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Stellenbosch University receives Platinum certification for FISU Healthy Campus
Author: Kimara Singh
Published: 20/06/2024

​​Stellenbosch University (SU) is the first university in South Africa to officially receive a platinum certification for Healthy Campus from the Federation of International University Sport (FISU) in June 2024. This certification aims to enhance all aspects of well-being for students and the campus community at large.

“Receiving the platinum certification as a FISU Healthy Campus confirms the work we have done as an institution, under the leadership of Maties Sport, to promote health and well-being", says Prof Stan du Plessis, Chief Operating Officer at Stellenbosch University. “We are grateful to Maties Sport for taking the initiative to compile and submit our information for this certification."

FISU Healthy Campus is a global initiative that aims to promote healthy lifestyles on college and university campuses around the world. The programme encourages universities to create environments that prioritise physical, mental, and social well-being for students, faculties, and staff. The only other university in South Africa who has received a certification was University of Johannesburg.

“This certification confirms SU's strive to create a safe and healthy environment for our students, staff, and campus community. Having to adhere to carefully curated regulations and benchmarks enables our Institution to embed health and wellness resources into all aspects of our campus life and culture and ensure that we create an enabling environment where all our stakeholders practice a healthy and sustainable lifestyle," says Du Plessis.

The initiative promotes a range of activities, including sports, exercise, healthy eating, stress management, and mental health support. It also encourages schools to develop policies and programs that promote inclusivity, safety, and positive social connections.

To cater to the diverse demands of students and staff, the programme has established a cross-cutting approach that includes not only physical activity but also healthy campus management, mental and social health, nutrition, disease prevention, risk behaviour, environment, social responsibility and sustainability.

Maties Sport Manager, Andiswa Zwelibanzi who headed up the process of obtaining certification, under the leadership of Sean Surmon, Director at Maties Sport, said the process started in 2022 with little knowledge and scope of the FISU Healthy Campus Project. “It has been a lengthy journey, with research about the best practices in other institutions in higher education globally and reaching out to Stellenbosch University internal stakeholders based on the seven domains to reach the desired milestones."

“The goal was clear from the onset: we wanted to reach Platinum certification. Our biggest learning from this project is that anything is possible with collaboration and teamwork. It also gave me an opportunity to learn more about other spaces within the university in terms of policies, practices, and projects," she said.

“I am very proud that Stellenbosch University has obtained a platinum certification for the FISU Healthy Campus initiative. This significant accomplishment reflects the hard work and dedication of Maties Sport and the entire Stellenbosch University campus. It is a testament to our commitment to excellence and desire to provide the highest level of service and support to be recognised as one of the healthiest campuses in Africa," said Ilhaam Groenewald, Chief Director Maties Sport.

The seven domains mentioned by Zwelibanzi are physical activity and sport, nutrition, disease prevention, mental and social health, risk behavior, environment, sustainability and social responsibility, and healthy campus management. Various internal stakeholders at the university made the certification possible, such as Campus Health, Human Resources Wellness and Centre for Student Communities, Facilities Management, Risk Management and Campus Security, SUNCOM, SU Wellness Committee, and Maties Sport.​

For further enquiries

Kimara Singh