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Special people serving the students’ special needshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7847Special people serving the students’ special needsHeather Osborn and the Neurodiversity Centre, Franschhoek<p>​​Special people serving the students’ special needs​</p><p>The administration and support units of Stellenbosch University (SU) are known for their professionalism, efficiency, and service excellence. However, to myself and my dear daughters with neurodevelopmental needs, one unit stands out above the rest. This is not only due to the very nature of that unit, but also to the staff members’ compassion, dedication, and willingness to go the extra mile in assisting students – such as my children – with special needs as well as their families. That unit is the Disability Unit, led by Dr Marcia Lyner-Cleophas. </p><p>Both my daughters are on the autism spectrum.​<br></p><p>Autism with its various manifestations is often very difficult to understand and support – not only because one cannot ‘see’ autism, but also because the needs of each person on the spectrum are different and unique to that individual. Also, so much real empathy is needed to understand the experiences of young people with autism conditions. What has been abundantly clear to us as parents is that our daughters have constantly required certain concessions and specific types of support to ensure that they reach their full potential and can actually participate in our world – the world of people without autism. <br></p><p>The transition from high school to university is somewhat frightening for all parents and children because the children become more independent and take the leap into an unfamiliar environment. This transition was especially difficult and nerve-racking for my two daughters and me, as I knew that, because of the incredible impacts of their autism, the odds that they would succeed in their studies without the right support, regardless of their levels of intelligence, were low.<br></p><p>On my arrival at the Disability Unit for the first time in 2016, I was overwhelmed by the warmth, respect, and professional care we were met with. We met with Dr Lyner-Cleophas of the Disability Unit to explain my eldest daughter’s needs and the assistance she would require during her time at SU. She was attentive and highly receptive to understanding my daughter’s needs and experience of learning, and asked questions to ensure that she could help my daughter in every way possible.<br></p><p>Prior to the start of the academic year a meeting was scheduled for my eldest, my husband and me with Dr Lyner-Cleophas, Prof Slattery (the head of the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science), and the course convener to discuss and determine what kind of special assistance my daughter would need to support her in obtaining her degree. ​<br></p><p>As this was done before classes had even started, my eldest daughter was fully prepared for her first year at university, thanks to the Disability Unit. She has now been studying for three-and-a-half years, after taking 2019 off to obtain additional Actuarial Society credits, and is still receiving amazing support. I use this word because it truly has been amazing. After many years of struggling to access authentic inclusion for my daughters, I have been and still am astounded at the real support and inclusion they have experienced here.<br></p><p>The Disability Unit also set up a separate orientation meeting for all special needs first-year students. During that session they were provided with the full particulars of the processes to be followed to ensure that they obtained the particular type of assistance they as individuals needed, for example, additional writing time during exams and tests, or separate exam facilities.<br></p><p>The following are a few of the support services offered by the Disability Unit that my daughters have used:<br></p><ul><li><p>Dr Lyner-Cleophas has an open-door policy so that there always is a safe space to go to when needed. My eldest used this safe space a few times when she had an anxiety attack or suffered from sensory overload. <br></p></li><li><p>Dr Lyner-Cleophas has always consistently and patiently engaged with my daughters’ psychologists from outside SU. <br></p></li></ul><ul><li><p>My daughters were given contact numbers to call at any time when they felt overwhelmed or needed assistance of any kind.<br></p></li></ul><ul><li><p>My eldest daughter struggles with sensory overload in large crowds and lecture halls, so she wears noise-cancelling headphones during lectures. The Unit informed all her lecturers beforehand that there would be a student with headphones in class, as well as the reason why, so that she would not get into trouble. </p></li></ul><p>They arranged for the chairperson of my eldest’s private students’ organisation to meet with her to discuss the orientation programme in detail so that she knew beforehand which of the sessions would be unsuitable for her to attend due to the size of the crowd and noise level that she would find unbearable. In fact, they came to meet her at our home (we live in Stellenbosch), and gave her the particulars of people to connect with during orientation, as well as people whom she could contact during her first weeks at university if she got lost on campus or needed any support.