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Visual redress project makes SU landscape welcoming to allhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7058Visual redress project makes SU landscape welcoming to allCorporate Communication - Sandra Mulder<p>​​​Various changes and add-ons to the physical landscape of the campuses of Stellenbosch University (SU) will continue to appear over the next three years as several visual redress (VR) initiatives and the budget to implement them, were recently approved by the SU Council.<br></p><p>VR remains one of the main priorities of the University to transform the campuses into a more welcoming space for a multicultural campus community, says Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation.</p><p>“Changes to a campus environment can influence an institutional culture and must be seen as an important aspect for transformation to occur. The SU's visual redress project is to be expanded over the next three years (2020–2022) after the first phase of the project was successfully completed during the last two years (2018–2019," says Van Rooi, who chairs the Visual Redress Committee that is responsible for overseeing the visual redress processes, among others.</p><p>The following VR initiatives have been earmarked for the next three years:</p><ul><li>Contextualise existing statues and symbols on the campuses in collaboration with the various environments</li><li>A history lane artwork envisaged for the area next to Wilgenhof Residence in Ryneveld Street (This will further connect the university with the town of Stellenbosch.)</li><li>Garden project, allowing SU to express South Africa's heritage also through the  gardens and other public spaces</li><li>Visual representation linked to the cultures represented among the students residing in SU residences (including the University's Listen, Live and Learn [LLL] Villages)</li><li>Develop Die Vlakte walkway and garden. This initiative, in collaboration with the Stellenbosch Municipality and residents of the historic Vlakte Community, will acknowledge the historic Die Vlakte community and the forced removals that had a dire effect on them.</li><li>Workshops at various faculties about visual redress initiatives that can be undertaken by the faculties </li></ul><p>SU's Facility Management (SUFM) is one of the main enablers of SU's visual redress project in public spaces on campus. Among other things, they are responsible for rolling out the new signage across the campuses.</p><p>“The redress project focuses on changing the University's landscape in an attempt to right the wrongs of the past and remedying the harm that visual symbols have caused. The new visual symbols have an African centrality.  Not all the symbols will be changed and those that remain on campuses are put in the correct context," says Mr Francois Swart, Director: Development, Planning and Design at SU.</p><p>The Visual Redress Committee in collaboration with SU's Facility Management completed several additions or changes during 2018 and 2019, including:</p><div><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/MatielandVisualRedressRedressAgain-24%20-%20Copy.jpg" alt="MatielandVisualRedressRedressAgain-24 - Copy.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;" /><span></span></div><p><br></p><p>•          <a href="/english/transformation/visual-redress/initiatives/the-circle"><em>The Circle</em>, a bronze art installation next to the Rooiplein</a>, depicting eight women figures that symbolise the future of South Africa and leadership in the past, present and future. <br></p><div><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Die%20Vlakte%20walking%20route%20benches.jpg" alt="Die Vlakte walking route benches.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;" /><span></span></div><div><br><br></div><p>•          The sandblasted benches on the central Stellenbosch campus welcoming students, staff and members of the community in 15 languages<br></p><p>•          A map of Die Vlakte, an area from where the Apartheid government removed families as part of the forced removals in 1964, has been affixed to the front door of the Arts and Social Sciences building in Victoria Road, Stellenbosch<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Vlaktewalking%20route%20design.jpg" alt="Vlaktewalking route design.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p>•          Special messages in Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa are on the walls of the University's library to acknowledge SU's role in the injustices of South Africa's past.</p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/MatielandVisualRedressAssebliefnouklaar-3%20copy.jpg" alt="MatielandVisualRedressAssebliefnouklaar-3 copy.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:455px;" /><br></p><p>•          Various maps of the broader Stellenbosch on the walls of the SU library<br></p><div><br><br></div><p>•          Contextualising boards at the Adam Small Theatre Complex, Pieter Okkers House, the Rooiplein and the Faculty of Theology</p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/MatielandVisualRedressRedressAgain-2%20COPY.jpg" alt="MatielandVisualRedressRedressAgain-2 COPY.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:295px;" /><div><br><br><br></div><p><br></p><p><br></p><p>•          Visual redress workshops that took place at the Faculties of Law, Theology and Medicine and Health Sciences </p><p>Several people from the Faculties and the Professional Administration and Support Services (PASS), especially from the Department of Visual Arts and SUFM, form part of the Transformation Committee and participate in discussions and conversations about the physical landscape, planning, designing, creating signs, symbols, artwork, and the implementation thereof.<br></p><p><br></p><p>With the new visual redress initiatives becoming more visible SU takes in a new era. It is thus fitting that the current initiatives started in the SU centenary year. Van Rooi says research argues that visual redress may provide a means to attend to underlying, unspoken and unconscious expressions of exclusion that remain on the campuses of higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa today.<br></p><p>​The SU visual redress project is a catalyst of the strategic themes of SU's <em>Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019–2040:</em></p><ul><li><strong>A THRIVING STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY</strong></li></ul><p>Visual redress has a direct impact on a changing campus culture by adding new symbols, enhancing strong symbols and removing hurtful symbols. </p><ul><li><strong>A TRANSFORMATIVE STUDENT EXPERIENCE</strong></li></ul><p>The new symbols are of a transformative nature and students are directly involved via workshops in commenting, choosing and building new symbols. </p><ul><li><strong>PURPOSEFUL PARTNERSHIPS AND INCLUSIVE NETWORKS</strong></li></ul><p>Visual redress crosses institutional boundaries by liaising directly with other universities in forging new partnerships linking directly to what SU would like to achieve through visual redress. </p><ul><li><strong> NETWORKED AND COLLABORATIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING</strong></li></ul><p>Visual redress, through workshops and through direct engagements with faculties, can enhance teaching and learning practices where students and lecturers can engage on contemporary issues in such a way that it leads to new symbols and/or removing hurtful symbols. </p><ul><li><strong>RESEARCH FOR IMPACT</strong></li></ul><p>SU can lead research on the impact of visual redress processes on our campuses. In this regard, SU can collaborate with other institutions who have to deal with similar issues, gaining insight into some of the lessons learned.</p><ul><li><strong>EMPLOYER OF CHOICE</strong> </li></ul><p>An environment that is more welcoming allows staff members to flourish and to feel at home. <br></p><p><br></p>
