Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​SU Students' News



New SRC pledge to serve SU students SRC pledge to serve SU students Asiphe Nombewu /Corporate Communication<p>​​Members of Stellenbosch University's (SU's) newly-elected Student Representative Council (SRC) for the 2019–2020 academic year have pledged to serve students without fear or favour at their inauguration and oath-taking ceremony.<br></p><p>The inauguration and oath-taking ceremony was held at the Attie van Wijk auditorium at the Faculty of Theology on Tuesday (26 February 2020). The ceremony, which also served as a formal introduction of the new SRC members to the campus community, was officiated by Mr Nicholas Carroll, Chief Justice and Chairperson of the Student Court, with members of the SRC taking an oath and signing a pledge to serve and represent students without fear or favour – with the values of excellence, empathy and accountability.</p><p>Newly elected Chairperson of the SRC, Lewis Mboko, said he envisioned an inclusive Stellenbosch University by the end of the new SRC's term “where your race, religion, sexuality and country of birth are no barrier to you reaching your full potential." He said as the SRC, they were excited and keen to take a walk in new directions.</p><p>“We are engaging with our students and staff members in the process of learning their aspirations, their dreams, what they want Stellenbosch University to be, and what they are anxious about as we move forward together," he said.</p><p>“My offer to you, fellow Maties, is to work with my colleagues, learn from them, lead with them and support each and every individual on our team to reach their greatest potential. I will give my heart and full dedication, and no student will be left out. As the SRC, we are here to listen and assist," said Mboko. </p><p>He ended his address by saying they were willing to work hand-in-hand with management and all stakeholders of the University to make Stellenbosch a great place for all students.</p><p>Anele Mdepa, Manager at the Office of Student Governance, said his office was looking forward to working with the new SRC. </p><p>“As people working with student leaders, we have a responsibility to teach them well, and we are lucky at SU because we have good values that helps us in guiding our students," he said.</p><p>“We teach our student leaders principles such as accountability, transparency and responsibility." Mdepa said these were fundamental principles when elected into a position of power.</p><p>“In teaching them these principles, we can get rid of the corruption that is currently destroying our country," added Mdepa.</p><p>In his opening address, Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at SU, started by acknowledging the work done by the outgoing SRC of the 2018–2019 academic year, setting a foundation for the current SRC to build on. “I also wish to recognise and value the work of the Election Convenors for their hard work, commitment in deepening democracy at SU and for finalising the election process with the recent Chair/Vice elections," he said.<br><br></p><p>Schoonwinkel said that by taking and signing the pledge, the SRC was now committing themselves to upholding the values of SU, and that it was a commitment to work closely with Student Parliament to be accountable and to be transparent in executing their official duties.<br></p><p>Rector and Vice Chancellor, Prof Wim de Villiers, said SU took student leadership seriously, and this is why they were offering their support, advice and guidance during the leadership journey of the SRC.</p><p>The SRC office bearers for 2019–2020 are as follow:</p><ul><li>Lewis Mboko: Chairperson </li><li>Wamahlubi Ngoma: Vice-chairperson</li><li>Brandon Murray: Treasurer </li><li>Fadeelah Williams : Secretary</li><li>Ntsako Mtileni: Tygerberg SRC Chairperson</li><li>Lwazi Phakade: Communications </li><li>Chloe Krieger: Student Wellness</li><li>Jeff Ngubeni: Transformation</li><li>Sifiso Zungu: Leadership and Development</li><li>Jonathan Stokes: Policy Officer</li><li>Tebogo Ndaba: Senior Prim Committee Chairperson</li><li>Ingrid Heydenrych: Prim Committee Chairperson</li><li>Michael Burke: Prim Committee Vice-chairperson</li><li>Thembakazi Swartboot: Military Academy Student Captain</li><li>Yanga Keva: Societies Council Chair</li><li>Xoli Njengele: Academic Affairs Council</li></ul><p>  Photo by Anton Jordaan.​<br></p><p><br></p>
Hybrid learning – the next wave to hit SU learning – the next wave to hit SU Corporate Communication - Sandra Mulder<p>​​Stellenbosch University (SU) envisages that by 2025, hybrid learning (HL) students will form 25% of the total student body. According to SU's June 2018 enrolment figures, 11% of the institution's students are already HL students.<br></p><p>Over the past five years, blended learning has developed at such a pace at SU that the time has come to expand hybrid learning (HL), making tertiary studies more accessible to those who had not been able to attend university before. With the implementation of hybrid learning, SU joins the ranks of some of the leading international universities that also offer this type of learning. </p><p>Hybrid learning is a method of presenting academic programmes consisting of short contact sessions of a week or two between the lecturer and students, combined with online learning, virtual classes and online liaison between lecturers and fellow students. Blended learning, on the contrary, consists mainly of physical classes combined with the use of technology in a pedagogically accountable way. Blended learning techniques are therefore used for both full-time, residential students and for working students who study part-time. In both instances, students do their own work online or they have online access to additional resources. SU's HL model works in maximum synergy with the full-time academic offerings, ensuring that HL students can also benefit from accessible digitalised academic material. </p><p>Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching at SU, has expressed his excitement about the future of hybrid learning. This type of learning is suitable for people who work full-time and are unable to attend classes but who would like to improve their skills. For this segment, the cost is often too high to return to full-time studies. </p><p>With the introduction of HL, SU joins the ranks of some of the world's leading universities who also offer HL programmes. </p><p> “Over the past five years, considerable progress has been made to introduce the latest technology on pedagogic level. This follows a Council project launched about six years ago to examine information and communication technologies and to find ways in which Learning and Teaching could benefit from technological developments," says Schoonwinkel. </p><p>Some of the transformative actions flowing from this Council project include: </p><ul><li>The establishment of the ultramodern Jannie Mouton learning centre with electronic class rooms</li><li>New networks and the availability of faster WiFi to students</li><li>The development of blended learning</li><li>Acquiring new software for student information systems (SUNStudent)</li><li>The development of new courses to train lecturers and students about the use of information technology for teaching and learning. </li></ul><p>In order to grow the number of HL students, it is essential to extend the offering of HL academic programmes. </p><p>According to Schoonwinkel, another 21 HL programmes of at least one academic year and 120 credits each will be added to the total HL learning offering. “We expect to have no fewer than 250 students register for each programme."