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Happy New Year Greetings from Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch Universityhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8879Happy New Year Greetings from Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch UniversityConfucius Institute at Stellenbosch University<p>​​​Dear SU colleagues and students,<br></p><p>Happy New Year! The Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University would like to extend our sincere and happy festival greetings to you and your loved ones. We wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous year in 2022.</p><p>We are preparing and uploading some super cultural programs about China twice a month, including short videos on various topics, concerts, films, songs, etc. for you to enjoy, through which you'll learn more about China and the Chinese people. </p><p>You're welcome to login into the CISU Website <a href="/english/confucius-institute">http://www.sun.ac.za/english/confucius-institute</a> and click the column <strong>Discovering China </strong>to watch and enjoy the programs. Thank you!<br></p><p> Best regards</p><p> Professor Binlan HUANG</p><p>Chinese Co-Director at CISU</p><p>Robert Kotze<br></p><p>Senior Director at SUI</p><p>SA Co-Director at CISU<br></p><p>​<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/CI.jpg" alt="CI.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:349px;" /><br></p>
A reflection from Robert Kotzehttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8835A reflection from Robert KotzeRobert Kotze, Senior Director: Stellenbosch University International <p><span style="text-align:justify;">​The year 2021 is drawing to a close. It is time for wrapping up, thinking back, and getting ready for time with family and friends over the festive season.</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">When looking back, I am proud that we at SU International managed to puzzle it out most of the time, although some of the piecing together took a while amidst the range of opportunities coming our way:</p><ul><li>Establishing the AUDA-NEPAD Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology and Innovation, one of five on the continent.</li><li>Hosting three Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI) joint schools, with the University of Strathmore, Lagos University, and the University of Rwanda.</li><li>Establishing the SU Unit for International Credentialing to quality assure the newly established <em>International Secondary Certificate </em>(ISC) of the Independent Examinations Board (<a href="https://www.iebiq.com/pages/qualityassurance">https://www.iebiq.com/pages/qualityassurance</a>).</li><li>Becoming an international partner of the EUTOPIA University Alliance and an associate member of the SGROUP of universities.</li><li>Developing an SU Japan Centre with the Embassy of Japan.</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;">Within the context of the above and the implementation of our Internationalisation Strategy, SU International underwent a reorganisation that resulted in the merging of the Centre for Partnerships and Internationalisation Support and the Global Education Centre into the new Centre for Global Engagement (CGE), with Sarah van der Westhuizen as the manager. The merger brings partnership development and the resulting mobility programme closer together. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Graphic1.png" alt="Graphic1.png" style="margin:5px;" /><img alt="" style="margin:5px;width:499px;" /><br></p><img src="file:///C:/Users/interweb/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.png" alt="" style="width:621px;margin:5px;" /><div><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Internationalisation Support</em> has become a stronger responsibility throughout SU International. Apart from being engaged in internationalisation activities and initiatives, all the centres have an institutional role in supporting <em>comprehensive</em> internationalisation with an <em>internationalisation</em> perspective, and not only engaging from an <em>international </em>angle.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">There is a lot of promise for 2022, especially regarding the initiatives highlighted in the graphic above. We all hope that the impact of the global pandemic will be less and that all the promise can come to life, including a revival of physical mobility, along within responsible, sustainable and digital International Higher Education.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">We thank all of you for your continued support and your engagement with us during SIAN (<a href="/english/SUInternational/Pages/SIAN.aspx">http://www.sun.ac.za/english/SUInternational/Pages/SIAN.aspx</a>). All the best for the festive season, for moving into 2022 and for achieving your internationalisation goals for 2022!<br></p><p><span style="text-align:justify;">Robert Kotzé</span><br></p><p>To find out more about SU International activities, visit our website: <a href="/english/SUInternational">www.sun.ac.za/international.​</a><br></p></div>