“Hugely symbolic” Chancellor’s Luncheon at Goldfields Residencehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7025“Hugely symbolic” Chancellor’s Luncheon at Goldfields ResidenceKorporatiewe Kommunikasie / Corporate Communication<p></p><p>Stellenbosch University (SU) concluded its last graduation week of the year on 13 December 2019 with a Chancellor's Luncheon, held at its Goldfields Residence for the first time.<br><br></p><p>“It is hugely symbolic that this event – a highlight on the University's calendar – is taking place here. This residence was built in 1987 to accommodate black, coloured and Indian students because at that time the Group Areas Act was still in place, and they could not be accommodated with white students on the rest of campus. It's hard to believe, but that's how it was under apartheid," SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers told the audience.</p><p>The Chancellor's Luncheon is held twice a year for new recipients of the University's honorary doctorates, PhDs, Chancellor's Medal and Chancellor's Awards. At its December graduation ceremonies, SU again awarded a record number of qualifications – 5 857 degrees, diplomas and certificates, including 154 PhDs, of which 50% were awarded to black African, coloured, and Indian students.</p><p>“Access to the University and all its residences has long since been opened in full, and I am glad to say that we have an ever more diverse and integrated student body and also staff body here at SU today, although it remains a work in progress. But this residence deserves recognition as an important role-player milestone on our journey towards inclusivity," Prof De Villiers said.<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/IMG_5423.JPG" alt="IMG_5423.JPG" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:460px;height:311px;" />​<br></p><p>“Through the years, it accommodated many students who would go on make their mark in society – is illustrious 'Goldies' like our own Prof Mohammad Karaan and Dr Leslie van Rooi, Francois Groepe, who served on the Reserve Bank' board of directors for 14 years, actress June van Merch, and the Springbok rugby player Breyton Paulse, to name just a few.</p><p>“The first residence head was Prof Willie Esterhuyse, who would play an important role in South Africa's political transition as a facilitator in the negotiations phase before there were official talks. One of the stories told of those days, is that Prof Esterhuyse received Thabo Mbeki here. Of course, the students heard about it, and also got the opportunity to speak to the man who would later become South Africa's President.</p><p>“A residence head who came later was Pieter Kloppers, who is still in Student Affairs to this day. And he credits his experience here at Goldfields with giving him hope for the future, and with laying the foundation for much of the innovative work done in Student Communities."</p><p>Prof De Villiers also pointed out some of the challenges experienced by Goldfields residents. </p><p>“Those who stayed here as students in those days also remember the feeling of being marginalised and isolated here on the edge of campus, even ostracised and discriminated against. We have to own up to that, as we admitted in our Centenary year in 2018 that there were mistakes in our history. For this we have deep regret."</p><p>The Chancellor's Luncheon took place in Goldfields' new dining hall, which has been in use since the start of the year.</p><p>“The residence decided to name it 'Sada Oms', a Khoisan phrase meaning 'Our House'," Prof de Villiers explained. In an earlier interview, the current Residence Head, Renee Hector-Kannemeyer, told Matie Media the name “speaks to transformation and honouring first nations".</p><p>“So, welcome here in Sada Oms, our house, in Goldfields, our residence, at Stellenbosch University, which belongs to everyone, not to any particular group," Prof De Villiers concluded.</p><p>Commenting on the event, Van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation at SU, said, “I cannot begin to express how significant Friday's Chancellor's luncheon was. I'm very sure that it will also be true for the old Goldies. To think that the community on the outskirts of campus (more than just in terms of its physical location) became the centre of our University community really was a deeply symbolic act."<br></p><p> <em><strong>TOP: Arriving at Stellenbosch University's Chancellor's Lunch at Goldfields Residence, from left to right, Prof Wim de Villiers, Dr Ronel Retief, Prof Ronelle Carolissen, Prof Linus Opara, Prof Usuf Chikte, Ms Ellen Tise and Mrs Masoodah Chikte. </strong></em></p>
SU graduates well equipped for the futurehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6983SU graduates well equipped for the futureCorporate Communication/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Rozanne Engel]<p>​​<br></p><p>December is an exciting time at Stellenbosch University (SU): It is the month of graduation! In the midst of this excitement, graduates are also making important decisions about their future: Are they going to study further? Are they going to enter the world of work? Are they going to start their own business? Are they going to travel and explore the word? Quite a few may possibly also be worried about their future: Are they going to find a job?  Did their studies prepare them well enough for the world of work? Are their qualification relevant to the job they have secured?  </p><p>SU launched its Graduate Destination Survey (GDS) in 2017 to provide the institution with insights about its graduates and to try to find answers to these and other questions on a broad and institutional level. The survey has the additional goal of informing the institution about possible interventions to better equip its graduates for the world of work, specifically the correct mix of employability skills.</p><p>The survey was fine-tuned over the last couple of years and is administered annually during the December and March/April graduation ceremonies. Approximately 9 000 students graduate annually from SU and they all receive an invitation to take part in the GDS.