</p><p>​The most recent example of the assistance provided by the Disability Unit was during the Covid-19 lockdown. My eldest daughter was extremely anxious and was struggling to work on her mini-thesis along with a large year module. They organised a Skype meeting for her with her course convener to explain the project in more depth, as her executive dysfunction was causing intense stress. In addition to this, Dr Lyner-Cleophas set up a Zoom meeting with my daughter to check how she was managing under the stressors of the pandemic, and realised that her anxiety level was extremely high (which basically blocks people on the autism spectrum from functioning on any level). Dr Lyner-Cleophas accordingly suggested that she focus on her mini-thesis and that she complete part of her studies in her second honours year, and guided her on what she needed to do to apply for this change to be accepted and implemented. After her meeting with Dr Lyner-Cleophas, my daughter said that she felt as if she could breathe again. I am profoundly grateful for the extent to which this has increased my daughter’s optimism and given her hope for the future. </p><p>Moreover, the sudden environmental change caused both my daughters to experience high levels of stress, and the Unit provided financial assistance so that they could each attend two intervention sessions a week at the Neurodiversity Centre, which specialises in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disabilities and conditions. <br></p><p>My youngest daughter’s university career started in 2020, and she has received the same amount of support as her sister did, except with even more understanding of her autism, thanks to the UD having had a few more years of experience with the condition. One additional piece of guidance with which the Unit assisted us was in choosing a residence for her by informing her which residence was smaller and quieter and therefore the most suitable for our youngest with her auditory overload.<br></p><p>With the help of the Disability Unit, both my daughters are handling online learning well. They receive prompt responses and wonderful support at all times when needed. <br></p><p>The Unit also reached out to my youngest to check how she was handling online learning, so that they could support her if necessary. <br></p><p>Lastly, the Disability Unit has been extremely helpful by assisting my daughters with bursaries that corporate companies specifically award to students with special needs.</p><p>I would like to convey my sincere gratitude to these amazing people from the Disability Unit. May you always continue to assist and support those who need with such dedication. This is a unit that truly does what it was constituted to do, and it is my sincere wish that your work will receive the recognition it so richly deserves. <br></p><p>With deep gratitude and respect. <br></p><p>A grateful mother.<br></p>
SU conference explores experiential learninghttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7821SU conference explores experiential learningCorporate Communication and Marketing Division: Daniel Bugan<p>​World-renowned subject-matter experts and knowledge creators in the field of experiential education and social justice recently participated in the 2020 Stellenbosch University Experiential Education Conference.<br></p><p>The virtual conference, themed Experiential Education as Pedagogy for Social Justice: praxis and practice for shaping 21st century global citizen-leaders, explored emerging trends and transitions in the higher education experiential education domain and the intersections thereof with social justice and the formation of the global citizen-leader. Held over two days, from 10–11 November, the conference offered participants access to master classes, keynote addresses and academic paper presentations.</p><p>In his opening address, Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of SU, said he found the theme of the conference most apt.</p><p>“The first part asks us to view experiential education as a pedagogy for social justice. This emphasis is highly relevant in light of the Coronavirus pandemic which has sharply exposed societal fault lines all over the world.</p><p>“The second part of the theme calls attention to our role as educators in shaping 21st  century global citizen leaders. This resonates with our stance here at SU. We do not just want to deliver graduates who are sought after in the workplace; we also aim to deliver engaged citizens and responsible leaders who are willing to use their expertise to serve society.</p><p>“We aspire to have a positive impact on the well-being of our town, region, country and continent with a global reach. And to do that, we do not only seek to influence and change the world around us but also ourselves. Experiential education is the key to this."</p><p>The keynote address was presented by SU Academics Dr Choice Makhetha, senior director: Division Student Affairs and Prof Thuli Madonsela, Social Justice Chair and Law Trust Chair in Social Justice. Their talk was entitled Emerging Social Justice Frameworks in Higher Education.</p><p>According to Makhetha the #Feesmustfall Movement in 2015/16 brought many social justice issues to the surface and students demanded that they be addressed with great urgency. Some of these issues include:</p><p><em>Gender-based violence (GBV):</em> Students took it upon themselves to ensure that GBV was taken seriously and plans were put into place to address these challenges. The value is in how the process unfolded and real experiential learning happened.</p><p><em>The missing middle:</em> They are students who are considered “not poor enough and not rich enough" to be supported financially through government funding. The discussions started with the Department of Higher Education and Training in 2016. Debates continued at Universities South Africa (USAf) and also at individual universities to try and come up with a solution.</p><p><em>Institutional culture:</em> Institutional culture is shaped and influenced by practices within the institution, including subtle patterns that form through habit and end up accepted as part of the institution's culture. This can be destructive and detrimental to the envisaged positive transformative student experience.</p><p><em>Decolonisation and curriculum transformation:</em> #Feesmustfall and other movements reignited a focus on decolonisation in general, and particularly curriculum transformation.</p><p><em>Mental health and substance abuse: </em>Students recognised the level of pressures on their lives, including socioeconomic and academic matters, and they raised the concern with regard to the level of psychosocial support available within the higher education sector.</p><p> Said Makhetha, “It is amazing how students can actually change society when they are intentional and courageous enough to drive change. We in higher education have seen how young people challenge institutions to make a change in different ways."</p><p> She believes that for any learning to last and be engrained in one's system, the teaching has to be by “walking the talk", especially beyond the classroom where involvement of students is voluntary.</p><p> “Experiential education is a powerful tool and through it lessons are deeply engrained. It is now very clear that it's important to lead and teach by example, while learning from experiences," Makhetha said.</p><p>Madonsela said she has an issue with the kind of experiential learning that students experienced through video games, such as Warcraft, where they become conditioned to fight injustice wherever they see it.</p><p>“The problem with this kind of experiential learning is that it gives them a skewed perception of justice, where everything goes and where whatever gets destroyed in the process is just collateral damage, “ she said.​<br><br></p>
