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Enter our June-July photo competition celebrating World Environment Day 2023 http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9971Enter our June-July photo competition celebrating World Environment Day 2023 Petro Mostert<p>​​This year the theme for World Environment Day 2023 reminds us that our actions on plastic pollution matters. Stellenbosch University's Environmental Sustainability Team and the SDG/2063 Impact Hub are raising awareness by launching a special photo competition about how our actions influence our environment that will be running during the months of June and July.<br></p><p>To participate in the photo competition, you simply need to take a photo and write a caption. We want to know how you will raise awareness for environmental sustainability. You are also allowed to enter more than once. <br></p><p>To celebrate World Environmental Day on Monday, 5 June, we invite students and staff to join us on a tour of our material recycling facility (MRF) at Welgevallen, on Monday, 5 June 2023 where we will show SU's efforts to sort our campus waste in such a way as to divert as much waste from landfill as possible and #BeatPlasticPollution.  </p><p>For inspiration, see what we do in the SU Environmental Sustainability Plan, click <a href="/english/management/OperationsandFinance/Documents/W27823%20Sustainability%20Plan%202022.pdf">here</a>.</p><p>The first prize is valued at R2000, the runner-up's prize at R1000 and the value of the 3rd prize is R500, sponsored by the Environmental Sustainability team. There is a special bonus prize for the #BeatPlasticPollution campaign sponsored by SDG/2063 Impact hub—spot prizes to be given on social media during June and July. We also have a prize for the most-liked photo on our Instagram page at @su.environmental.sust.</p><p>The closing date for entries is at 23:59 on 20 July 2023.</p><p>To enter our photo competition, please click <a href="https://forms.office.com/r/ZesnFs8ZEM">here</a> for the entry form online. You will need to be logged in with your SU credentials to access the form. <br></p><p><strong>For those who want to attend our recycling tour on Monday, herewith the details:</strong></p><p>Join us for a recycling tour of our material recycling facility at Welgevallen to celebrate World Environment Day and #BeatPlasticPollution.</p><p>Date: 5 June 2023</p><p>Time: 12h00 – 13h00<br></p><p>RSVP because places are limited: Please fill in the form <a href="https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Azv6pjwKWEKEM6Eg3_zTSOvhNUaFqrJNn9eINYP9sBBUMFY5RjZFMkdEWEdKMVpLV1YxWjhKWEdHUi4u">here</a><br></p><p>Transport will be available from the Conserve via SU's shuttle service for confirmed participants.​<br>#BeatPlasticPollution, #WorldEnvironmentDay<br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>
Stellenbosch University celebrates Earth Day 2023 with a two-day long exhibition at Jan Moutonhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9853Stellenbosch University celebrates Earth Day 2023 with a two-day long exhibition at Jan MoutonPetro Mostert<p>​​​​We celebrate Earth Day on 22 April 2023, and Stellenbosch University will start commemorating early with an environmental sustainability expo at the Jan Mouton building on 13-14 April 2023.<br></p><p>The SU Environmental Sustainability Expo 2023 aims to broaden the campus conversations around environmental sustainability,  promote the SU Environmental Sustainability Plan, create engagement opportunities about the Net Zero Carbon campaign, and pioneer an annual campus event as part of global Earth Day events.</p><p>As part of the event, Prof Guy Midgley, Acting Director at our School for Climate Studies and world-renowned climate change researcher, will be doing a talk on How to Avoid Climate Disaster: An African View, tying with Earth Day's call to action: Invest in our planet. As part of the talk, he will demonstrate a dashboard that you can use to see how different interventions will impact climate action with different scenarios.</p><p>The exhibitors include environments within SU engaging in the climate change conversations, such as SU Facilities Management, the SDG/2063 Impact Hub dealing with the Sustainable Development Agendas of both the UN and AU at SU, The School for Climate Change, EcoMaties, the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), and companies helping SU to get to a net zero campus, such as Alveo, CRSES, Wasteplan, GBCSA, and others. <br></p><p>Join the SU community in pledging to reduce our carbon footprint and automatically enter a lucky draw.</p><p>Various tours and activities are also planned for the week of  17 April 2023.</p><p>There is an opportunity on Friday, 14 April, between 11:00 – 13:00 for SU staff and students to join us for an informal conversation about furthering the sustainability conversation across faculties and departments. Several panellists will participate in this session, share some of their research, and illustrate how they incorporate sustainability into their work.