equipment, the assembly of the units as well as on-site installation will follow. While SU is working with multiple external contractors, the project depends on the availability of stock, and the University also has to follow due process to ensure quality.</p><p>To allow for all of this, current estimates are that installation will take place in May. Therefore, the full package will not be available for the start of the academic year on 15 March, but preparatory work is being done in the interim. The information technology and physical infrastructure at the selected venues is being upgraded to ensure that the units can be installed successfully. And training in how to use the units will be rolled out from the end of February, when demonstration units are expected to become available. </p><p>In addition, a team from our Division of Learning and Teaching Enhancement, in collaboration with the IT Division, are working on ways to use existing equipment to stream and record lectures. This will allow ARTLA to proceed in the meantime, until the full solution becomes available.</p><p><strong>Health and safety</strong></p><p>SU will not compromise on health and safety. Although we seem to be nearing the end of the second wave of COVID-19 infections in South Africa, the pandemic is by no means over. Vaccines offer some hope, but they are not yet widely available. Therefore, we must remain vigilant.</p><p>All protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease will be strictly observed on our campuses, including sanitising, ventilation, physical distancing and the wearing of masks.</p><p><strong>Isolation, quarantine and self-isolation</strong></p><p>On Monday, the ICBC approved a protocol (<a href="/english/Documents/2021/Protocol-for-Isolation-Quarantine-and-Self-isolation-in-a-residence.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">click here</strong></a>) for isolation, quarantine and self-isolation. </p><p>Students moving into residence and returning to campus will have to prove that they have self-screened for seven consecutive days before their arrival, using Higher Health's HealthCheck daily risk assessment tool (only available via the URL <a href=""><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1"><strong></strong></span></a><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1"><strong>;</strong></span> no longer via SMS or WhatsApp).</p><p>Students who show symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive or have had high-risk contact must self-isolate for ten days. Residences will reserve rooms for this purpose.</p><p><strong>Student activities </strong></p><p>With the Welcoming Programme kicking off in early March, it is important to note that a prohibition on social gatherings will be in place. No student event will be allowed, unless it forms part of a preapproved programme that includes all necessary health protocols. A specific plan for the event must be drawn up, and a COVID-19 compliance officer must supervise. Students will be encouraged to use a suitable outdoor venue for such events, as this lowers the risk of transmission considerably. (<a href="/english/Documents/2021/Booking-of-Venues-Meetings-Events-Level-3.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">Click here</strong></a> for more information.)</p><p><strong>Toolkits</strong></p><p>The ICBC also approved an extensive return-to-campus toolkit for staff and students [to be made available as soon as possible], based on regulations, directives and guidelines issued by the authorities. It covers aspects such as personal protective equipment, access control, sanitising, physical distancing, meetings, waste disposal, testing, and readying venues for learning and teaching.</p><p>In addition, our Corporate Communication and Marketing Division has compiled a COVID-19 protocol awareness toolkit (<a href=""><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">click here</strong></a>) with printable materials for the SU community. Entities are requested to make use of this SU-branded toolkit only, which includes posters for building entrances, notice boards and restrooms. </p><p><strong>Returning to the workplace</strong></p><p>Staff's return to the workplace will be managed according to the protocols and directions set out in legislation. Our Human Resources Division will guide us on the necessary processes, including health and safety protocols. To this end, the Employee Relations Office will conduct a workshop for members of the General Managers' Meeting on 23 February.</p><p><strong>Travel</strong></p><p>Also approved on Monday were updated guidelines and recommendations for international travel. Staff and students must complete a travel registry (<a href="/english/SUInternational/current-students/travelregistry"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">click here</strong></a>) before travelling abroad. This will provide us with a more accurate record so that we can provide assistance in emergencies. </p><p><strong>COVID-19 webpage</strong></p><p>All the information in this communication is available on a dedicated <a href="/english/Pages/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Disease-2019.aspx"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-1">COVID-19 page</strong></a> on the SU website, which includes frequently asked questions (FAQs), as well as a record of all communiques and updates since the start of the pandemic. Staff and students are encouraged to make extensive use of this valuable resource.</p><p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p><p>In the spirit of solidarity, we are closely collaborating with all role-players to limit COVID-19 infections and enable both the University and the towns in which we operate to stay open and functional. </p><p>At our meeting on Monday, we decided to broaden the ICBC by extending an invitation to the Students' Representative Council (SRC) Chair to join our regular meetings. On Thursday, we will also be providing a detailed briefing to all SU personnel at the first staff assembly of the year. </p><p>We live in extraordinary times and realise all too well that the current situation, which has been dubbed “VUCA" (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), is hard on everyone. Nevertheless, we are as committed as ever to act in the best interests of our staff, students and the broader community.</p><p>Please take care and stay safe.</p><p><strong>Prof Stan du Plessis</strong><br><strong> ICBC Chair</strong></p><p><br></p>