SU’s first gender detour project kicks offhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7784SU’s first gender detour project kicks offCorporate Communication/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Rozanne Engel]<p>​<br></p><p>Stellenbosch University (SU)'s first gender detour project recently commenced on the Stellenbosch campus. </p><p>During her visit to South Africa late last year, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, announced that an Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) gender grant had been awarded to three South African universities. </p><p>The recipients were SU along with the Universities of Johannesburg and the Western Cape. SU received the ACU gender grant for its proposed Gender Detour project, which was officially launched on 8 October 2020.</p><p>The Gender Detour project involves a group of volunteer participants going on a walk around central Stellenbosch, and having conversations about the role of gender in campus culture, emotional and physical safety, health, social life, leadership, achievement and the future workplace. </p><p>According to Monica du Toit, ResEd group coordinator at SU's Centre for Student Communities, the grant has motivated them not to underestimate experiential learning and new ideas.</p><p>“This is a very small grant and a small project but the fact that our ideas received traction and support really motivated us."</p><p>So far, a group of 15 students and staff has been involved in shaping the route and discussion of the first two walks. Members of SU's Centre for Student Communities, along with some positional and non-positional leaders, will also help to facilitate these walks going forward.<br></p><p>​Du Toit said the first detour allowed organisers to see how the project played out and what can be improved in the following walks. She believes that this activity would be of great value if it is not done in large groups but rather smaller groups of five to eight people.<br></p><p>“This will give us time to first reach students and staff who are on campus and allows for safety and social distancing. This will remain a small group activity for welcoming and with senior students and the aim is not reach masses at once but to stimulate connected conversations," says Du Toit.</p><p>There are also plans to create a short clip with voice notes and footage from students to help capture some of the feedback from participants.</p><p>The detour will take the form of a series of guided weekly walks every Tuesday afternoon until 8 December. They have a core group of students and staff to facilitate walks on their own from 2021.</p><p>For more information about the Gender Detour project, contact Monica du Toit at <a href="mailto:mdt2@sun.ac.za"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-0">mdt2@sun.ac.za</strong></a>. <br></p><p><br></p>
SU cements its place among world's best universitieshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7770SU cements its place among world's best universitiesCorporate Communication and Marketing Division<p>​​Stellenbosch University (SU) has achieved a remarkable feat in 2020 by being ranked among the best universities in the world on three different global university rankings. Confirming the outcome of other recent rankings, is the latest version of the US News & World Report <a href="https://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/africa?int=top_nav_Universities_in_Africa">Best Global Universities Ranking</a> in which SU is ranked number 321 – occupying the third spot among leading universities in South Africa and Africa. With this achievement, it has cemented its place among the top 1% of universities in the world.</p><p>The Best Global Universities Rankings focus specifically on institutions' research performance and reputation overall. It encompasses nearly 1,500 top institutions spread across 86 countries and uses indicators such as global and regional research reputation, total citations, number of publications that are among the 10% most cited, and international collaboration.</p><p>Universities are also ranked according to Subjects and here SU performed well. It is the best in South Africa in Agricultural Sciences (#104 globally), Biology and Biochemistry (#266 globally) and Environment and Ecology (#100 globally). The University also ranked in the top 100 globally in Infectious Diseases coming in at #92. Other notable accomplishments are Arts and Humanities (#208), Clinical Medicine (#212), Immunology (#150), Plant and Animal Science (#141) and Public, Environmental and Occupational Health (#153).</p><p>Commenting on SU's most recent achievement, Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Strategy and Internationalisation at SU, said that the outcome of this ranking is further proof of the institution's rise in stature among universities worldwide and underscores one of its core strategic themes namely, Research for Impact. “As this ranking focuses more on research performance, it is also a fitting recognition of the calibre and stature of our researchers."</p><p>Earlier this year, SU was also ranked among the top universities on the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Rankings, and the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.<br><br></p>