</p><p>A total of 2 253 of the 2018 graduates completed the survey. Some of the interesting insights from the 2018 survey are: </p><ul><li>37% of graduates have already secured a job at the time of graduation and will be entering the world of work; </li><li>38% of graduates intend to continue with their studies;</li><li>3% of graduates had already started their own business or would be starting their own business; and </li><li>of the remaining 22%, 2% will be travelling, 16% will be job-hunting and 4% are not yet sure of their plans for the future.</li></ul><p>Even at graduation, and thus very shortly after they have actually learnt that they were successful, the majority of SU graduates, therefore, appear to be confident that they are well equipped for their future. </p><p>According to Marquard Timmey from the Unit for Graduand Career Services at the Centre for Student Counselling and Development at SU, “data from the GDS should constructively inform interventions from faculty and support services, especially with regards to the co-curricular offering and how it can help to equip SU graduates with valuable employability skills. The Unit for Graduand Career Services is aware of the fact that graduate destination data is increasingly been used as a catalyst for university-wide discussions on how all internal and external stakeholders can actively contribute to supporting the career readiness of SU graduates."</p><p>Some other interesting findings of the GDS provide valuable additional perspectives:</p><ul><li>Approximately 75% of the students had work experience by the time they graduated.</li><li>Around 81% of students who will continue with further studies, will do so at SU.</li><li>About 52% of the students who will be working immediately after graduation will be working in the private sector, while 25% secured a job in government departments and 11% found work in the government education sector.</li><li>Networking with friends, family or acquaintances was the most prominent way graduates utilised to get a job – it was closely followed by internet and electronic media.</li><li>Approximate 85% of graduates will be working in South Africa, 10% elsewhere in Africa and 5% overseas.</li><li>Lastly, just more than eight out of 10 graduates who have already secured a job by graduation indicated that their future job definitely had a strong link with their qualification.</li></ul><p>The graduates of 2019 are completing the survey at the moment. The results will be processed and published after the rest of the 2019 class has graduated in March/April 2020. Follow-up studies are, according to Timmey, also planned for the future to determine how sought after graduates from SU really are in the workplace.  </p><p>For more information about the Graduate Destination Survey, contact <a href="mailto:careerservices@sun.ac.za">careerservices@sun.ac.za</a>.  <br> <br></p><p><strong>December graduates can take the latest survey here:</strong> <span lang="AF" style="font-size:11pt;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;"><a href="http://bit.ly/355LOf4">http://bit.ly/355LOf4</a></span><br></p><p><br></p>
SU highlights 2019 video – Prof Wim takes the two-minute challengehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6981SU highlights 2019 video – Prof Wim takes the two-minute challengeKorporatiewe Kommunikasie / Corporate Communication<p>​​“A big thank you to everybody who helped take Stellenbosch University (SU) forward in 2019, another year of highlights for us," Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim De Villiers tells staff, students, alumni, donors, partners and frie​nds of the institution in an end-of-year video m​essage. <br></p><p>And then he takes the​​ two-minute challenge set last month by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, trying to beat the clock as he runs through the yea​​r's highlights at SU. <a href="/english/Lists/dualnews/Edit.aspx?ID=6262&Source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esun%2Eac%2Eza%2Fenglish%2FLists%2Fdualnews%2FAllItems%2Easpx%23InplviewHashb7da3f62%2D8e4d%2D4b50%2Db0a4%2Db548c4d0d6c6%3D&ContentTypeId=0x010019F8BC5373DFA740B008FC720EA25DE601001164650C2CAFD842A65CBCFBB7C2C2A4" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"></span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"></span>Watch his video to see if he makes it! (Full text below).​</p> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XGXGLBk_y20" width="690" height="345" frameborder="0"></iframe> <ol><li>“We've received 45 000 first-year applications for 2020 … 6 000 more than last year. And the main reason provided by applicants is our academic reputation.</li><li>Our students' module success rate remains above 86%, one of the highest in the country.</li><li>Funds raised for bursaries increased by 82% the past five years. Thank you very much to everyone who opens doors for our students.</li><li>We awarded more than 9 000 qualifications the past academic year, 52% at postgraduate level, including a record 308 doctorates.</li><li>Our African Doctoral Academy turned 10 this year, and we now have 20 agreements for Joint PhDs with top universities around the world.</li><li>We're the only university on our continent invited to join the prestigious Global Alliance of Universities on Climate. </li><li>We're well on our way to becoming Africa's leading research-intensive university, with our new Vision and Strategic Framework, which came into effect this year.</li><li>We've gone up in world rankings again, placing us in the top 1% of universities globally. Our Business School's MBA is now No. 1 in Africa.</li><li>473 of our academics now have a National Research Foundation rating, an increase of 92% the past decade. </li><li>We've lodged 127 patents the past 10 years, the most in the country.</li><li>Our LaunchLab was named the top business incubator at a university in Africa.</li><li>A Matie student in her second year won a big prize by inventing an edible straw! </li><li>Our electricity consumption has dropped to 2008 levels, water use is down 51%, and we recycle 55% of our waste. </li><li>We launched a School for Data Science and Computational Thinking.</li><li>We established seven new alumni hubs around the world, which brings our total to 22.</li><li>Retired Constitutional Court judge Edwin Cameron has been elected our new Chancellor from next year. He will succeed Dr Johann Rupert, who has provided exceptional service the past decade.</li><li>More than 400 of our staff members and 500 students together devoted 138 000 hours of service to communities the past year.</li><li>We're setting up joint working groups to combat gender-based violence. </li><li>We received a large grant to develop better treatment for children with multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. </li><li>Campus renewal is going well, with 147 capital projects underway and various initiatives to make everyone feel welcome. </li><li>We're investing substantially in ICT for blended and hybrid learning and teaching. </li><li>Maties Rugby once again won the Varsity Cup and our world-champion Choir will defend their title in Belgium next year."</li></ol><p>Having caught his breath, Prof De Villiers concludes: “It's really an honour for me to lead Stellenbosch University, and I'm looking forward to my second term, starting in April. Good luck with your final duties for 2019, wherever you may find yourself in the world. Enjoy the break, and everything of the best for 2020."​<br></p><p> <br> </p>