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Expo Dates</strong>: Thursday & Friday, 13-14 April, 11:00 – 14:00</p><p><strong>Venue</strong>: Jan Mouton building 2<sup>nd</sup> and 3rd-floor foyers<br><br></p><p>It is essential to RSVP for Prof Midgley's talk (13 April 12:30 to 13:30)– either to attend in-person or online: We will stream the lecture from the Jan Mouton Learning Centre. <a href="https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Azv6pjwKWEKEM6Eg3_zTSOvhNUaFqrJNn9eINYP9sBBUMlcyMVNCNzUzU1VLQ05VVlU0VjQwNlJKNy4u">Register here</a></p><p> For queries, contact:</p><p>Christine Groenewald at <a href="mailto:cgroenewald@sun.ac.za">cgroenewald@sun.ac.za</a> or 084 270 4489<br></p><p><br></p>
Did you know?http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9816Did you know?Petro Mostert<p></p><p>According to <a href="https://www.ool.co.uk/blog/a-brief-history-of-libraries/">Oxford Open Learning</a>, the very earliest libraries are believed to have been built around five thousand years ago, with the first human efforts to organize collections of documents. These took the form of clay tablets in a cuneiform script about an inch thick, in various shapes and sizes.</p><p>They placed mud-like clay in the wooden frames, and the surface was smoothed for writing and allowed to dry until damp. After being inscribed, the clay dried in the sun, or for a harder finish, was baked in a kiln.</p><p>According to research, the word “library" originated in Latin, from the word Libraria, meaning “place storing books," and the Latin liber, meaning “book." In contrast, a Latinised Greek word, bibliotheca, is the origin of the word for library in German, Russian, and the Romance languages.</p><p>The world's oldest known library is believed to be The Library of Ashurbanipal which was founded sometime in the 7th century B.C. for the “royal contemplation" of the Assyrian ruler Ashurbanipal. Located in Nineveh in modern-day Iraq, the site included a trove of some 30,000 cuneiform tablets organized according to subject matter. The library, named after Ashurbanipal, in fact, the last great king of the Assyrian Empire, is a collection of more than 30,000 clay tablets and fragments containing contemporary texts of all kinds, including a number in various languages.</p><p>At Stellenbosch University, we have one of the country's biggest and richest knowledge libraries where we can explore all the gems of the literary world and more. And what is more, as staff members, we have free access to all of this. </p><p>Suppose you prefer to visit  <a href="http://library.sun.ac.za/en-za/Pages/Home.aspx">SU's library</a> online. In that case, you will soon discover that this is your one-stop-reading and research portal for the <a href="http://library.sun.ac.za/en-za/Search/Pages/E-newspapers.aspx">newspaper of the day</a> – yes, even the New York Times, <a href="https://web-p-ebscohost-com.ez.sun.ac.za/pfi/search/basic?sid=4db46a6c-f15d-4490-825a-655d39b8cba3%40redis&vid=0&sdb=edspub&tid=3000EP">e-journals </a>such as the Economist or Harvard Business Review, and many more. When you start searching, you will end up in corridors and corridors of knowledge that could keep you awake for long hours.</p><p> And if all else fails: <a href="https://sun.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/search?vid=27US_INST:27US_V1">search</a>! </p><p>Why not tell us about your SU library experience and share with us the gems you found? You can email us <a href="mailto:petromostert@sun.ac.za">here</a>. ​</p><p>​<br></p>
The Stellenbosch University of the futurehttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9800The Stellenbosch University of the futurePetro Mostert<p><br><br></p><p>I heard on the radio someone says that the only way one could change something in South Africa is to disrupt like taxis blocking the N2 or a week-long stayaway from work. Is that true? Do we want to resort to negative disruptions to create the future we want? I hope not.</p><p>I would like to think that we at Stellenbosch University are in the box office seats to create the future we aspire to, the university of the future, which will be more flexible, personalised, collaborative, and technology-driven than traditional universities. A place where we will prioritise the development of critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills, which are essential for success in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world.<br></p><p>I spoke to our IT colleagues recently and shared with them what ChatGPT generated for me when I typed in words: "Explain how the university of the future will look".