</p><p>Examples of HL programmes currently being developed are:</p><ul><li>Strategic Human Resource Management PGDip (EMS)</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>Biology 124 and Bio-Informatics Honours (Science)</li><li>Cancer Science Research MPhil (Medicine and Health Sciences)</li><li>Structures in Fire Module in Engineering PGDip (Engineering)</li><li>Forestry and Wood Sciences PGDip (AgriScience)</li></ul><p> </p><p>“SU's full-time academic programmes have an excellent flow-through rate. The experience of the HL student and the success rate should build on this characteristic. Limitations in physical infrastructure and other resources make it very difficult to admit more students than are currently being admitted through traditional processes," says Schoonwinkel.</p><p>According to him, the HL strategy combines SU's strengths to grow student numbers cost-effectively. </p><p>“Hybrid learning constitutes a big change for us and it will be the next big wave to hit SU. In the long run, HL could become people's preferred study method. It will also have a transformative effect on people in the workplace who would otherwise not have been able to gain access to a university. It is a known fact that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will necessitate the retraining of many people"</p><p>In the Learning and Teaching Annual Report for 2019 which was tabled at the SU Senate and SU Council recently, it is mentioned that HL offers a solution to contemporary students who choose to study online and who prefer to have the freedom of choice. There is a worldwide tendency that many prospective students rather want to gain access to smaller knowledge units in the form of modules and short courses, rather than obtaining full degrees or diplomas. HL enables SU to cater to this need – also for international students.  </p><p>Increased access to the internet and improved software broaden people's access to learning opportunities, especially for students in underdeveloped countries. According to the annual report, Africa has the largest and fastest-growing youth population in need of education. “SU is in a good position to make a significant social impact on our continent," says Schoonwinkel. </p><p><strong>Current HL offerings and enrolled students per module (June 2018)</strong><strong> </strong></p><p><strong> </strong></p><table class="ms-rteTable-default" width="100%" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.3333%;"><strong>Faculty</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.3333%;"><strong>Programme/module title</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.3333%;"><strong>Number of students enrolled in modules</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Economic and Management Sciences</p><p> </p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Master of Business Administration (part-time)</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">3 431</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Bachelor of Public Administration Honours</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">2 034</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and Administration</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">1 527</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Postgraduate Diploma in HIV/AIDS Management</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">1 349</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Diploma in Public Accountability</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">377</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Master of Public Administration</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">234</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Medicine and Health Sciences</p><p> </p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">2 298</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Master of Public Health/Nutrition</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">210</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Master of Nursing</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">104</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Bachelor of Nursing Honours</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">26</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Education</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Bachelor of Education Honours</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">749</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">AgriSciences</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Master of Food and Nutrition Science</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">69</td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p><p><strong> </strong></p><table class="ms-rteTable-default" width="100%" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;"><strong>Faculty</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;"><strong>Total student enrolments (by headcount)</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;"><strong>Total FTE students</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;"><strong>Hybrid learning FTE students</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:20%;"><strong>Hybrid learning FTE students as a % of all FTE students</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Economic and Management Sciences</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">8 927</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">7 026</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">1 451,1</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">20,7%</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Medicine and Health Sciences</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">4 588</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">3 021</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">1 133,4</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">37,5%</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">Education</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">1 854</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">1 604</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">74,9</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">4,7%</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">AgriSciences</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">2 190</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">1 494</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">6,9</td><td class="ms-rteTable-default">0,46%</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><strong>Total</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><strong>31 765</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><strong>24 710</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><strong>2 666,3</strong></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><strong>10,8%</strong></td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p><p><br></p>