Communication from Council (meeting of 2 December 2019)http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6971Communication from Council (meeting of 2 December 2019)Korporatiewe Kommunikasie / Corporate Communication<p>​On Monday 2 December, the Stellenbosch University (SU) Council convene​d for its fourth and final scheduled meeting of an eventful 2019, the first year of our second century as a public university.<br></p><p>Council accepted the Fourie report and welcomed the Constitutional Court ruling on SU's Language Policy. We also diarised former judge Edwin Cameron's official inauguration as the University's 15<sup>th</sup> Chancellor for 8 April 2020. His term of office will commence on 1 January.</p><p>Council approved the University's 2020 budget, including adjustments to staff remuneration and student fees. Moreover, we gave approval for SU, as an institution, to officially adopt the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings (<a href="http://www.globalcodeofconduct.org/" target="_blank">www.globalcodeofconduct.org</a>).</p><p>As is customary, the Rector, Prof Wim de Villiers, tabled his quarterly management report (<a href="/english/management/wim-de-villiers/Documents/MR%20COUNCIL%2020191202.pdf" target="_blank">c​lick here</a>), while the Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching, Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, was afforded an opportunity to report on his responsibility centre's activities of the past year.</p><p>Read on for more on these issues as well as other decisions and agenda points at the meeting. All the best with the last duties of the year. Enjoy the upcoming break and return safely for 2020!</p><p>Kind regards</p><p><strong>George Steyn</strong><br><strong> Chair: SU Council</strong></p><h2>Constitutional Court on SU Language Policy</h2><p>Council welcomed the Constitutional Court's unanimous ruling on 10 October 2019 that found SU's Language Policy to be “constitutionally justified". The court also found that the process the University had followed to adopt the Language Policy was thorough, exhaustive, inclusive and properly deliberative. </p><h2>Judge Burton Fourie's report</h2><p>Council also noted the decision by its Executive Committee (EC(C)) on 31 October 2019 to launch an independent inquiry following allegations that the Rector had attempted to interfere with the Language Policy case. </p><p>The inquiry was conducted by retired judge Burton Fourie, and Council received, discussed and accepted his report. Judge Fourie could find “no evidence to support a finding that the conduct of the Rector in regard to the nomination of Justice [Edwin] Cameron for the position of Chancellor of the Stellenbosch University constituted a serious violation of the law or serious misconduct".</p><p>Council resolved to publish judge Fourie's report in full (<a href="/english/Documents/REPORT%20-%20US%20INVESTIGATION%20-%2026%20NOVEMBER%202019.pdf">click here</a>), that no further action be taken with regards to the Rector's contact with Justice Cameron to ask him if he would make himself available as a candidate for the SU Chancellorship, and to regard the entire matter as finalised.</p><h2>Budget 2020</h2><p>Council approved the University's integrated budget for 2020 and financial planning for the period 2021 to 2025 at the recommendation of the EC(C). Chief Operating Officer Prof Stan du Plessis reported that the budget process had been participatory and that the budget model ensured predictability and transparency.</p><p>The salient features of next year's budget are as follows:</p><ul><li>Student fees will increase by 6,2% (which is within the 6-8% range of the “social compact" between Universities South Africa (USAf) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), excluding business schools). Allowance has been made for differentiated adjustments in relation to courses that had been priced too low compared to similar offerings at other universities.</li><li>Student housing fees will increase by 8% (in light of the escalating cost factors associated with student accommodation).</li><li>At the recommendation of Council's Remuneration Committee, staff remuneration will increase by 5,5% for those who attained a performance score of 3 or higher in the 2019 appraisal cycle. (This proposed increase is above inflation, which stood at 3,7% in October.) </li><li>Inetkey will fall. Currently, internet users at SU need to log in through this mechanism and are charged for internet access based on actual use. Until new access measures have been put in place, users will still have to log in, but cost-per-use will no longer be recovered from 2020. Faculties and support services divisions have already budgeted for staff internet costs, while student internet costs will be recovered from the institutional block of the main budget. </li></ul><p>The main budget totals R3,1 billion, of which 49,5% goes to faculties, 27,3% to the institutional component, 20,6% to professional administrative support services (PASS), and 2,6% to strategic initiatives. </p><p>SU's total integrated budget for 2020 is nearly R6,7 billion. This includes contract research, donations and commercial activities, from which the University generates most of its total income (47,3%). SU's state subsidy has dropped to 27,4%, and student and housing fees total 22,6%. Other revenue accounts for 2,6%.</p><p>SU's total assets are valued at R15,7 billion, and current capital projects (new builds and maintenance of existing facilities) amounts to nearly R2,2 billion. </p><p>Council was pleased to note that the level of state expenditure on higher education had climbed to above 1% of gross domestic product (GDP). Nevertheless, Council expressed its concern at the sustainability of the extended NSFAS bursary scheme and government's poor fiscal position, as was evident from the recent medium-term budget statement. In addition, the possibility of student fee regulation poses a risk to the higher education sector.</p><p>The approval of the budget is subject to final confirmation of the state subsidy for 2020. For this reason, Council customarily mandated the Rector and the chair and deputy chair of Council to approve any budget amendments arising from the confirmation of the state subsidy, following consultation with the chair of the Audit and Risk Committee. However, in the event of material amendments, a Council meeting would need to be convened.