What to do as a final-year student in these pandemic timeshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7769What to do as a final-year student in these pandemic timesLeslie van Rooi<p>​​Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty amongst final-year students as to what they can expect in the coming year, there are a few opportunities available to them, writes Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation, in an opinion piece for <em>University World News</em>.<br></p><ul><li>​Read the article below or click <a href="https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20201013103748339"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>for the piece as published.<br></li></ul><p><strong>Leslie van Rooi*</strong></p><p>In all probability 2020 will be remembered as a year filled with challenges, agony, new possibilities and a sense of globality – we were after all 'stuck in this together'. At times, this year has left us uncertain and perhaps even dumbfounded. And, due to the harsh health and economic related impact of Covid-19, it is clear that things will remain uncertain for a while. </p><p>Many (if not all) sectors of society have been affected. The long-term impact cannot currently be fully understood and measured. But it is clear that there will definitely be some societal shifts. The possibility of fundamental change exists.  <br></p><p>It is perhaps the uncertainty, albeit relative uncertainty, that causes angst amongst many. <br></p><p>The uncertainty exists in a unique way amongst final-year students at our universities. For them the year, in a particular way, plays out differently. What would have been a year of rounding off and getting ready to enter a new and exciting phase now has as effect that future graduates must continuously adjust whilst at the same time holding a sense of uncertainty regarding what lies ahead. At the same time the possible long-term, negative impact on the job market, which they hope to enter in a couple of months, remains scary – more so than in previous years. <br></p><p>In what follows, I would like to highlight some of the challenges and possible opportunities that the graduates of 2020/2021 face. <br></p><p><strong>Emergency Remote (Online) Learning </strong></p><p>Like all other year groups, final-year students had to adjust to an online learning experience. For some it was an easy adjustment, whilst for others the challenges of studying at home, the effect of our deep-rooted societal problems, as well as the unpractical nature of doing research virtually loomed large. </p><p>Luckily some final-year students have in the meantime returned to our campuses to do, amongst others, lab and clinical work. Luckily lockdown regulations have allowed those, who would not be able to graduate whilst attempting to study remotely, to also return to our campuses. <br></p><p>At the golden end of the spectrum it is clear that most of our residential, public universities have been more than ready to attempt classes online. And perhaps even more important, the quality of degrees remains high – also by international standards. Time will tell how this will play out in future. <br></p><p><strong>The job market(s) </strong></p><p>Up to now the number of South African graduates who struggled to find a job within the first year of graduating has been relatively low – also compared to graduates in other parts of the world. But this picture might look very different in the next year or so. Whether the trends in job losses will continue locally and globally and to what extent they will affect graduates remains to be seen.  </p><p>In South Africa, we have been sliding deeper into the higher end of job loss figures over the last couple of years and it is projected that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. <br></p><p>With most industries currently scaling down on labour force and as our formal unemployment rate increases, the job market will indeed remain under pressure. <br></p><p>But as the voices in Bruce Whitfield's 'The Upside of Down' (2020) point out, opportunity keeps knocking on the door amidst challenging times. And this will indeed be true for those who know how to reinvent themselves, who can take risks/afford to take risks and who seize opportunity at the right place and time. It will ask of all of our graduates to perhaps do more than what was expected of their predecessors. <br></p><p><strong>Experience abroad</strong></p><p>For many graduates globally, experiences abroad rate as one of the top post-degree 'bucket list' possibilities. In this regard, they go abroad to enter the temporary job market for work experience (3-6 months), or to grab a more full-time job opportunity e.g. completing articles. At the very least, graduates in the professional fields tend to join firms that will allow some international exposure.  </p><p>But things might look very different come December 2020 and January 2021. Borders might not be as tightly closed as is currently the case but it is almost certain that job opportunities – also for temporary job possibilities – will be fewer. This will probably limit graduates' opportunities to work abroad. <br></p><p>Changing political contexts and a growing sense of 'closing ranks' in some countries might cause this to be a longer-term phenomenon. Something that might hit South African graduates harder than their counterparts in other parts of the world. <br></p><p>At this same time, this might open more opportunities on our continent for graduates to enter into Africa's growing job market. This will, however, ask for a shift in focus.  <br></p><p><strong>Further studies</strong></p><p>Perhaps the safest bet for our soon-to-be-graduates is to continue their studies in a deliberate and focused way. There are many debates around what it means to be 'overqualified'. However, it is difficult to argue against upskilling. How you use these skills is of course something else. </p><p>Graduates must of course follow the golden rule: to choose a degree/research theme that you will enjoy. If this is not the case, in particular given the fact that postgraduate studies ask for constant self-motivation, you will struggle to successfully complete your degree. <br></p><p>If the opportunity of postgraduate studies presents itself during trying times, take it. The added benefit can be that graduates can partially or fully complete their studies internationally. <br></p><p><strong>Financial woes </strong></p><p>When discussing the possibility of studying further, one should also consider the financial impact of the pandemic on a personal, household and government level. As such our graduates might need to search harder and deeper to be able to afford their studies. But there might be more opportunities available than what we think. </p><p>It is, however, important to make sound financial decisions in trying times. This should not exclude taking calculated risks.   <br></p><p><strong>Work experience </strong></p><p>Getting work experience is always a good idea. It stimulates, you continue to learn and it might project you into a different (better) future career path. Opportunities might be tight with limited levels of remuneration but the benefits, specifically under the current circumstances are endless. </p><p>Sound mentorship is perhaps now more important than ever. Taking up that conversation, asking those questions and allowing yourself to be challenged, guided and informed, will remain invaluable. <br></p><p>In conclusion, after all is said and done, we must remember that our contexts and realities differ. And this will of course have a tangible impact on our outlook and opportunities. But what we will all have to learn is to create our own opportunities in the best way possible. This will also ask of us to seek support and to understand that failing is indeed not the end of the story. <br></p><p>Judging from the number of times I used the words 'might', 'perhaps', 'should', etc. it is clear that indeed we are in the midst of uncertain times. But dealing with uncertainty is better than allowing a false sense of certainty to guide our every move. <br></p><p>If the rules of the game change, we cannot but adjust. And this is where we are now. <br></p><ul><li><strong>Photo</strong>: Students at Stellenbosch University. <strong>Photographer</strong>: Stefan Els</li></ul><p><strong>*</strong><strong>Dr Leslie van Rooi is Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation at Stellenbosch University. </strong></p><p><br></p>
Stellenbosch FC to host first home match at Danie Craven Stadiumhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7766Stellenbosch FC to host first home match at Danie Craven StadiumOperations and Finance<p>​<span style="text-align:justify;">​​T</span><span style="text-align:justify;">he Stellenbosch football club is pleased to announce that the newly renovated Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch will host its home matches for the DStv Premiership 2020/2021 PSL season.  </span><span style="text-align:justify;">The opening fixture behind-closed-doors takes place this Sunday 25</span><sup style="text-align:justify;">th</sup><span style="text-align:justify;"> October against Moroka Swallows FC.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS), the owners of Stellenbosch FC (SFC), and Stellenbosch University, have embarked on a strategic partnership to uplift football in the Winelands. The partnership not only sees the PSL Club utilise the University's excellent facilities as training base and match venue, but also details plans to uplift the quality of football at the University and create a holistic pathway for talented football players, support staff and administrators.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">SAS and Club CEO Rob Benadie says: “Our Club's strategic plan was fast-tracked with our elevation last year to the PSL.  Fortunately, we are based in a Town with a rich sport heritage and have the University and other key stakeholders partnering with us to assist our continued growth.  It is incredible to see how excited the Town is about the SFC brand and the prospect of building a home fortress at the iconic Danie Craven Stadium.  We hope to add to the incredible history that Maties Rugby has created and continues to create at this venue.  The Club sincerely thanks Messrs Rupert and Durand from Remgro and Prof Stan du Plessis and his Executives at the University in making this dream a reality."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Chief Operating Officer of the University, Professor Stan Du Plessis says: “It is incredibly exciting to welcome our partners, Stellenbosh FC, to the Danie Craven Stadium. Let's bring the same home ground advantage to Stellenbosch FC at Danie Craven as we have done for decades with Maties rugby. I hope that these home games will inspire especially young supporters to play at the highest level, along an aspirational path where Maties Football and Stellenbosch FC will both play a crucial role."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The long-awaited home venue brings excitement to the club who will finally be able to host its home fixtures in the town of Stellenbosch after going the entire 2019/2020 Premiership season without a designated home stadium.  Students and sport followers will now be able to enjoy quality rugby and football at the historic and beautiful dual-purpose stadium.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Club General Manager Garth Le Roux says: “Due to Covid-19 regulations unfortunately no spectators will be allowed in the Stadium on opening day. This is a huge moment for us as a club and we would have loved to have shared it with our loyal supporters and the broader Stellenbosch community, however, due to circumstances this is not possible.  We look forward to welcoming the supporters to regular PSL football in Stellenbosch in the near future."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo caption: </em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Stellenbosch FC players pose in their new kit at Danie Craven Stadium. From left: Zitha Macheke, Marc Van Heerden, Lee Langeveldt, Robyn Johannes, Ashley Du Preez and Sibusiso Mthethwa. </em><strong><em>Photo</em></strong><em>: Courtney Williams.</em><br><br></p><p><br></p>