SU launches online onboarding programme for provisionally accepted students launches online onboarding programme for provisionally accepted studentsClaudia Swart<p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>​​​SU's online onboarding programme for provisionally accepted students to launch on 1 February</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Grade 12 learners' academic year in 2020, Stellenbosch University (SU) has decided to proactively assist students with their transition from school to university.</p><p>To this end, an onboarding programme for all provisionally accepted students will be available online in February 2021. The programme aims to enhance first-year preparedness by offering students various opportunities for growth. With the official welcoming programme and classes only scheduled to start in March, February is an ideal time to engage with provisionally accepted students while awaiting their National Senior Certificate (NSC) results. </p><p>The programme has been designed on SU's learning management system, <a href=""><span lang="AF" style="text-decoration:underline;">SUNLearn</span></a>, and is set to go live on 1 February. Students should log in with the username and password they received during the application process. Support will be available to resolve any problems or queries.</p><p>To derive optimal value from the programme, students should engage with the various modules at their own pace. A mind map of the onboarding journey has also been drawn up for students to orientate themselves and select which information they would like to engage with when. Access to the programme will continue to be available after registration at SU.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The onboarding programme consists of a generic module, which is intended for all students, and modules specific to the different faculties. Cross-referencing allows swift navigation between modules.</p><p>The generic module starts with a short overview of SUNLearn and of the onboarding programme. Videos from the Maties 101 campaign (including a virtual campus tour) are also available. In addition, provisionally accepted students will have access to video recordings of current SU students sharing their experiences of transitioning from school to university.</p><p>Other topics dealt with in the generic module include the following:<br> <strong>Making the most of my 24 hours</strong> (time management)<br> <strong>Rocking university life</strong> (success and well-being)<br> <strong>Go with the flow</strong> (stress management)<br> <strong>Ace your studies</strong> (exam and study skills)<br> <strong>Money matters</strong> (financial literacy)<br> <strong>Read like a pro</strong> (academic reading)<br> <strong>Be the best student you can be</strong> (I-FlourishWell4Life programme)<br>  <br>In an extended question-and-answer section, students will be able to search for answers to many of their questions about SU, and even post their own questions. Information for this section has been enhanced by a survey in which senior students were asked what they wish they had known before coming to SU. Videos of current students sharing ways to cope at university as well as details of available support are easily accessible. Students will be able to connect with some of SU's mentors as well. <br><br>The content for the faculty-specific modules has been crafted by faculty representatives themselves. This includes information on the various programmes in the faculty, the available faculty-specific support, and who to contact for any questions.</p><p>Students and their parents will be informed about the programme via SU's official communication channels. In addition to text messages and social media posts, all provisionally accepted students will also receive an <a href="">e-mail</a> on 1 February, inviting them to access the onboarding programme on SUNLearn and providing both an overview of the programme and information on who to contact for support.</p><p>SU's chief operating officer, Prof Stan du Plessis, announced the launch of the programme in an official communication on 19 January 2021. “It is important that all SU staff are aware of the programme, as they might be asked to clarify issues in response to students' questions," explains project coordinator Mrs Claudia Swart-Jansen van Vuuren, senior advisor at the Centre for Teaching and Learning. “I am excited about this project, particularly also the enthusiasm of representatives from all the faculties and student support divisions, who worked very hard to put the programme in place. It is truly a team effort."<br></p><p>Enquiries may be sent to Claudia Swart:<br></p>
New Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching ready to welcome students for 2021 academic year Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching ready to welcome students for 2021 academic yearCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking [Rozanne Engel]<p>​Prof Deresh Ramjugernath has officially taken up his position as the new <span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;">Deputy Vice-Chancellor</span>​​: Learning and Teaching at Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p>In an interview with SU's Corporate Communication and Marketing Division, Prof Ramjugernath said he was “very excited to join the ranks of one of the leading higher education institutions on the African continent" and looking forward to welcoming students for the new academic year.