Reimagining student life and success on campushttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8831Reimagining student life and success on campusSU International<p>​<span style="text-align:justify;">​​Advancing student life and success is at the heart of meeting one of Stellenbosch University's goals to provide a transformative student experience. This can be done by taking learning outside the classroom, exposing students to intercultural engagement and creating exciting global learning experiences. However, in today's world, student life and success have been tested, with new shifts pushing many to start reimagining what student life and success look like on our campuses today.</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“With all my old tools and tricks packed up, I was forced to start to reimagine student life and success in our new normal. I would have to say that a good measure of successful international student life on campus today is finding a balance between face-to-face engagement and the use of digital platforms and to still maintain the integration and interactions of student on campus," says Angelo Jephtha, Coordinator: International Student Life and Success at Stellenbosch University International. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">We sat down to unpack what a reimagined student life and success on campus look like. </p><p><strong>What is the role of a 'successful student life' and </strong><strong>in </strong><strong>the internationalisation of higher education institution? </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The role of, or rather the focus on, student life is to ensure that we provide all students with a “<em>transformative experience</em>", which is one of the core strategic themes of the University. In our capacity we do this through various initiatives, such as the Matie Buddy programme, ISOS, volunteering and community engagement, and through a few short courses – Global Citizenship, Intercultural Communication – which are designed to enhance a student's global learning. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">That said, although these programmes may sound classroom based, they are very exciting initiatives tailored towards intercultural engagement and allowing students to have fun!</p><p><strong>How did Covid-19 affect some of your programmes and, as the main driver of the programmes, how were you affected?</strong></p><p>Limitations, limitation, limitations!</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Covid-19 came with a lot of limitations on what we could do. For the most part up until now, we have only reinstated some programmes. Given that a lot of our programmes are dependent on people participating face to face, we could only roll them out this semester with a very minimal offering. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Prior to the hard lockdown, we had already started to get creative and explore a lot of digital platforms, but we quickly realised that they were not well received by students. For example, our Matie Buddy programme was online, but along the line we saw that students stopped showing interest and this affected us to a great extent. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The restrictions placed on the number of people you can have at an event also created problems. For example, if we had to facilitate an ISOS activity we were met with various challenges such as transportation. In a situation where you could transport ten people with one bus, you would need to book two in order to adhere to regulations. </p><p><strong>What was the biggest major shift that occurred with the change that had to be made to the orientation and integration of international students into SU student life? </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The move to digital was the biggest major shift. Although we were already leaning towards more online engagement, we did not expect it to be so rushed and having to operate completely online. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This shift to online programmes really hampered the essence of connectivity, which is pivotal in integrating international students into their student life and enhancing local students' international experiences. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Everyone can attest to “digital fatigue" because of the move to online, and a lot of connection was lost.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Nonetheless, the move to online programmes has definitely opened up new dimensions of doing things. </p><p><strong>How have you managed to mitigate these changes? What were/are some of the challenges you are still facing?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">To mitigate the change from face to face to online spaces we started using WhatsApp groups. Although it is still an online platform, it is a bit more personal than email and we saw many students respond better to WhatsApp than to email. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">To bring more connectivity when the restrictions allowed, we started arranging small-group bicycle tours to allow for more student engagements. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The current challenges, as we are slowly achieving some sense of normality, are that I constantly have to think about capacity when I plan. The number of students who need to be present – how will the Covid-19 restrictions affect them? For instance, with some of our community engagement projects we need to send our students to local schools and, although the students may all be vaccinated, we might be exposing them to an environment where some of the children are not vaccinated, so yes – mitigating these risks. </p><p><strong>With all your old tools packed up for now and having had two cohorts of international students arriving on campus – what would you say is a good measure of success for international student life, and how have you started to reimagine?</strong></p><p>Having both parts of the spectrum working together. At first, we only had the face-to-face offering. Then, we were faced with this big task of keeping engagements going whilst working completely online. If one takes the Intercultural Communication course, for example, we will now design it in such a way that we have a blend of both face-to-face and online sessions. </p><p>To find out more about SU International activities, visit our website: <a href="/english/SUInternational">www.sun.ac.za/international​</a>.​​<br></p>