<br><br></p><p><strong><em>ChatGPT wrote:</em></strong></p><p>"The university of the future is likely to be characterized by several key features, including:</p><p>Online and hybrid learning: Universities are likely to offer more online and hybrid learning options, with greater flexibility for students to learn at their own pace and in their own time. This will also enable more students to access education, regardless of their location or schedule.<br><strong>Personalisation:</strong> The university of the future will likely use advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to personalize learning experiences for each student. This will involve tailoring curriculum and teaching methods to each student's individual needs and preferences, making education more engaging and effective.<br></p><p><strong>Interdisciplinary focus:</strong> With the increasing complexity of the world's problems, universities will likely focus more on interdisciplinary education, encouraging students to explore and integrate knowledge across different fields and disciplines.​<br></p><p><strong>Collaborative learning:</strong> The university of the future will likely emphasize collaborative learning, with students working together on projects and assignments both in-person and online.<br></p><p><strong>Virtual and augmented reality:</strong> The use of virtual and augmented reality technologies in education is expected to increase, allowing students to experience simulated environments and interact with digital objects, enhancing their learning experiences.</p><p><strong>Lifelong learning:</strong> The university of the future is likely to place a greater emphasis on lifelong learning, providing education and training opportunities to individuals throughout their careers, as the pace of technological change continues to accelerate.</p><p><strong>HESU</strong></p><p>I see our core challenge for higher education in achieving two things: high impact and efficient scale. I would like to summarise it with the acronym HESU - a high-impact, efficient, scalable university.</p><p>This year we struggled to find housing for our students, given the curveball from NSFAS putting a cap on accommodation fees. For uncertainties like these incidents, we must find efficient scalability as we expand our impact.</p><p>Scalability refers to an organisation's ability to perform well under an increased or expanded workload. It means we need to work smarter (not just harder) to face the increased demand. That we do this through process innovation, standardisation, and algorithmic thinking, and applying technology. Modern technology allows us to achieve personalised experiences if the technological application is sufficiently algorithmic, just like ChatGPT.</p><p><strong>Customer-centric</strong></p><p>For this future, we need to be customer-centric: designing our processes with the students and staff members who will be using it in mind. The human experience is at the centre of design thinking: the concept where we work backwards from what the customer wants and not forward from the perspective of an outsider consultant or specialist.</p><p>There is no such thing as the best solution without considering cost-efficiency. I never want to hear a design solution of a project plan where cost is not part of every decision. There is a trade-off, colleagues and you and I are co-responsible for every time we spend in this university. We should be very concerned if we ever spend resources on a solution that is sub-optimally used thereafter.</p><p>HESU will require substantial adjustment and change management for the entire university. Let me leave you with two lessons for change management:</p><p>Firstly, make sure you understand the problem by doing at least the following:           </p><p>·      Get key stakeholders involved;</p><p>·      Find a change agent to drive the process; and</p><p>· Ensure you can answer the why question regarding the change you want to effect? As well as all the other details in your strategy.</p><p>Secondly, create a sense of urgency:</p><p>·      This is an act of persuasion. It is you who must motivate the organisation to change with you.</p><p>Many (even most) attempts at change management fail here at these two points. It is your responsibility to persuade the organisation; it is a sobering lesson that most change leaders under-communicate.</p><p>Colleagues, I want to roll up my sleeves to work with you as we realise a high-impact efficient, and scalable Stellenbosch University. It cannot be done without you. It must be done.<br><br></p><p><strong>Stan du Plessis</strong></p><p><strong>COO: Stellenbosch University</strong></p><p>​<br></p>