</p><p>“The return to campus brings huge responsibility for all. All of us will have to ensure that we do our best to comply and adhere with all health and safety protocols so that there is minimal risk and a conducive environment for all within our university community," he said. “The pandemic is not in any way behind us, and we will have to endure for some time to come until we have seen the roll-out of an effective and comprehensive vaccination programme." </p><p>While mindful of the challenges of living and functioning with the pandemic, Prof Ramjugernath remains positive about the academic year ahead: “We are looking forward to welcoming our students for the new academic year within the constraints of a 'new normal'. We know that it will be a highly fulfilling and exciting journey, both academically and socially, at one of the best institutions on the continent."</p><p>Ramjugernath is a pre-eminent scientist in the field of chemical engineering in general, and chemical thermodynamics and separation technology in particular. He studied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and obtained the degrees BSc Eng (Chemical) in 1993, MSc Eng (Chemical), which was upgraded to a PhD, in 1995, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2000.</p><p>He has successfully graduated over 130 master's and PhD students, and supervised over 20 postdoctoral fellows. Ramjugernath has also published in excess of 350 peer-reviewed journal articles and presented more than 300 papers at international conferences. </p><p>He held the chair in fluorine process engineering and separation technology – part of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI)/National Research Foundation (NRF) South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) – until 2018. The new vice-rector has also received various national and international awards and is a member of a number of industry and academic bodies, including the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).</p><p>Over the years, he held various positions at UKZN. These include deputy vice-chancellor of research, pro-vice-chancellor of innovation, commercialisation and entrepreneurship, assistant dean of engineering, as well as head of the School of Chemical Engineering.</p><p>Ramjugernath believes that higher education institutions have a crucial and significant part to play in contributing to social and economic development nationally, and to be leading global producers of knowledge.</p><p>“As a nation, we currently face many challenges with regard to social and economic upliftment of our citizens, and in moving the country to prosperity for all. Universities need to play a more significant role in addressing these challenges and having a direct impact on society. The values instilled in our students and staff, and their entire campus experience while at university, must not just help them function effectively at, and identify with, the institution, but should also equip them to engage with society at large and contribute to social cohesion and nation building." <br><br></p><p><em>​Photo by Anton Jordaan.</em><br></p><p><br></p>
All the best for 2021 the best for 2021Wim de Villiers<p>​<span style="color:#58585a;">Dear members of the Stellenbosch University (SU) community<br>  <br> How time flies! The new year is already a week old, so let me without delay wish you all the best for 2021. This is no glib talk – if the last 12 months have taught us anything, it is to truly appreciate the preciousness of life. May this year be good to us all.<br>  <br> The University re-opened on Monday after the end-of-year break, and some staff members and students are already hard at work. Others are making the most of the opportunity to rest up some more for the year ahead, which will no doubt be as demanding as 2020 – if not more so.<br>  <br> Unfortunately, a number of staff, students and other members of the extended University family have passed away over the holidays. We are deeply saddened by all of these losses and wish to convey our heartfelt sympathy to their loved-ones.<br>  <br> The coronavirus pandemic is still wreaking havoc the world over, and we have not been spared its destructive effects. The good news is that a number of vaccines have been developed (we are proud of SU’s contribution to one of the trials;</span> <strong><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7686" target="_blank"><span style="color:#5f213a;">click here</span></a></strong> <span style="color:#58585a;">to read more), and we hope that South Africa will get equitable access sooner rather than later. In the meantime, though, let us remain vigilant and observe all guidelines. Helping to halt the spread of COVID-19 should be everyone’s main concern.<br>  <br> As I reported in December (</span><strong><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7929" target="_blank"><span style="color:#5f213a;">click here</span></a></strong><span style="color:#58585a;">), our University did very well under difficult circumstances in 2020. Thank you, again, to everyone for their selfless contributions. And congratulations to all who succeeded against the odds.<br>  <br> This year, our overarching priorities remain the same as last year – to succeed with the academic project and to remain sustainable as a leading higher-education institution.<br>  <br> As we said in spelling out the implications of the new Level 3 regulations for SU last week (</span><strong><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7937" target="_blank"><span style="color:#5f213a;">click here</span></a></strong><span style="color:#58585a;">), we hope to resume all University activities to the fullest extent possible as soon as we can – within the constraints posed by COVID-19, of course. The health and safety of our staff and students come first.<br>  <br> The new regulations are due to expire on 15 January, but as the President indicated in his address on 28 December, the measures will be reviewed at that time on the basis of the state of the pandemic in the country.<br>  <br> A meeting of SU’s Institutional Committee for Business Continuity (ICBC) has been called for 18 January, so that we can carefully consider all pertinent issues and take well-informed decisions on the way forward for the University. Rest assured that we will keep you posted.<br>  <br> None of us can foretell the future, but we can draw strength from knowing that we will be there for each other, come what may. Let’s go forward together, <em>masiye pamphili</em>, <em>saam vorentoe</em>!<br>  <br><strong>Prof Wim de Villiers<br> Rector and Vice-Chancellor</strong></span><br><br></p>