</p><h2>Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings </h2><p>Council gave approval for SU to officially adopt the Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings (<a href="http://www.globalcodeofconduct.org/" target="_blank">www.globalcodeofconduct.org</a>). This was at the recommendation of Senate, who, in turn, accepted a recommendation to this effect by the Research and Research Ethics committees of Senate on 22 November. The code, which will be adhered to across SU, serves as a guideline for equitable and fair relationships between researchers and the communities – particularly poor and marginalised groups – among which they conduct their research, and is based on fairness, respect, compassion and honesty.</p><p>This follows on the publication of a controversial <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13825585.2019.1598538?journalCode=nanc20&">article on race and cognition </a>by SU researchers in May this year. Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies, reported to Council that the comprehensive inquiry into various aspects of the aforementioned article had been completed. More information will be shared with key role-players as soon as possible.</p><h2>Report of the Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching</h2><p>At this Council meeting, the Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching (VR:L&T), Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, received an opportunity to report on his responsibility centre's activities over the past year. <a href="/english/management/Documents/VR(LT)%20Report%20to%20SU%20Council%2020191202.pdf" target="_blank">Click here​</a> for his full report (which also served before Senate on 22 November) and <a href="/english/management/Documents/L%26T_Presentation%20Council%20Dec%202019%20No%20videos.pdf" target="_blank">here </a>for a pdf ​​​​​version of his PowerPoint presentation.​<br></p><p>Prof Schoonwinkel pointed out that executing SU's vision of being Africa's leading research-intensive university starts with admitting a diverse pool of talented students and providing them with quality education. </p><p>He also explained that all six of SU's core strategic themes are being promoted in the Learning and Teaching responsibility centre. Highlights include the following:</p><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">A thriving SU</span></p><ul><li>This year, SU admitted 31 681 students (official June figure) – two thirds at undergraduate level and a third at postgraduate level. The most popular study area is the broad field of natural sciences (44,6%), followed by management sciences (29,3%) and humanities (26,1%). </li><li>Revenue from learning and teaching accounts for more than 75% of SU's main budget.</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Transformative student experience</span></p><ul><li>SU's student body is becoming increasingly diverse. In 2012, 26,8% of our undergraduates and 50,2% of postgraduates were from the black African, coloured, Indian and Asian population groups. This year, these figures are at 38,7% and 53,7% respectively. The most significant increase has been in the number of applications from black African students, which has grown by 43% over the past four years.</li><li>SU is committed to rooting out unfair discrimination and any form of harassment and violence on its campuses. Six joint working groups are currently being established to combat gender-based violence.</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Purposeful partnerships and inclusive networks</span></p><ul><li>This year, the telematics school project, a joint initiative between SU and the Western Cape Department of Education, reached more than 3 000 learners in 1 228 schools with supplementary curriculum support in nine subjects. This has improved the matric pass rate in the participating schools by 11,83%.</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Networked and collaborative teaching and learning</span></p><ul><li>SU's project for ICT in learning and teaching, which totals R358 million, has been carried out successfully over the past five years. Two of the many project highlights have included installing all planned fibre-optic cabling and equipping most lecture halls with WiFi.</li><li>SU will now be focusing on expanding its hybrid learning offering, which combines online components with traditional contact lectures. Some 11% of the University's students are already being served in this way, and the aim is to increase this to 25% by 2025.</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Research for impact</span></p><ul><li>The annual SU Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) conference offers lecturers the chance to present their research and inspire emerging scholars. This year's event attracted 81 presentations and approximately 313 participants.</li></ul><p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Employer of choice</span></p><ul><li>SU has multiple initiatives for academics to come into their own as educators, and for lecturers to receive recognition.</li></ul><h2>Language Committee of Council</h2><p>Council received the fourth report of the year from its Language Committee. The committee noted the results of the language survey conducted in September 2019 among SU students and, for the first time, among staff. Previously, two surveys were conducted among students, in 2017.</p><p>Most of the students who participated indicated Afrikaans as their home language (52%), followed by English (35%). Yet the students expressed a preference for English lectures (66%), tutorials (63%) and learning material (71%) – up from 2017 in all three instances. The second strongest preference was for the use of both Afrikaans and English in the learning setting. Most students felt included in communication in the living, co-curricular and administrative environments.</p><p>The staff survey pointed to a high level of compliance with the implementation of the three teaching language options – parallel, double and single-medium. The committee commended faculties and support services environments for their continuous reflection on the implementation of the Language Policy.</p><h2>Capital projects</h2><p>Capital projects at SU (new builds and maintenance of existing facilities) amount to nearly R2,2 billion. The Rector reported on two of the largest projects currently being carried out.</p><p>The Jan Mouton Learning Centre next to the Neelsie will be completed towards mid-2020. This three-storey building with various lecture rooms and multipurpose spaces is being equipped with advanced technology to keep pace with the latest trends.</p><p>Construction on a new Biomedical Research Institute at our Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is also making rapid progress. Upon completion in 2022, it will be one of Africa's most innovative and advanced facilities of its kind.