SU MOOC makes it onto international UN education platform MOOC makes it onto international UN education platformCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>​A Stellenbosch University (SU) massive open online course (also known as <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4074" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;">MOOC</strong></a>), which started in September 2016, has been such a hit that it also attracted the attention of the United Nations (UN). </p><p>Entitled <em>Teaching for Change: An African Philosophical Approach</em>, the MOOC features on the UN's <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Sustainable Development Solutions Network</strong></span></a> (SDSN) and is also part of an extensive list of more than 100 courses on sustainable development selected from universities around the world including Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). People can access these courses to learn about the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MOOC is listed under the fourth SGD namely Quality Education, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The University of Cape Town is the only other African university whose MOOC courses have been selected to feature on the list. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Compiled by <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>Class Centra</strong></span>l</a> in conjunction with the UN's <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">SDG Academy</strong></a>, the list also includes courses sourced from various other MOOC platforms. The SDG Academy is a free online education platform from the SDSN.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Commenting on the UN's recognition, Prof Yusef Waghid, distinguished professor in the Faculty of Education and presenter of the MOOC, said, “this is the first and only MOOC of the institution advocating a notion of African philosophy of education. The genre of <em>Ubuntu</em> is internationally communicated in relation to the contribution African thought and practice might engender among multiple forms of learning." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Added Waghid: “The idea of learning through problem-solving is not new. However, what is novel is the identification and explication of major philosophical problems on the continent and then examining their implications for education is novel – that is, humans are invited to come to speech and allowed to speak their minds other than just being told what to do." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">He said this MOOC also enhances the notion of access and inclusion.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“This means that students have an equal chance to engage critically and deliberatively with university texts. Likewise, the transformative form of learning advocated through the MOOC, involves students and university teachers embarking on an intellectual pursuit of co-learning." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Waghid mentioned that almost 6000 students mostly from the US, UK, Europe and Africa were registered for the MOOC.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Based on the positive reviews the MOOC has received thus far, the plan is to re-run an amended version in 2020, he said.<br></p><ul><li>Click <a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>here</strong></span></a> for a link to the MOOC.</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;">The MOOC also spawned a number of books by Waghid and several co-authors, some of which are listed below:<br></p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>2020. <em>Cosmopolitan Education and Inclusion: The Self and Others in Deliberation </em>(New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, with Chikumbutso Herbert Manthalu, Judith Terblanche, Faiq Waghid & Zayd Waghid).<br> <br></li><li>2020. <em>The Thinking University Expanded: On Profanation, Play and Education</em> (London: Routledge, with Nuraan Davids).</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>​2019. <em>Democratic Education and Muslim Philosophy: Understanding the Claims of Emotion</em> (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, with Nuraan Davids).</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>2019. <em>Towards a Philosophy of Caring in Higher Education: Pedagogy and Nuances of Care</em> (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan).</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>2019. <em>Universities, pedagogical encounters, openness, and free speech: Reconfiguring democratic education</em> (Lanham, MD (US): Rowman & Littlefield – Lexington Series) (with Nuraan Davids). </li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>2019. <em>Education for Decoloniality and Decolonisation in Africa </em>(New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, with Chikumbutso Herbert Manthalu).</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>2019. <em>Teaching and Learning as a Pedagogic Pilgrimage: Cultivating Faith, Hope and Wonder </em>(London: Routledge) (with Nuraan Davids).</li></ul><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>2018. <em>Rupturing African Philosophy of Teaching and Learning</em> (New York & London: Palgrave-MacMillan) (with Faiq Waghid & Zayd Waghid).</li></ul><ul><li>2018. <em>African Democratic Citizenship Education Revisited</em> (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan) (with Nuraan Davids). </li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p><br></p>
Mind the (gender) gap in STEM fields the (gender) gap in STEM fieldsTashnica Sylvester<p>​On Tuesday (11 February), we celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In an opinion piece for <em>News24</em>, Dr Tashnica Sylvester from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences writes that we need to embrace the opportunity to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.</p><ul><li>​<strong>​</strong>Read the complete article below or click <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a> for the piece as published.<br></li></ul><p><strong>Mind the (gender) gap in STEM fields</strong><br></p><p>Gender equality and our society's views on girls and women have weighed heavily on the minds of South Africans these past few months. The value our culture places on females and our attitudes towards women have been challenged. This re-evaluation of our dedication and commitment to the empowerment of girls and women also extends to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).