This is the year for SUNFinhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9801This is the year for SUNFinPetro Mostert<p>By Manie Lombard</p><p>My fellow finance colleagues, I look forward to team-up with you for a successful 2023!<br></p><p>We have an extraordinary year ahead of us with the go-live of Oracle Cloud Financials in our SUNFin project, replacing our trusted but dated “Terra"-system. You are a magnificent team of people working together to bring us to this significant milestone – the digitalisation of SU through SUNFin and SUNStudent. </p><p>Prof Stan indicated in our recent strategic planning session on 20 February that our Responsibility Centre's vision for 2023 is HESU – to strive for a High Impact Efficient Scalable University. Hereafter we held our division's strategic session on 27 February, where we discussed and agreed on the Division's strategic objectives:</p><p>Implement Oracle Cloud Financials (OCF) in July 2023 according to the approved SUNFin project plan (including the optimal training and support tool or platform for SUNFin; optimal alignment of finance division's structure with new best practice processes, workflows, and securities according to OCF).</p><p>Successful implementation of student fees and bursaries modules in SUNStudent for a transformative financial student services experience; and the development, implementation, and monitoring of an effective communication strategy and plan for student financial services, including the new NSFAS decisions.</p><p>Evolution of the SU (RC)-Budget Model and balancing the SU budget for 2024 and beyond to ensure the financial sustainability of SU. </p><p>To successfully obtain these objectives, we added staff wellness and transformation to our objectives as these are non-negotiables to reach our stated goals.</p><p>I look forward to each member of our Finance Team's contribution to making this a great year and Stellenbosch University an exceptional place.​</p><p>​<br></p>
Are we in October already?http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9802Are we in October already?Petro Mostert<p></p><p>By Nicolette van den Eijkel​</p><p>Is it October already, or are we still in March? The year has been very busy, and the summer holidays seem distant memories. SUFM has been busy with many activities, particularly during the student welcoming with Environmental Sustainability and Campus Security. Of course, property services have had to ensure that everyone had the backup generators they needed. The Business Management department finished their year-end activities and ensured we had the proper budgets allocated in the right cost centres for our “business" to run smoothly. Facilities Services have been busy settling in many new staff members and are in constant liaison between our clients and the Property Services team to keep up with load-shedding stages. <br></p><p>Also, we are so proud that the biggest project in the higher education sector in South Africa to date, the BMRI project, reached practical completion in February. The teams behind that deserve great compliments.  </p><p>We hope we get through 2023 despite the stress that the energy crises could bring. While considering our shortcomings, we will find ways to learn and improve. This year we will also reflect and enjoy the many successes we achieve daily and be grateful for working for a great institution such as Stellenbosch University.</p><p>​<br></p>
You can make a real difference on our campushttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9803You can make a real difference on our campusPetro Mostert<p></p><p>By Anita Nel</p><p>I am incredibly privileged to lead one of SU's most dynamic and successful divisions. There is not a university on this continent that offers the quality of accommodation, technology transfer expertise, student centres, support for short courses, and commercial activities that SU does. This is the result of an excellent team of people with a "can do" attitude, a shared strategic vision, an incredible work ethic, loyalty to SU, and an exceptional ability to deliver the goods. </p><p>In your roles, you can make a real difference on our campus. Whether it's providing a safe, comfortable, and healthy living and social space for students, creating an educational botanical garden focused on the conservation of near-extinct species, transferring university inventions to the benefit of society, protecting the intellectual property and trademarks of the university, supporting our stakeholders to further their education through short courses at SU, sweating the university's assets or providing excellent transport services - your work has an impact far beyond the walls of the university.</p><p>These achievements are a team effort, and I look forward to another year of excellence with the wonderful colleagues in our division!​</p><p>​<br></p>