</p><h2>NRF ratings</h2><p>SU now boasts 473 academics with a National Research Foundation (NRF) rating – 92% more than ten years ago. Previously, rated researchers had access to incentive funding. In 2018, however, the NRF had to make significant cuts to this funding due to budgetary pressures. Nevertheless, according to SU's Division of Research Development, the number of applicants in the subsequent round of rating applications remained fairly stable. This shows that the rating process is regarded as a measure of the quality of research instead of a mere tool to access funding. </p><h2>Stellenbosch Network launched</h2><p>The Rector reported that Innovus hosted the official launch of the Stellenbosch Network (SN) in November. SU is one of the founding members of the network, which is aimed at facilitating inclusive economic growth for the greater Stellenbosch area. The network will work across sectors and disciplines to bring together local business, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, students, local multinationals and the municipality to establish Stellenbosch as a knowledge region economy.</p><h2>Institutional Plan 2020–2025 </h2><p>An updated SU Institutional Plan (IP) needs to be submitted to DHET by 15 December each year. The IP covers a rolling six-year period – in this instance, 2020–2025. On Monday, Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy and Internationalisation, tabled this year's updated IP to Council, who approved the plan. </p><p>The updated IP is aligned with SU's new <em>Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019–2024</em> as well as its supporting <em>Strategic Plan 2019–2024</em>. The budget model has been streamlined and SU's strategic management indicators have been amended.</p><p>Thanks to stronger alignment between responsibility centre and faculty environmental plans, the new strategic framework, the strategic plan and the IP, the process of compiling the IP is now much simpler. The IP has been reduced from more than 1 000 pages last year to only 250 this year.</p><h2>Personalia</h2><p>Advocate Jean Meiring has been appointed to the senior appointments committee for a new Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching to replace Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, who will be retiring on 31 December 2020. The process to appoint his successor has been initiated. Mr Ainsley Moos will serve as Advocate Meiring's substitute if necessary. Mr George Steyn is also available to serve as a member, while Prof Wim de Villiers will chair the committee.</p><p>Ms Gwen Ngwenya has been appointed to the Social and Business Ethics Committee of Council. </p><p>Council bid farewell to Prof Usuf Chikte and thanked him for his service. He had been appointed by Senate and will be finishing his second term at the end of the year. </p><h2>Next meeting</h2><p>The next scheduled Council meeting will take place on Monday 6 April 2020. <br></p>
R7 m grant awarded to SU for grey water projecthttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6963R7 m grant awarded to SU for grey water projectAsiphe Nombewu /Corporate Communication<p>​​​​​The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has awarded a R7 million grant to Stellenbosch University (SU) under the category Sustainable Infrastructure for the campus-wide grey water project.<br></p><p>Nadeem Gafieldien, Director of Property Services at the SU Facilities Management Division, says the grant came after a workshop, which was hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in 2016 which six other universities attended.</p><p>“We had done our homework and did extensive research on the drought to motivate why we deserved to get this grant as an institution. The sustainable infrastructure category had a new sub category called 'infrastructure efficiency grant' where grey water was one of the pillars, and we got the award for our grey water project.</p><p>“It is important to note that the total cost of the project was not R 7 million, but R12 million. Stellenbosch University's SUNCOM gave R5 million toward the project and DHET gave the large sum of R7 million," he adds.</p><p>Gafieldien says SU is the first institution of higher learning in South Africa to undertake a grey water project at such a big scale, and this could be one of the reasons why they were chosen to receive the grant.</p><p>SU's automated grey water system collects shower water at campus residences, treats it and sends it back into the system to be used to flush toilets.</p><p>This system has been rolled out to residences, and will later be introduced to academic buildings on the Stellenbosch campus.</p><p>The grey water plant has been running for a month, and has already recorded a 35% reduction in the use of water as well as a reduction in energy used to heat up water for showers.</p><p>A similar system is being developed for SU's Tygerberg campus and should be operational by the end of the year.</p><p>“The consulting engineers who worked on this project for us, JG Afrika, recently won an award for Innovation at the South African Institute for Civil Engineers in Cape Town for the work they did for our grey water project. That is how big this project is," says Gafieldien.</p><p>He also mentions that SU receives annual visits from the team at DHET to check on the progress of the project. “The last time we had a visit from DHET, they were very pleased with our progress on the implementation of the project," he says.</p><p>“At SU, we focus on optimising our existing infrastructure and try to make it work harder and better. Our aim is to reduce our total potable water consumption," he adds.</p><p>Gafieldien says the grant has helped the institution to reduce its consumption as well as the financial load while helping them to work harder and better in optimising the existing infrastructure. <br></p><p><br></p>
'I hope we can now close the book on this matter' - VC welcomes Fourie reporthttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6965'I hope we can now close the book on this matter' - VC welcomes Fourie reportCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​The independent investigation by retired Judge Burton Fourie has been concluded and the Stellenbosch University (SU) Council this afternoon (2 December 2019) accepted his report (<a href="/english/Documents/REPORT%20-%20US%20INVESTIGATION%20-%2026%20NOVEMBER%202019.pdf" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">click here for the full report</span></a>). Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers reacted as follows in a video message :<br></p><p></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="460" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-39IBH3iXv8" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p>​<br>“I have been completely exonerated. The investigation found that I had not attempted to influence the Constitutional Court ruling in the Stellenbosch University Language Policy case when I approached Justice Edwin Cameron to be nominated for election as Chancellor. It was indeed my responsibility as head of the University to help find the best possible candidates for this senior position.<br></p><p>“So, I welcome this finding, as I welcomed the investigation. From the outset, I maintained that I had not interfered with the legal process and acted in good faith. An independent investigation has now confirmed this.