<br></p><p>According to a 2018 report of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), women in STEM represent less than 30% of researchers globally. This shows that there's a need for urgent attention and huge investments in women to pursue studies in and make a contribution to STEM fields. Although worldwide figures of women students and graduates in higher education have grown steadily in the last decade, women are still a minority in STEM research occupations. The same UIS report points out that in 2015 women made up 45% of total researchers in South Africa, but positions of leadership, authority and power are still predominantly occupied by men. </p><p>The lack of gender-friendly policy frameworks, including the provision of onsite childcare facilities or the establishment of career re-entry programmes (for women who have taken a break to start a family), contribute greatly to women scientists abandoning the science profession, ultimately widening the gender gap. Compounding this is the fact that potential employers are willing to offer male applicants a higher salary for a science lab manager position than an equally qualified female applicant as Corinne Moss-Racusin and her co-authors showed in a 2012 article in the <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</em>.</p><p>This comes despite a recent report by McKinsey (2018), 'Delivering Through Diversity', which highlights the link between diversity (defined here as 'a greater proportion of women and a more mixed ethnic and cultural composition in the leadership of large companies') and the successful performance of a company through leadership effectiveness, productivity, and value creation. When in 2015 the American Association of University Women evaluated why women in America left the engineering field the differences were found not between the women themselves but in the workplace environments. Women who left their careers had fewer opportunities for training and development, less support from co-workers or supervisors, and less support for balancing work and non-work roles than women who stayed in the profession. <br></p><p>Similarly, cultural stereotypes and individual factors also influence the decision of women to pursue careers in science. In South Africa, the lack of career support, such as female mentors, networks and professional development opportunities, along with cultural and societal expectations, may discourage younger females from a future in the sciences. This is further exasperated by failure to implement gender-sensitive promotion policies, address discriminatory workplace cultures and microaggression and rethink assumptions about the roles of women in STEM, and the society at large. A culture of equality with equal value and pay for all employees enables everyone to advance to higher positions, to be more likely to achieve, grow, and innovate. <br></p><p>Globally, there is a realisation that gender bias not only results in inequality between the genders but also affects knowledge production. Promoting the participation of women and girls in science means changing mind-sets, fighting gender biases and stereotypes which limit the expectations and professional goals girls have (from early childhood). This highlights the importance of participation in science engagement or outreach. Highly visible scientists are increasingly recognised as influential leaders in STEM with a special role in making science part of mainstream society. <br></p><p>In a recent study in the <em>South African Journal of Science</em> (2017), Marina Joubert and Lars Guenther looked at the most visible scientists in South Africa and found that while only 8% of South Africans are white, 78% of the most visible scientists currently are white, and 63% of these are men. These statistics further support the misconception that science in South Africa is the reserved domain of white males. </p><p>It's clear we need to raise the profile of women in STEM in South Africa in order to inspire and empower young women and girls to take up these (STEM) roles. This translates into building platforms that celebrate accomplished and emerging women in science and engaging in open and collaborative dialogues, regionally and internationally. Through supporting organisations such as The Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering, Black Women in Science and The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World and taking part in annual events such as the National Research Foundation's Science Week, we highlight, not only to the youth, but to the international community, the great work being done by South African female researchers.<br></p><p>Having celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February, we must also recognise the critical role of women and girls in science and technology, and embrace the opportunity to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. Their contributions to STEM, diversifying racial, cultural and gender participation, translates to improved innovation, development and cultural progression. Science-related fields play a central role in developing the agenda towards sustainable development and in turn economic growth. The current under-representation of women in STEM in positions of leadership, however, translates into loss of ideas and insights hindering our industrial, economic and development potential.<br></p><p>We should work continuously to inspire young girls to not only pursue science careers, but to become leaders and innovators in their own communities. Equally, we should endeavour to teach young boys about equality of the genders.<br></p><p>The secret to innovation, according to Accenture (2017), is a workplace culture of equality. Women bring skills to the workplace which not only boost productivity, but increase innovation and impact. If organisations, whether public, private or academic, want to not only survive but thrive they have to do more to 'get to equal'.</p><p> <strong>Photo</strong>: Female scientist in a laboratory. <strong>Credit</strong>: Pixabay<br></p><p><strong><em>*Dr Tashnica Sylvester is a post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University and also</em></strong><strong> </strong><strong><em>a member of the Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering.</em></strong></p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>​ </p><p><br></p>
New Maties SRC Chair commits to giving students his best​ Maties SRC Chair commits to giving students his best​Corporate Communication<p>​The newly elected Stellenbosch University (SU) Student Representative Council (SRC) Chairperson for the 2020 academic year, Mr Lewis Mboko, says he is excited and ready to give students his best by creating the best possible Stellenbosch environment for all.<br></p><p>The 22-year-old Economics and Investment Management student from Harare in Zimbabwe says he envisions an inclusive Stellenbosch University for his term as Chairperson – a place where students' race, religion, sexuality, financial status or country of birth do not act as barriers to prevent them from reaching their full potential. </p><p>Mboko is to the best of the University's knowledge the first Zimbabwean student to head the SRC. </p><p>Mboko has big plans for his term which ends in September. “I intend to deal with issues that have plagued us as an institution, issues such as historical debt and I want to create platforms where engagement on issues like gender based violence, responsible drinking, race relations, sexuality and other critical issues can take place," says Lewis.