Inclusive internationalisation through new Stellenbosch University International Global Leadership Modulehttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8832Inclusive internationalisation through new Stellenbosch University International Global Leadership ModuleSU International<p>​​​​On 29 September 2021, an opportunity to lead with new knowledge and think beyond borders was launched by Stellenbosch University (SU) International, Unit for Global Education in the form of an interdisciplinary and multicultural module. The Global Leadership academic module is the first of its kind at SU and combines complex problem solving and the application of theory in practice – an attempt to provide a <em>t​ransformative student experience and embrace internationalisation at home</em> as part of Stellenbosch University's Vision 2040. The enormous scale, complexity and urgency of the challenges facing the world today call for more responsive and responsible leadership in business, government and civil society. Effective leadership in the 21st century involves operating in a new context characterised by changing demographics and expectations, the influx of new technologies, and the rapid pace of change. These rapid changes require leaders who can combine traditional leadership expectations with new competencies to help their environments flourish – an outcome planned to be achieved through this module.<br></p><p><em>Internationalisation </em>at SU has been defined as “an institutional commitment to intentionally and comprehensively integrate an international, intercultural and global dimension into the purpose, functions and programmes for all SU students and staff to advance the quality and impact of learning and teaching, research and innovation, in meaningful service of society". Internationalisation at home in the SU student dimension considers the flow of students and includes reference to the international students at the institution (degree and non-degree, all levels of study and all subject fields) and the mobility of students to include an international study experience in programmes. The student dimension also contributes to the on-campus student experience the institution aims to create for domestic and international students and is linked to the <a href="/english/learning-teaching/student-affairs/about/graduate-attributes">graduate attributes</a> championed by the institution.</p><p>An internationalised home curriculum is not an aim, but rather serves as an instrument to enhance skills – and equip graduates for the workplace whilst bringing the benefits of internationalisation to all students beyond only the mobile few (as physical student mobility is still limited to a small minority of students globally). The SU Global Leadership module is considered a way to prepare students not only for their role as responsible professionals but also as global citizens and agents of change. Themes covered in this module include global competencies such as intercultural competence and emotional intelligence; innovation and entrepreneurship focused on business model experimentation, global ethics and responsibility applied in the global corporate arena; organisational change, risk management, the rise and fall of social movements and the future of Africa. The Global Leadership curriculum illustrates how an internationalised home curriculum can contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals and springing back from the impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. </p><p>The first student cohort for the pilot phase consisted of master's students from SKEMA Business School, local BCom International Business students, as well as students from other disciplines across SU faculties. Session hosts are considered experts in their fields and include representatives from the Institute for Futures Research at SU, UNC Charlotte, Marubeni Trading Corporation and SU staff from Political Science, Economic and Management Sciences and Theology. Practical facilitated sessions introduced the cohort to design thinking as an approach to and tool utilised for complex problem solving. For the practical component of this module, SU International has partnered with PayGas to act as industry partner, through the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in South Africa. Today, nearly half of the world's population – approximately 3.8 billion people – do not have access to modern fuel. <a href="https://paygas.africa/our-mission/">PayGas</a> has worked endlessly to ensure a solution is within reach for anyone, at any time, anywhere. Students have approached this task as consultants for PayGas, bringing solutions for increasing their footprint and for new means of delivering value to more customers to the opportunities identified.<strong> </strong>This consultancy project serves as the practical component of gaining skills through experiential learning in aspects such as scalability and commercial deployment, amongst various focus areas within the business model of PayGas.<br></p><p>The SU International <a href="/english/SUInternational/international-students/non-degree-students" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Unit for Global Education</span></a> uses co-curricular and curricular interventions to develop and implement internationalisation-at-home and global learning initiatives. The aim is to help develop SU's graduate attributes in our students and enhance their employability, whilst supporting the teaching and learning environments as required. In the words of Prof Hester Klopper, Vice-Rector: Strategy, Corporate and Global Affairs, “this serves as an excellent opportunity in the form of knowledge diplomacy in addressing global issues". <br></p><p>To find out more about SU International activities, visit our website: <a href="/english/SUInternational">www.sun.ac.za/international​</a>.​​<br></p>