A holistic and diverse experience through sporthttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9804A holistic and diverse experience through sportPetro Mostert<p></p><p>By Ilhaam Groenewald</p><p>Last year we enjoyed a great time on and off the field; our strategic objectives and decision-making remain aligned with the vision of Stellenbosch University and the Maties Sport vision "To be the leading university, contributing towards a holistic and diverse experience through sport". This year we will focus on the following: <br>·      Develop and maintain a winning team: we remain committed to building our holistic and high-performance programme through player recruitment, development, and retention. <br></p><p>·      Sport club management: monitoring and tracking all the systems aligned to our key focus areas and looking into programme renewal for our cluster programmes. <br></p><p>·      Expanding the Centre for Sport Leadership (CSL): we are working on getting 15 research fellows for our centre, expanding our sport research footprint. We will investigate partnering with two African universities this year. <br></p><p>​<br></p>
Full steam aheadhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9805Full steam aheadPetro Mostert<p></p><p>By Denisha Jairam-Owthar</p><p>I'm thrilled and excited to see Information Technology Division's team 'full steam ahead' at the start of 2023. IT's digital strategy has been approved, giving us the roadmap to follow on our digital journey at Stellenbosch University. We have much work to do, and there are many critical deliverables. </p><p>This year we will see SUNFin going live in July, Cybersecurity becoming a priority and its response plan to be implemented, and IT reviewing various systems to carve out flight plans for improving those technologies. We will re-align our roles to deliver and stabilise “mission-critical" projects, conduct system reviews, start new projects, embrace the cloud in significant ways, roll out the usage of Jira by more people, and renew our network.</p><p>With lots of IT engagements planned for the year ahead, 'all hands-on deck' is our current ethos to realise the benefits of what we have been working on for some time. In the spirit of creating a thriving Institution whereby digitisation is a prioritised game-changer, it puts IT at the forefront. Let's go forth with passion, doing all things and tasks with excellence while working together as one of SU's best teams.​</p><p>​<br></p>
SUFM maintenance team's rapid response saves millions in insurance claimshttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9806SUFM maintenance team's rapid response saves millions in insurance claimsPetro Mostert<p>​​<br><br></p><p>Boxing Day 2022 came with a massive punch with a flood in Stellenbosch University's Admin A building after a pipe burst on the third floor. Within minutes after security staff saw water streaming out of the building, Facility Management's maintenance teams were on site and doing what they do best. Seven days later, staff could return to their offices – in time to welcome students for registration on campus. Their rapid response and efficient way of cleaning and drying the 2 400 m2 area in such a short period brought down the initial estimated R20 million insurance claim to R2,4 million.</p><p>"Our campuses do not shut down when staff and students go on holiday in December. Generators need fuel, and pipes burst, electricity trips and what breaks, must be fixed," says Aloma Fourie, maintenance planning manager, and Robert Todkill, a technical advisor in Facilities Management's property services. "It's like a big brother who must keep his eye on everything that could go wrong while the rest of the University's staff and students are holidaying somewhere," says Todkill.</p><p>He says a security officer saw water streaming out from under the doors opening on the Rooiplein at 7 am on 26 December last year. He immediately contacted Facilities Management's maintenance teams. The maintenance teams were on site within twenty to thirty minutes. They closed taps, opened windows and doors, swept up water, moved furniture, boxes of paper, and equipment away, and brought in dryers and dehumidifiers.</p><p>Within three days, the building was dry again, and the teams — consisting of SU staff members and service providers— could start repair work. Fourie says it is astonishing how fast the teams managed to dry out the entire building. "This is why we had to replace so few floors or carpets. The insurance company said they had rarely experienced this at any other university in South Africa. Therefore, they said, they wish they could phone the SU team the next time they have floods at another university!"</p><p>Todkill said they had to hand over the building on 3 January 2023 for student registration; therefore, the teams even worked on 1 and 2 January when the rest of South Africa was enjoying time off. "One of the guys even checked in every two hours to empty the dehumidifiers. The commitment from the teams was astonishing."</p><p>He said that while they were in the building fixing flood damage, such as electrical circuits, alarm detectors, and fire alarms, they even repaired other faults while on site. The result was a building in a much better state than before the flood.