</p><p>“One of my plans is to try and to set up a gazebo on the Rooiplein or a table in the Neelsie at certain times so as to keep up with the issues that students are facing and so that we are able to work together towards solutions," he adds.</p><p>Mboko says he believes in unity. “My main priorities are to unite the campus, making sure that no student is excluded, and that all voices are heard, not just the loudest or the most powerful voices, but all voices."</p><p>He says he plans to improve the visibility of the SRC on the Stellenbosch campus and be more accessible to students.</p><p>“Stellenbosch University is very diverse and the needs are also diverse. It varies from the one extreme where someone's biggest problem is getting something to eat to the other extreme of having parking," says Mboko.</p><p>He says taking the responsibility to represent each Matie means that he has to take these differences into consideration and not downplay anyone's need. Mboko says he will represent students in a manner that ensures that everyone's needs are met.</p><p>Mboko admits that it is not possible to do this alone. “I do not expect to do this on my own but to take hands with each and every stakeholder at the University to ensure that Stellenbosch University becomes the best place for our students."</p><p>On a personal note, Mboko says his personal development focus is on Development Economics and becoming a chartered financial analyst after university. </p><p>“It is my dream to understand how the financial field works and to look at the current state of Africa, specifically the lagging compared to other continents, because a lot needs to be done and I want to be part of that change and see my continent improve," he adds.</p><p>He says having been born in one of the poorest countries in Africa, he dreams of one day being among the people who will help to rewrite the story of Africa.</p><p>In congratulating Mboko, Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said that he is looking forward to working with him: “Your election fits in with our focus on internationalisation. Students are a priority for us. And I am always proud to see Maties make an impact as global citizens."</p><p>Dr Choice Makhetha, Senior Director: Student Affairs, congratulated Mboko for “winning the hearts of fellow students, confirming the kind of student leadership the students appreciate and yearn for." </p><p>She added that she has experienced Mboko as a grounded person who is clear on what he stands for; very humble, with a powerful ability to listen before he takes a decision; and passionate about serving the students. </p><p>“He is a leader who is always ready to learn while remaining firm on what is beneficial for the broader student community. The Division of Student Affairs is ready to provide all the support the SRC needs as a team, and to motivate them as leaders, to lead ethically and with integrity." <br></p>
Self-regulating intervention curbs excessive media multitasking intervention curbs excessive media multitaskingCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Alec Basson]<p>Are you one of those people who simultaneously watch TV, check the latest Twitter trends or Instagram feeds, or chat on WhatsApp? If yes, you are media multitasking which may sound impressive, but it does come at a cost.<br></p><p>“Because media multitasking can promote a scattered approach to task-performance and undermine our ability to concentrate and get things done, we need to find ways to self-regulate our use of different digital media technologies," says Dr Douglas Parry, a lecturer in the Department of Information Science and member of the Cognition and Technology Research Group at Stellenbosch University (SU). Parry developed a self-regulating media multitasking-based intervention as part of his recent doctorate in Socio-Informatics at SU and assessed its feasibility for students who were identified as frequent media multitaskers.<br></p><p>He says his study holds important implications not only for individuals seeking to regulate their own use of different media devices and reduce their media multitasking, but also for the management of interferences associated with media multitasking, especially among students who may revert to it when they perceive a lecture as boring or irrelevant.<br></p><p>“Success in the workplace, at university, and in different social spheres rests on our ability to filter out irrelevant distractions, resist desires to mind-wander and fight the pull of alluring social media to remain on-task."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">To assess the feasibility of his intervention, Parry used pre- and post-assessments during which the participants performed a series of standard performance-based (game-like situations on a computer to isolate specific cognitive processes) and self-report evaluations (questionnaires) of working memory (temporary storing and managing of information), inhibitory control (ability to control one's behaviour, thoughts and attention to override external attractions or internal desires and do what is more appropriate), cognitive flexibility (the ability to shift between different tasks or thoughts), and attention control (the ability to concentrate). They also utilised a smartphone usage tracking application to help them regulate their own use of media (e.g. cellphones, laptops, social networking services, instant messaging tools, etc) in relation to a specified target (a maximum of 90 minutes per day). Participants also shared reports generated by the application which indicated their total hourly device usage and number of pick-ups per day. Following the intervention, some of the participants were interviewed about their experiences.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Parry says the findings of his study indicated changes in the behaviour of participants which led to more instances in which they were inhibiting media distractions and concentrating on academic tasks. These changes enabled the participants to spend more time on performing a single task and to focus not only on being successful in their academic work but also in their personal and social lives.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The intervention enabled behavioural changes which brought about more instances of single-tasking through self-regulation strategies such as setting aside specific periods of time for using a phone, replying to incoming messages in batches, and putting the phone out of sight and reach when in lectures or working.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Self-regulation of media multitasking brought about a greater awareness of media use patterns, which enabled participants to use their devices more intentionally, and not act so reflexively. Regulating media use and reducing media multitasking can lead to more time spent focusing on work, and living in the moment rather than thinking about what's happening online."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Parry says the participants were positive about the intervention and were quite surprised and shocked by how much they were actually using and interrupting themselves with their devices.