<br></p><p>“I hope we can now close the book on this matter and move on as a University community.</p><p>“Both the High Court and the Constitutional Court have now confirmed that our Language Policy is constitutionally justified. And an independent investigation has found that we did nothing wrong. We remain committed to using English and Afrikaans as languages of tuition to promote inclusivity and multilingualism.</p><p>“The time has now come for everyone to accept this so that we can get on with what we're here to do in the first place – being the best possible university for everybody in our country.</p><p>“We are looking forward to our graduation ceremonies next week, where the hard work of thousands of students and staff members will be rewarded. We are proud of our University and its people.</p><p>“Thank you very much to everyone who supported me during this time. And thank you to everyone who has helped make the University the national asset it is.</p><p>“We're nearly at the end of the year. We all deserve a break. All of the best with the final stretch. I hope everyone gets a chance to recharge their batteries and return refreshed and ready for 2020."<br></p><ul><li style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-39IBH3iXv8&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">Click here for a video recording of this statemen</span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">t</span></li><li><a href="/english/Documents/REPORT%20-%20US%20INVESTIGATION%20-%2026%20NOVEMBER%202019.pdf" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Click here for the full Fourie report</span></a><br></li></ul><p><br></p>
SU makes follow-up presentation to Gender Commissionhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6959SU makes follow-up presentation to Gender CommissionCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>Stellenbosch University (SU) made a <a href="/english/management/wim-de-villiers/Documents/SU%20at%20Gender%20Commission%2020191127%20WITH%20NOTES%20(fin).pdf" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">presentation </span></a>to the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) at a hearing in Braamfontein this week. This was a follow-up to SU's <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5241" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">presentation in November 2017</span></a>. It formed part of the GCE's “institutions of higher learning hearings", which also included presentations by Sol Plaatje University and the universities of Zululand, Mpumalanga, Free State and Johannesburg. </p><p>“As a public institution and a national asset, SU is committed to the imperative of transformation in search of gender equality. SU respects the Constitution and the democratic oversight role performed by its institutions, including those in Chapter 9, like the CGE," SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers told the panel of CGE commissioners on Wednesday (27 November 2019).</p><p>In his introduction, he provided an overview of SU, including its student and staff profiles.</p><p>“The University is a different place from the one I attended in the 1970s and '80s. It is becoming more and more diverse and integrated on a continuous basis," he said.</p><p>He pointed out that most students were women (55%), and they were also in the majority in terms of qualifications awarded (57%). </p><p>Most staff members are also women – 59% of all staff; 63% of professional administrative and support services (PASS) staff; and 51% of academic staff.</p><p>However, in senior management, women are in the minority, occupying only 38% of positions in job grades 1 to 6.</p><p>“There has been a slow but steady improvement. However, this clearly remains a big challenge," Prof De Villiers said. </p><p>He proceeded to report back on progress at SU with implementing the five recommendations the Commission made after the first hearing two years ago. One of these was that SU should address the gender pay gap.</p><p>“An investigation a few years ago revealed that the biggest pay gap occurred at levels 3–5, in both academic and PASS environments. R2,5 million was allocated in the budget to take the remuneration of females up to equivalent male levels where disparities existed. The pay gap has been closed, but we remain vigilant," Prof De Villiers said.</p><p>Another recommendation was that there should be gender focused recruitment, mentoring and retention of staff at SU.</p><p>“We are 'growing our own timber' to increase staff diversity at all levels. In addition, enhancing diversity is a key performance area (KPA) for all managers. It is incorporated into multi-year workforce plans, which must be submitted for approval," Prof De Villiers reported.</p><p>“Most significantly, the Rectorate approved a new Code for Management Practices for Employment Equity on 17 September, which sets the bar very high. Involvement in the transformation mandate of the University will in future constitutes 20–25% of all staff members' KPAs."</p><p>A third recommendation was that there should be sufficient gender representation in decision making bodies at SU. Prof De Villiers reported that the University's revised Statute, which came into effect on 16 August this year, “explicitly makes provision for diversity considerations that need to be adhered to in terms of race, gender and disability" in such structures as Council and the Institutional Forum.<br></p><p>“It was also gratifying to me at our last Senate meeting (22 November) to see that most of the new full professors introduced were women and diverse," he added.</p><p>Regarding the recommendation that gender diversity and equality should form part of student and staff orientation, the University said it was fully compliant.</p><p>The Equality Unit and Transformation Office provide training to students on such topics as sexual harassment, the bystander effect, rape culture, gender fluidity and sexuality diversity. And the Centre for Student Counselling and Development have developed a crisis protocol as a guide for dealing with such issues as gender‐based violence.</p><p>For personnel, the Siyakhula Diversity Capacity Programme is the Human Resources Division's flagship initiative.</p><p>Nearly 600 staff members have so far attended workshops on such topics as modern racism and internalised oppression, ableism/disability, institutional culture, stereotype threat and unconscious bias, visual redress, as well as religious and cultural inclusion.</p><p>“I have attended two of these sessions and found it extremely useful. I also expect my senior managers to attend," Prof De Villiers said.</p><p>The Commission said it welcomed and appreciated SU's presentation, particularly on progress with implementing its recommendations.</p><p>“We acknowledge that there has been significant progress at the University, but there are still some gaps on transformation. There is slow progress in terms of women in management and academic posts," CGE Chairperson Ms Tamara Mathebula said.