</p><p>Todkill said SU had invested much time and resources in electronic monitoring systems for utilities, such as water and electricity. "We have people monitoring these systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that faults are detected immediately, and teams are alerted to go out and repair them. These systems are saving the University a lot of money, and we cannot work without them."</p><p>They and the planned and reactive maintenance managers say it is unbelievable what they experience when staff and students leave the campus to go on holiday. "People should think of the University as their home. Taps were running, and lights, boilers, and other equipment were still switched on. When you go on holiday, you ensure you've switched off appliances and closed the taps at home. Why not do the same when you leave SU for holidays?" says Fourie.</p><p>Fourie had her fair share of flooding when heavy rains caused flooding of residences Huis Marais, Huis Visser, Eendrag, and the library earlier in December last year when we experienced unseasonably heavy rain. Again, the teams were on site immediately to save what they could – even putting down sandbags to prevent further flooding. Even Stellenbosch municipality was called in and cleared some drains to prevent future flooding.</p><p>Usually, builders get a breather and go on their annual builders' vacation in December. However, during this time, Fourie takes the opportunity to get a lot of work done with her teams on a quieter campus. This year, she and her teams embarked on a significant cleaning exercise, using high-pressure hoses to clean our buildings. Instead of paying to paint these buildings, she managed to save SU almost R3 million by using this cleaning method. She and her teams plan to continue this project throughout the year.</p><p>Fourie and Todkill work side by side, looking after maintenance teams consisting of permanent SU employees and service providers, with which they have built up excellent relationships over the years. Where Fourie looks after planned maintenance issues, Todkill ensures that any reactive requests get the urgent attention they require. "Our phones are on all the time; it is just how it is," they agree.</p><p>Together they believe in fostering trustworthy relationships with stakeholders such as the municipality of Stellenbosch. Because of these relationships, our team gets reaction times of 2 minutes.</p><p>Director of property services, Nadeem Gafieldien, said he is immensely proud and thankful to the property services teams that worked around the clock to keep SU operational over the holiday period. "The managers, foreman, teams, and service providers responded quickly to the floods and prevented millions of water damage. They save us millions in maintenance costs and insurance claims. In doing this, they sacrificed their valuable family time to ensure the campus can open on time to welcome students and staff for 2023."</p><p>For Nicolette van den Eijkel, Chief Director: Facilities Management, her thoughts at 08h36 on Boxing Day were definitely not on removing gallons of water from a building. Throughout the day, she received updates. By the evening, she realised how many of her staff and their service providers' personnel did not spend Boxing Day with their families – and likely would not spend the following days with them, as the deadline was looming.</p><p>"Over the next seven days, I got updates, gave advice, and did check-ins, and not once did anyone complain or say how horrible it was to work at this time and be away from family and friends. On 2 January, just after five, I received confirmation: "job done; the building is ready for staff and students." My WhatsApp response seemed inadequate: "I am so very impressed with FM. Thank you to all that managed to pull this miracle off. Thank you, Robert, for taking the lead and making it happen. While we were relaxing and celebrating, you and the team there worked like crazy. We cannot say enough thank you. I am very, very proud of you all."</p><p>“The University is indebted to Robert Todkill and Alfonso Baily from Tsebo for the incredible work they and their teams did to prevent massive damage and get the wheels turning within less than a week," said van der Eijkel.</p><p>SU gives a massive shout-out to Fourie and Todkill's maintenance teams and service providers for their incredible work around the clock to keep the lights on and the water out.​<br></p><p>See video of the flood <a href="https://youtu.be/1D0Q3pn1X0Q">here</a><br></p><p>See video of FM's activities on campus during December 2022 and January 2023 <a href="https://youtu.be/utStK6s4GBY">here</a></p><p>See video of how FM did flood control in December 2022 on campus <a href="https://youtu.be/OczrA0pkiRI">here</a><a href="https://youtu.be/utStK6s4GBY"></a><br></p><p>​<br></p>