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“This awareness drove the self-regulation and aided them in developing strategies to take control of their behaviour. This also helped them to work towards achieving their academic goals, structure their time, focus in class and procrastinate less."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Parry says a self-regulation based intervention, supported by a mobile usage-tracking application, can be easily implemented by students.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">He adds that without a strategy and self-motivated behavioural changes students will in all likelihood struggle to regulate their media multitasking in these situations and, frequently, performance suffers.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Parry says we need to develop a better understanding of our own behaviour, our personal goals, and work to align our media use with these goals because only then will we be able to put in place procedures (e.g. time blocks, do-not-disturb modes, etc) to help us regulate our own behaviour.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr Douglas Parry</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Cognition and Technology Research Group (CTRG)</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Department of Information Science</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Email: <a href=""></a></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>​ISSUED BY</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Martin Viljoen</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Manager: Corporate Communication</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Email: <a href=""></a><br></p><p><br></p>
Get all the information you need at Maties Open Day all the information you need at Maties Open Day Division for Student Access | Afdeling vir Studentetoegang<p>​​Stellenbosch University's annual Open Day will once again offer the perfect opportunity for Grade 12 learners to obtain information on study opportunities, financial assistance, accommodation and student life.<br></p><p>The Open Day takes place on Saturday, 29 February from 08:00 to 15:00 on the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses.</p><p>“The great benefit of an Open Day is that prospective students can interact directly with University staff and senior students to obtain specific information on the various fields of study and support services," says Magdel Pretorius, project manager at SU's Centre for Student Recruitment and Career Advice.</p><p>Visitors to the Stellenbosch campus have the option of starting their day of exploration at the welcoming areas on either the Rooiplein or at the Coetzenburg Centre where some of the faculties will be exhibiting. A shuttle service runs between the two venues.  </p><p>The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences will present an Open Day on the Tygerberg Campus, but will also be present in the Coetzenburg Centre.  Repeated throughout the day will be information sessions on, among others, how to apply, funding your studies, launching your career and student support available (including students with special learning needs). Access the programme at <a href=""></a> or grab an information pack and map to be handed out on the day on the Rooiplein or at the Coetzenburg Centre.</p><p>Maties Sport will be strutting their stuff on the Rooiplein, while the residences will also be open to visitors.</p><p>Information officers in blue T-shirts will also be on duty campus-wide to assist visitors with directions and general enquiries.</p><p><span style="font-size:13px;"><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1" style="color:#1c1e21;background-color:#ffffff;font-size:13px;">If you and your family are planning to come to Open Day you can register here: </span><a href="" target="_blank" data-ft="{"tn":"-U"}" rel="noopener nofollow" data-lynx-mode="async" data-lynx-uri="" style="color:#385898;cursor:pointer;background-color:#ffffff;"><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1" style="font-size:13px;"></span></a><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1" style="color:#1c1e21;background-color:#ffffff;font-size:13px;"></span><br class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1" style="color:#1c1e21;background-color:#ffffff;font-size:13px;"><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1" style="color:#1c1e21;background-color:#ffffff;font-size:13px;">Registration for our Open Day is not compulsory, but by entering your details you sign up for our Open Day newsletter, which will provide you with lots of useful information in the weeks before the event.</span><span class="ms-rteThemeFontFace-1" style="font-size:13px;">​</span></span></p><p>For the complete Open Day programme with times and venues, visit <a href=""></a>, phone 021 808 9111 or send an e-mail to <a href=""></a>.<br></p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Open%20Day%20Collage.jpg" alt="Open Day Collage.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>
Information on the novel Coronavirus on the novel Coronavirus Corporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>​The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has infected thousands of people so far, mostly in China (<a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8">see World Health Organisation (WHO) link</span></a>), and was declared a global health emergency by the WHO. Unfortunately, fake news and wild rumours have led to fear and confusion. </p><p>In the interest of an informed society, which is the best form of prevention, please take note of the following:</p><ul><li>There is no risk of infection with the novel coronavirus in South Africa at present (7 Feb 2020) as there has been no cases reported in the country.  </li><li>The University continues to monitor the situation closely and updates will be added to this article as it become available. </li><li>Staff and students are urged to reconsider travel plans to areas that have been affected by the outbreak. (Stellenbosch University International is making contact with students and staff from affected regions as a precautionary measure.) </li><li>If you feel ill, and have been to China in the past few weeks, or have had contact with someone who was there, seek medical attention urgently, stating clearly your exposure and symptoms.