World-renowned experiential education researcher at SUEEChttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7744World-renowned experiential education researcher at SUEECStudent Affairs / Studentesake<p style="text-align:left;">​Prof Alice Kolb, a world-renowned research and development expert in the field of experiential education will be one of the extraordinary keynote speakers at the <a href="https://www.sueec.com/">Stellenbosch University Experiential Education Conference (SUEEC)</a> in November 2020.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Prof Kolb, President of Experience Based Learning Systems (EBLS), will be engaging with the SUEEC participants as one of the extraordinary keynote speakers on the <a href="https://sueec.com/conference-track-one"><em>Experiential Education and Student Transformation</em></a><strong> </strong>conference track. EBLS, a research and development organisation devoted to research and application of experiential learning in organisations worldwide, she facilitates research and practice initiatives of the international network. EBLS has developed numerous experiential exercises and self-assessment instruments including the latest Kolb Learning Style Inventory 4.0. She recently co-authored the book titled <em>Becoming an Experiential Educator: Principles and Practices of Experiential Learning</em>. Prof Kolb is passionate about creating spaces conducive to deep learning that offer challenge and support to students. She states that it is essential to create learning spaces that develops expertise and sustained lifelong learning and that experiential educators play a critical role in this.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Prof Alice Kolb received her BA in Japanese Studies from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and MA and Doctorate in Human Resources Management from Hitotsubashi University. She received a MS in Human Resource Management from Cleveland State University and her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Organizational Behaviour, where she was an Adjunct Professor in the Weatherhead School of Management.</p><p style="text-align:left;">“Professor Kolb believes that experiential education is a philosophy, more than the pragmatic framework and stretches beyond formal academic learning. It is much more than utilising diagnostic instruments, and larger than the institution itself. <strong><em>The Principles and Practices in Conversation</em></strong> SUEEC session is simply a must for all experiential educators as part of our ongoing learning" said Ruth Andrews, Chairperson of the SUEEC Steering Committee and Manager of the SU Co-curriculum Office at Centre for Student Leadership, Experiential Education and Citizenship.  </p><p style="text-align:left;">Participants at the SUEEC can look forward to a panel conversation themed <em>'Experiential Education and Transformative Learning: Principles and Practices in Conversation'</em>, led by Prof Kolb. The SUEEC is a virtual experience conference hosted by CSLEEC at the Division for Student Affairs on 10-11 November 2020. The focus of the <a href="https://sueec.com/conference-track-one"><em>Experiential Education and Student Transformation</em></a><strong> </strong>conference track is to highlight approaches and issues facing experiential educators utilizing experiential education theory and methodology as pedagogy towards social justice and student transformation. Other keynote speakers that will be at SUEEC include Profs <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-george-kuh">George Kuh</a>, <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-thuli-madonsela">Thuli Madonsela</a>, <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-jonathan-jansen">Jonathan Jansen</a>, <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-arnold-schoonwinkel">Arnold Schoonwinkel</a>, <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-hester-klopper">Hester Klopper</a>, Dr <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-choice-makhetha">Choice Makhetha</a> and Mr <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-mustafa-erdogan">Mustafa Erdogan</a>.</p><ul style="text-align:left;"><li>Early bird registration for the SUEEC was open until 20 September 2020, and normal registration is open until 1 November 2020. Join us on 10-11 November 2020 for this virtual experience.<br></li></ul><blockquote style="text-align:left;"><p><strong>Visit </strong><a href="https://www.sueec.com/"><strong>www.sueec.com</strong></a><strong> and register today join the global conversation at SUEEC 2020</strong>.</p></blockquote>
Experiential Learning and Critical Pedagogy Master Trainer at SUEEChttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7745Experiential Learning and Critical Pedagogy Master Trainer at SUEECStudent Affairs / Studentesake<p style="text-align:left;">​An international Master Trainer in critical pedagogy will be one of the extraordinary experiential learning specialists at the <a href="https://www.sueec.com/">Stellenbosch University Experiential Education Conference (SUEEC)</a> in November 2020.</p><p style="text-align:left;">Mustafa Erdogan, President and founder of the DeM Experiential Training Centre in Istanbul, Turkey, will be leading a Master Class on the <a href="https://sueec.com/conference-track-three"><em>Global citizen-leadership</em></a> conference track. He is the co-developer of the <em>DeM Training for Trainers Program</em>, a practical synthesis of Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory and Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed which he has delivered to 350+ educators from 13 countries. </p><p style="text-align:left;">As an experiential learning specialist and Master Trainer, Mustafa Erdogan has more than 15 years' experience in the field of civil society and has worked as a trainer for the European Union Education & Youth Programs. He completed Experiential Learning Certification Program of USA Institute for Experiential Learning delivered by David Kolb, Alice Kolb, Kay Peterson and Chris Kayes  and is an active member of this Community of Practice. Mr. Erdogan leads train-the-trainer master classes and program designing in numerous projects