</p><p>“We realise we are imperfect and incomplete. But we remain resolute on our journey of transformation. And we are pleased to be on this journey with all our stakeholders," Prof De Villiers concluded.<br></p><p><em>PHOTO: The SU delegation at the Gender Commission hearing on 27 November 2019, from left, Chief Director: Human Resources Victor Mothobi, Senior Director: Student Affairs Dr Choice Makhetha, Director: Employment Equity Sello Molapo, Registrar Dr Ronel Retief, Senior Director: Student Access Christelle Feyt, Senior Director: Social Impact & Transformation Dr Leslie van Rooi, Rector & Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers, and Director: Centre for Student Counselling & Development Dr Munita Dunn-Coetzee.</em></p><ul><li style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="/english/management/wim-de-villiers/Documents/SU%20at%20Gender%20Commission%2020191127%20WITH%20NOTES%20(fin).pdf" target="_blank"><em class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Click here for the 2019 presentation</em></a><br></li><li style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="/english/management/wim-de-villiers/Documents/20190815%20%20CGE%20Report.pdf" target="_blank"><em class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Click here for the 2019 report</em></a></li><li style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="/english/management/wim-de-villiers/Documents/SU%20CGE%2020171101%20(final).pdf" target="_blank"><em class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Click here for the 2017 presentation</em></a></li><li><a href="/english/management/wim-de-villiers/Documents/Report%20to%20Commission%20for%20Gender%20Equality%20September%202017[1]%20(with%20cover%20page).pdf" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;"><em class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Click here for the 2017 report</em></a><br></li></ul>
Winner of Dean’s medal believes in determination, consistency and hard workhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6956Winner of Dean’s medal believes in determination, consistency and hard workMedia & Communication, Faculty of Science<p>​​Matthew Greenwood, a postgraduate student in genetics, is the recipient of the <a href="/english/faculty/science/">Faculty of Science</a>'s Dean's medal for continuous excellent performance. </p><p>The medal, cast in solid silver, is awarded annually to an honours student who scores the highest average percentage throughout both the BSc and BSc Honours programmes. Greenwood completed both his BSc and BScHons-degrees with distinction, and is currently pursuing an MSc in genetics. </p><p>Greenwood, a former learner from <a href="https://www.cannonscreek.co.za/">Cannons Creek Independent School</a> in Pinelands, Cape Town, says he was set on studying science since he was ten years old: “My older sister's partner, who was studying towards a PhD in microbiology at the time, introduced me to some basic scientific facts and concepts, and I became immediately interested."</p><p>His big break came in Grade 3 when, with the support of his mother, Miranda Greenwood, he obtained a scholarship at Cannons Creek Independent School based on early academic merit. Despite moving around a lot, from Kraaifontein to Thornton and later Athlone, he matriculated in 2014 and was offered a bursary from Stellenbosch University.</p><p>Greenwood recalls that his first year at university wasn't all plain sailing: “I failed my first Physics 114 tutorials, and my Physics 114 early assessment test by a large margin. I distinctly remember struggling with the idea of switching courses before the deadline. In the end, I decided to buckle down. I asked for help and started to put more personal hours into the subject. It was really as simple as realising that university requires consistency, determination and hard work."</p><p>As an undergraduate BSc-student, he also struggled with the concept of postgraduate studies: “I think undergraduate students do not understand what it means to progress to postgraduate studies. This lack of understanding makes one question the value of completing an undergraduate degree. </p><p>“Knowing why you need to complete certain subjects can be extremely helpful for developing internal motivational skills. To gain that understanding, you need to do job shadowing and internships and read up on future employment and postgraduate study opportunities. </p><p>“Also, having the support of a network of friends with similar academic goals can do wonders for productivity," he adds.</p><p>As an MSc student in genetics, he is currently discovering new fields, such as data analysis: “I'm finding that exploring existing data is far more satisfying than its collection or generation!"</p><p>He plans to complete his MSc by December 2020, and would then like to pursue a PhD in genetics in Sweden or Switzerland.<br></p><p><em>Photo: Stefan Els</em><br></p>
New grey water system results in 35% reduction in water usage http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=6938New grey water system results in 35% reduction in water usage Asiphe Nombewu /Corporate Communication<p>​​​Students living on the Stellenbosch University (SU) residences are the first beneficiaries of an innovative automated grey water system.<br></p><p>SU, through its Facilities Management Division, has implemented this automated grey water system, which collects shower water at campus residences, treats it and sends it back into the system to be used to flush toilets.</p><p>This system has been rolled out to residences, and will later be introduced to academic buildings on the Stellenbosch campus.</p><p>The grey water plant has been running for a month, and has already recorded a 35% reduction in the use of water as well as a reduction in energy used to heat up water for showers.</p><p>Nadeem Gafieldien, Director of Property Services at the Facilities Management Division, says they have also started to collect ground water from the SU Library, which is transferred to the plant to be treated and re-used.</p><p>“We used to drain that water and throw it away, now we transfer it to the plant and it is treated and used in the residences," he says.</p><p>Gafieldien says a similar system is being developed for SU's Tygerberg campus and should be operational by the end of the year.</p><p>Although the planning for the project started back in 2015, Gafieldien says it took them one year to complete the work. “This is something new for the municipality and as expected there were a few valid concerns which resulted in the process taking longer than we expected."</p><p>Gafieldien adds that concerns have resulted in them getting a new colour pipe to distinguish between fresh drinking water and grey water used to flush toilets. He says the new colour pipe chosen to carry the grey water is purple and the water itself is blue so that people know not to drink it.</p><p>Ryno Lochner, a Data Analyst at SU Utilities, says the next phase of the project will focus on the academic buildings, with the new Learning and Teaching building first in line to benefit from the grey water system.<br></p><p><br></p>