<br></li><li>Staff and students can visit Campus Health Services on the Stellenbosch Campus (tel 021 808 3496) or the Tygerberg Campus (tel 021 938 9590)  </li><li>Arm yourself with information on the virus by visiting the relevant <span class="ms-rteForeColor-8"><a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;">WHO website</a>, </span>the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences<span class="ms-rteForeColor-8" style="text-decoration:underline;"> </span><a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7070%20;" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8" style="text-decoration:underline;">info page</span></a> (including a <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7070%20;" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8" style="text-decoration:underline;">podcast</span></a>) and the <a href="file:///C:/Users/viljoenm/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/ODLQH629/%E2%80%A2%09http:/" style="text-decoration-line:underline;">National Institute for Communicable Diseases</a><span style="color:#0000ff;text-decoration-style:solid;text-decoration-color:#0000ff;"> (NIC</span><span style="color:#0000ff;">D)</span>. <br></li></ul><strong>MORE ABOUT THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS:</strong><br><p></p><ul><li>The coronavirus family of viruses includes the common cold, SARS and MERS. The new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV" and is often referred to as the novel coronavirus (for more information on the virus, <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7070" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8" style="text-decoration:underline;">click here</span></a><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8" style="text-decoration:underline;">.)</span> </li><li>As new research about the novel coronavirus is still emerging, it is thought that person-to-person infection occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes – similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. <br></li><li>​Patients with 2019-nCoV have mainly presented with the following symptoms: fever, cough, and shortness of breath.</li><li>The infection can present as a fairly mild respiratory illness, but in severe cases may lead to pneumonia and even death. Elderly people and those with underlying illness s​eem to have a higher risk of severe illness and death. It is unknown whether asymptomatic infections occur.</li><li>There is no risk of infection with the novel coronavirus in South Africa at present (7 Feb 2020) as there have not been any confirmed cases. Possible suspected cases (as defined by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, NICD) are being tested and placed in precautionary isolation. Such cases demonstrate that the system is working and should not be misinterpreted as a failure. </li><li>​Even though there is no need to use them against the novel coronavirus in South Africa so far, common hygiene practices can minimise your risk of becoming infected or spreading infections transmitted in a similar way to others: </li><ul><li>​​Frequently wash your hands using alcohol-based hand sanitisers or soap and water.</li><li>Cover your mouth with a cloth or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.</li><li>Stay at home if you have a fever or cough.<br></li></ul></ul><br> <strong>More information</strong><p></p><ul><li><a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8" style="text-decoration:underline;">World Health Organisation</span></a><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8"> </span>(WHO)</li><li><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8" style=""><a href="file:///C:/Users/viljoenm/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/ODLQH629/%E2%80%A2%09http:/" style="text-decoration:underline;">National Institute for Communicable Diseases</a><span style=""> (NIC</span>D)<span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">. The NCID hotline is </span><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0" style="font-size:11pt;line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;">0800 029 999. </span></span></li><li>SU Faculty of Medicine and Health Science <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7070%20;" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8" style="text-decoration:underline;">info page</span></a></li><li>The South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis ​(SACEMA) will hold a public lecture at the Wallenberg Research Centre at STIAS on 13 February </li></ul><p> Photo: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention <span class="ms-rteForeColor-8">(</span><a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8">link for information</span></a><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8">)</span><br></p><p><br><br></p>
Responsible alcohol use at SU (message to students and staff) alcohol use at SU (message to students and staff)Korporatiewe Kommunikasie / Corporate Communication<p style="text-align:right;">7 February 2020<br></p><p>Dear Students and Colleagues<br></p><p>With the general commencement of classes at Stellenbosch University (SU) earlier this week, activities on all our campuses are now in full swing again. Welcome to everyone, and best of luck with your learning and teaching for 2020!</p><p>A big talking point so far this year has been the temporary alcohol ban in SU student housing. It generated a lot of reaction – both at the University and among the general public; in the media and on social media. The responses have been mixed – from factual reporting to some people welcoming the step and others criticising it. </p><p>I would like to use this opportunity to provide greater clarity on the matter. Our ultimate aim is not a prohibition of alcohol on our campuses or in our residences. We want to arrive at clear and practical guidelines for responsible alcohol use at our institution. And I believe we can do so quite quickly if we work together.</p><p><strong>Background</strong></p><p>Alarm at alcohol and substance abuse on campuses is nothing new – concern has been growing internationally and in South Africa. At our University, this was brought to a head by a number of disturbing incidents last year – particularly in student communities. The matter also came to the fore in talks to combat gender-based violence.</p><p>In September, our highest governance structure – the University Council – “strongly condemned gender-based violence" and also “expressed concern at alcohol and substance abuse among students". All stakeholders were specifically requested to “do more to combat this problem".</p><p>In October, our top management structure – the Rectorate – “decided to withdraw bar privileges in residences" and “agreed with the decision that the residences implement procedures to regulate the use and non-abuse of alcohol". The Rectorate also “noted that a task team has been constituted to work on the responsible use of alcohol and on a ban on the use of drugs". Resulting from this, there were discussions with students and other stakeholders, in one way or another.</p><p><strong>Responsible alcohol use</strong></p><p>On 23 January, when I officially welcomed 2020's newcomer first-year students and their parents, I said that “the Division of Student Affairs is engaging in robust conversations with student communities to establish firm regulations for responsible alcohol use at SU", and I made the first public announcement that SU has “banned the sale of alcohol in all student residences".</p><p>Why? Because, “If you abuse alcohol and other substances, it will have a negative impact on you and others – that is why we decided to tackle it head-on this year." I also said that “we want to go about alcohol use at SU in a way that is congruent with our value system".