in Turkey, Europe and MENA regions. He carries expertise on Learning Management, NGO Management and Experiential Learning Design. He has been working as a trainer in pool of Turkish National Agency since 2006. He is one of the founders of IELN International Experiential Learning Network and his works are mainly focused on Experiential Learning and Critical Pedagogy. He believes that rights-based social transformation is only possible through social transformation-based education. </p><p style="text-align:left;">“The ability to connect academia with civil society through citizen-leadership, forms an indispensable element for a robust democracy. Mustafa Erdogan's master class is a must for everyone seeking to embed a social justice framework in experiential learning design that leads to precisely this"  said Ruth Andrews, Chairperson of the SUEEC Steering Committee and Manager of the SU Co-curriculum Office at the Centre for Student Leadership, Experiential Education and Citizenship. </p><p style="text-align:left;">Erdogan will be presenting a master class at the the SUEEC, a virtual experience conference hosted by CSLEEC at the Division for Student Affairs on 10-11 November 2020. The <a href="https://sueec.com/conference-track-three"><em>Global citizen-leadership</em></a> conference track seeks to build understanding of the role of experiential education towards the formation of the global citizen-leader and the inherent complexities thereof. Other keynote speakers that will be at SUEEC include Profs <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-george-kuh">George Kuh</a>, <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-alice-kolb">Alice Kolb</a>, <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-thuli-madonsela">Thuli Madonsela</a>, <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-jonathan-jansen">Jonathan Jansen</a>, <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-arnold-schoonwinkel">Arnold Schoonwinkel</a>, <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-hester-klopper">Hester Klopper</a> and Dr <a href="https://sueec.com/speakers-choice-makhetha">Choice Makhetha</a>.</p><ul><li>Early bird registration for the SUEEC was open until 20 September 2020, and normal registration is open until 1 November 2020. Join us on 10-11 November 2020 for this virtual experience.<br></li></ul><blockquote><p dir="ltr" style="text-align:left;"><strong>Visit </strong><a href="https://www.sueec.com/"><strong>www.sueec.com</strong></a><strong> and register today join the global conversation at SUEEC 2020</strong>.</p></blockquote>
SU’s top students honoured at Rector’s Awardshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7717SU’s top students honoured at Rector’s AwardsCorporate Communication/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie [Rozanne Engel]<p>​<br></p><p>Stellenbosch University (SU)'s top students who excelled in areas such as academics, leadership and social impact were honoured with Rector's Awards for Excellent Achievement during an online event on Thursday evening (01 October 2020).</p><p>In his opening address, Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, said that student success has always been an important priority to him since he became Rector in 2015. </p><p>“Without students, there is no university, but neither would there be a university without staff. So, we need each other to make the most of the wonderful opportunities that higher education offers us – the chance to broaden our minds and enrich lives, not only our own, but to make a positive impact in society broadly speaking," said De Villiers.</p><p>Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching, Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, congratulated all the recipients and said that SU was proud to provide development opportunities to students inside and outside the classroom. </p><p>“We feel truly honoured to spend time with such excellent young people. They have made a positive difference at Stellenbosch University, demonstrating excellence on diverse terrains of student life and they are likely to make significant contributions in our country and beyond," said Schoonwinkel.</p><p>Renaldo Schwarp, who received the Student Representative Council (SRC) Award for Exceptional Alumni from outgoing chair Lewis Mboko, was the guest speaker at the event.</p><p>Schwarp is a digital media specialist, radio host and award-winning television presenter and producer, who graduated with a BA degree (Drama and Theatre Studies) from SU in 2012 and thereafter, in 2013, completed his Post Graduate Certificate in Education.</p><p>With more than eight years' experience across multiple platforms within the South African media and broadcast landscape, he currently leads digital at Jacaranda FM, one of South Africa's leading commercial radio stations. He was listed as one of Mail and Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans for 2019 and received a Koker Youth Award at the 2019 Afrikaanse Taalraad (ATR) Koker Awards.</p><p>In his speech, Schwarp congratulated and encouraged students to be “authentic" and take control of their life stories, so they can get better at creating and sustaining resilience.</p><p>“Part of living a happy and wholehearted life has to do with letting yourself (your story) be seen fully. By accepting my story – all of it – and sharing it, I have realised who I am and what my purpose is as a young queer African. The moment I was honest about who I am, what I want to do and where I want to go, the stars aligned."</p><p>In 2019 Schwarp was recognised for his persistent and though-provoking work of reshaping LGBTI+ and coloured narratives across South Africa. In 2019, he executive produced and directed <em>SKEEF: Die Dokumentêr</em>, an independently produced and internationally recognised film on the lived experiences of LGBTI+ South Africans.</p><p>“One of the biggest lesson that I have learned over the years is that it is okay to say, 'yeah, I did a great job' or 'I think I would be great for that position', and 'yeah I deserve this award', because playing small should have no space in your story. As young people, African youth, the sooner we realise authenticity is the birthplace to connection, the better. Owning your power, your skills, and what you can offer the world is one of the greatest qualities you can give to others," said Schwarp.