</p><p>This was followed by an email to all students on 27 January by Dr Choice Makhetha, Senior Director: Student Affairs, in which she confirmed the “temporary abolishment of the consumption and trade of alcohol in SU residences and PSO houses". </p><p>This was done to make a strong statement and to indicate the need for decisive action. It is a step to urge stakeholders to become involved in defining acceptable regulations and practices for responsible alcohol consumption on SU campuses.</p><p><strong>Guidelines</strong></p><p>SU is serious about combating alcohol and substance abuse, and is exploring multiple ways of doing so, such as education programmes, counselling and collective deliberations. The temporary ban focusses the conversation on how we can restart with responsible alcohol use. </p><p>The aim is to come up with appropriate amendments to the residence rules that form the guidelines of student communities at SU. This will then follow a formal consultation route, involving official student structures, specifically the Prim Committee and the SRC. </p><p><strong>Broader context</strong></p><p>SU is not alone in restricting alcohol in its student residences. None of the other three public universities in the Western Cape allow alcohol to be consumed in residences without permission and licence approval, and this is also the general trend in the rest of the country and internationally. </p><p>SU's decision was informed by research about the negative consequences of alcohol abuse, and the gender-based violence which often accompanies it. (See especially Gladwell, Malcolm. 2019. “The Fraternity Party". In <em>Talking to Strangers</em>. New York: Little, Brown and Company.)</p><p><strong>Gender-based violence</strong></p><p>Please note that we are not saying that gender-based violence is caused by alcohol abuse; or worse, that being drunk is an excuse for unacceptable behaviour. What we are saying is that alcohol abuse is wrong and that gender-based violence is wrong – both need to stop. </p><p><strong>Common ground</strong></p><p>The statement by the SRC earlier this week that it “has no disagreement over the motivations behind the decision" to temporarily ban alcohol in SU student housing should be welcomed. At the same time, student leaders have expressed discomfort about the perceived limited extent of consultation so far. While this concern is acknowledged, we should keep our eyes on the main prize – living and learning communities which are safe and welcoming spaces for all.</p><p>Let us not get distracted by the framing of this matter as a contest between “opposing sides". Let us rather focus on what we have in common – firstly, a strong conviction to end alcohol abuse and gender-based violence, and secondly, a firm commitment to find agreement on the best ways of doing so.</p><p><strong>Let's work together</strong></p><p>Is there common ground? No doubt about it. The University has said “we remain open to a period of engaging conversations" and the SRC has said it will be “pursuing continued engagements" about this matter. All parties are undoubtedly serious about ending alcohol abuse and gender-based violence. Let's work together to make progress.</p><p>Kind regards,</p><p><strong>Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel</strong><br><strong> Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching</strong></p>
Hip-hop and theology collaborate to transform and theology collaborate to transform Corporate Communication - Sandra Mulder<p>​</p><p>“To get the honest message out, you need to have knowledge of yourself and know what your political view, world view, your opinion, your focus, your purpose and your call in life is. This should be shared honestly. One should also try to see the essences of other people in their communication."</p><p>This was some of the wisdom hip-hop artist, poet, rapper and actor Hemelbesem, shared with students and staff at Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Theology on Theology Day (3 February 2020) at the Attie van Wijk Auditorium in Stellenbosch. He delivered an inspiring message of “honest communication that share your beliefs, opinions, purpose and call in life" as a contribution to the students' transformative experience.</p><div><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/hemelbesem.jpg" alt="hemelbesem.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:400px;" /><span></span></div><div><br></div><p> </p><p>In a gripping and humorous speech entitled “Hip-hop, Community and Life",<em> </em>Hemelbesem explained that every artist, sculpture, painter and writer wanted to communicate information. According to him, when moving information from the heart or mind to another person (through your choice of medium), people will encounter “filters" between the mind and mouth like different vocabulary, accents, age, race, gender, opinions and political backgrounds. “All these filters influence your message. It is actually difficult to communicate and it is impossible for people to understand each other 100%."</p><p>Hemelbesem explained how easily messages could be misunderstood by sharing one of his own personal experiences with his wife. “Some men find it hard to be romantic and to say 'I love you'. The general problem a man has when it comes to romance is to be romantic. It is a tough thing for some men to express themselves and it is not so easy to say 'I love you'. I told my wife that I loved her and I meant it, I really meant it. Five days later, she said I did not say I love her anymore … but I meant it there (five days ago) and it still echoes here."</p><p>He said that he communicated best through hip-hop and according to him communication was information we wanted to share. “All pivotal moments in my life has music to it. The sound and music associated with some moments help to make that moment permanent." He elaborated by saying that music could bring change in people and took them from one space to another space, changing their minds and atmosphere.</p><p>“You can be hard-core and stay within the rules, and do not have to compromise. You will never please everybody with the truth, with your brilliant message, with your call from God. Can you honestly express yourself? It fluctuates and can change from day to day, but if you are sad, you can share your message from that point." </p><p>Hemelbesem clarified jokingly that the message was not about the students' testimonial story of “I was a drug lord and the Lord touched me, but an honest sharing of your essence in life."</p><p>He ended his address by performing the hip-hop lyrics of “I paint pictures": “I paint pictures that are so vivid, if you look at the pictures, it would reflect your soul in it, we paint pictures to give life to the Scriptures, we do it on a stage that the crowd might witness …"</p><ul><li>Siphokazi Jonas concluded the Theology Day event with a monologue. She is a writer, poet and spoken word artist who produced three one-woman poetry productions and recently presented the theatre production <em>Around the Fire</em> at the Artscape Spiritual Festival. Her performance followed an address entitled “Rhythm: a theological reflection" by Dr Marnus Havenga from the Faculty and a panel discussion about “The role of the arts in society and faith community" lead by Prof Stella Viljoen from SU's Department of Visual Arts. <br></li></ul><div>Photographer: Sandra Mulder<br></div><p><br></p>