</p><p>The following students were the recipients of the <strong>SU Medal for Top Magister Student</strong>: Esethu Monakali (Arts and Social Sciences), Sarah Selkirk (Science), Alexandra Rust (AgriScience), Willem Wilken (Economic and Management Sciences), Juletha-Marie Dercksen (Law), Ashwin Thyssen (Theology), Marno du Plessis (Engineering), Dr Johan de Wet (Medicine and Health Sciences) and Mariana Clift (Education).</p><p>The other students that received awards for co-curricular achievements were:</p><p><strong>Rector's Award for Excellent Contribution to Culture: </strong>Amber Dawn Fox-Martin</p><p><strong>Rector's Award for Excellent Social Impact: </strong>Emer Butler, Afua Duah, Eugene Greyling, Mlungisi Khumalo and Luigia Nicholas</p><p><strong>Rector's Award for Excellent Service Provision: </strong>Anthony Andrews, Melt Hugo, Danyca Breedt and Taydren van Vuren</p><p><strong>Rector's Award for Excellent Leadership</strong>: Wamahlubi Ngoma, Ntsako Mtileni, Bradley Frolick, Zimbili Sibiya, Zintle Tunce, Akhona Xotyeni, Louiso du Pisanie, Ella Van Rensburg, Tebogo Mphahlele, Mokgeseng Ramaisa, Azhar Nadkar and Kristan Sharpley</p><p>The following students from these faculties also received excellence awards for their academic achievements:</p><p><strong>Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences: </strong></p><ul><li>Hanne Mertens</li><li>Jamie Stolk</li><li>Willem Odendaal</li><li>Benjamin Rayner</li><li>Karo Van Zyl</li><li>Cayley Tarr</li><li>Tyron Cameron</li><li>Meshaan Adelhelm</li><li>Bianca Theron</li><li>Kirsten Dennis</li><li>Daniel Claassen</li><li>Michael Steyn</li></ul><p><strong>Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:</strong></p><ul><li>Dylan Thwaits</li><li>Liesl Lamprecht</li><li>Cameron Williams</li><li>Marguerite Ewert</li><li>Kristen Harding</li><li>Keilidh Clapperton</li><li>David Wolfswinkel</li><li>Tessa Collington-O'Malley</li></ul><p><strong>Faculty of Engineering:</strong></p><ul><li>Marco Ribeiro</li><li>Hans Zietsman</li><li>Daniel Van Niekerk</li><li>Tessa Hall</li><li>Aidan Biet</li><li>Chrystal Udall</li></ul><p><strong>Faculty of Law:</strong></p><ul><li>Ferdinand Botha and Reshard Kolabhai.</li></ul><p><strong>Faculty of AgriSciences:</strong></p><ul><li>Heinrich Geldenhuys</li><li>Juan Sebastian Nieto Lawrence</li><li>Carla Dippenaar</li></ul><p><strong>Faculty of Science:</strong></p><ul><li>Dario Trinchero</li><li>Conrad Strydom</li><li>Jacobie Mouton</li><li>Bryce John Foster</li><li>Michael-Phillip Smith</li></ul><p><strong>Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences:</strong></p><ul><li>Inge Du Toit</li><li>Brandon Franckeiss</li><li>Saskia Louw</li><li>Isabelle Koeul</li><li>Misha Erasmus</li><li>Anja Kruger</li></ul><p><strong>Faculty of Education:</strong></p><ul><li>Mariana Clift</li></ul><p><strong>Faculty of Theology:</strong></p><ul><li>Karla Smit and Micaela Wahl<br><br></li></ul><p><br></p>
Bridging the gap between academia and job opportunities with Stellenbosch University's New Techpreneurship Cenhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7700Bridging the gap between academia and job opportunities with Stellenbosch University's New Techpreneurship CenInnovus & LaunchLab<p>​</p><p>In February 2021 the Stellenbosch University LaunchLab in partnership with SU School for Data Science and Computational Thinking will be launching its newly established SU Techpreneurship Centre. The goal is to provide final year students and/or recent graduates with an opportunity to be part of a 6-week coding and entrepreneurship programme. They will then be placed with a startup and/or industry partner in the form of a fixed-term internship to work on real-world problems and/or projects.</p><p> Keenan Stewart, Senior Service Delivery Manager from SU LaunchLab, said the Techpreneurship Centre will leverage off Stellenbosch University expertise in Data Science, Machine Learning, Robotics & Business Incubation to promote entrepreneurial activities while providing students with a pragmatic learning environment, as well as job placement into companies upon graduation.</p><p> “The new SU School for Data Science and Computational Thinking would support and develop a coding programme, while the SU LaunchLab will focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and business fundamentals through its incubation program. The result will be an inspiring, pragmatic, entrepreneurial initiative for all SU students," said Stewart.</p><p> In terms of SU's Vision 2040 the initiative sees this collaboration contributing to creating a transformative student experience in that this learning journey will provide a seamless transition into the workforce through practical experience with SU LaunchLab startups and its partners.</p><p>Stewart said students and graduates will have the opportunity to learn coding skills for mobile application and web development, as well as entrepreneurship, innovation and soft skills needed in modern-day business. “We will curate a custom learning journey for developers to gain the most relevant skills required for a tech-enabled business."</p><p> In Sub-Saharan Africa as many as 230 million jobs will require digital skills by 2030 – illustrating how crucial future demand for work-ready graduates is.  SU Techpreneurship Centre will create a critical link between classroom studies and real-world experience by providing a tested path to startup companies eager for a junior developer pipeline.</p><p> <strong>Important dates</strong></p><p>●      Applications open: 01 Oct 2020</p><p>●      Applications close: 15 Nov 2020</p><p>●      Interviews:  19 Nov 2020</p><p>●      Selection:  23 Nov 2020</p><p>●      Program: 01 Feb 2021 - 12 Mar 2021</p><p>●      Internship: 01 Apr 2021 - 30 Sep 2021</p><p> If you are interested and would like to pre-sign up for the program, please complete form<a href="https://airtable.com/shrQ6KfgNBva5CVyW"> </a><a href="https://airtable.com/shrQ6KfgNBva5CVyW">HERE</a>.<br></p><p><br></p>