Building capacity through cooperation: an overview of the Erasmus+ Capacity Building https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8833Building capacity through cooperation: an overview of the Erasmus+ Capacity Building SU International<p>​<span style="text-align:justify;">​Stellenbosch University (SU) has a long history of cooperation with the European Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) and has been an active participant in its Erasmus+ programme since its inception in 2014. The </span><a href="https://erasmus-plus.ec.europa.eu/" style="text-align:justify;">Erasmus+ programme</a><span style="text-align:justify;"> has a range of key actions whereby it implements its activities. Key Action II: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices[1] makes provision for projects focused on capacity building in higher education (CBHE).</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The CBHE projects support the modernisation, accessibility and internationalisation of higher education in the eligible partner countries (such as South Africa), by supporting them in addressing the challenges facing their higher education institutions (HEIs) and systems. These challenges include those of quality, relevance, equity of access, planning, delivery, management and governance. The projects also contribute to cooperation between the European Union (EU) and these countries, by promoting interpersonal contacts, intercultural awareness and understanding. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The objectives of these CBHE projects include improving the quality of higher education and enhancing its relevance for the labour market and society; improving the levels of competencies and skills in HEIs by developing new and innovative education programmes; and fostering regional integration and cooperation across different regions of the world through joint initiatives, the sharing of good practices and cooperation. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Over the past seven years, SU has been a partner (and in some cases, coordinator) in 12 CBHE projects. The following six (6) projects have been successfully completed and we still reap the benefits of these projects in capacity and structures that have been developed at the University, especially in terms of the support of postgraduate students, the internationalisation of PhD studies and research management in HEIs: </p><ul><li>Enhancing Postgraduate Environments (EPE) (https://postgradenvironments.com/)</li><li>International Learning Network of networks on Sustainability (LeNSin) (http://www.lens international.org/about)</li><li>Development of a HArmonized MOdular Curriculum for the Smart Grid (DAMOC)(https://damoc.eu/)</li><li>Strengthening of collaboration, leadership and professionalisation in research management in SADC and EU higher education institutions (SToRM) https://sites.google.com/view/projectstorm/home) (SU was the coordinating partner)</li><li>Building capacity by implementing Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) mobile intervention in SADC countries (MEGA)<br>(https://mega.turkuamk.fi/)</li><li>Development of the Internationalisation of PhD studies in South Africa (YEBO!) (https://yebo.cut.ac.za)</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;">We are involved in six (6) active CBHE projects, most of which have received an extension due to the challenges and limitations of the Covid-19 pandemic. These projects are predominantly focused on curriculum development and the strengthening of relations between HEIs and the wider economic and social environment: </p><ul><li>Internationalising local development: A Global University Network for Vini/viticulture (VitaGlobal) (<a href="https://www.vitaglobalproject.org/">https://www.vitaglobalproject.org/</a>)</li><li>Bakeng se Afrika (https://www.up.ac.za/bakeng se afrika)</li><li>Improving Early Nutrition and Health in South Africa (ImpENSA) (https://www.earlynutrition.org/impensa)</li><li>21st Century Climate-Smart Forestry Education for Livelihood and Sustainability in South Africa (FOREST21) (https://www.forest21.org/)</li><li>Living Laboratory in Climate Change (LiLaCC) (http://lilacc.org/)</li><li>Nematology Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (NEMEDUSSA) (https://nemedussa.ugent.be/)</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;">The collective budget for these 12 projects is more than 11 million euros and funds aspects such as staff costs, travel costs for staff and student mobility, equipment costs, and subcontracting costs for the successful implementation of the projects. The collaborative efforts in these consortiums have really strengthened our cooperation with some existing bilateral partners and have led to new initiatives with partnerships developed through these projects. It has also played a big role in developing cooperation between universities in South African in support of the wider higher education landscape. We are also excited about the new possibilities that the Erasmus+ 2021-2027 will bring and partners are welcome to contact Alecia Erasmus on <a href="mailto:aleciaerasmus@sun.ac.za">aleciaerasmus@sun.ac.za</a> should they be interested in pursuing some of the new opportunities. </p><p><em class="ms-rteFontSize-1">[1]</em><em class="ms-rteFontSize-1">This will change to Key Action 2: Cooperation among organisations and institutions under the new Erasmus+ programme and some of the aims and objectives may be adjusted.</em><br></p><p>To find out more about SU International activities, visit our website: <a href="/english/SUInternational">www.sun.ac.za/international​</a>.​​<br></p><p>​<br></p>
Reflecting on 2021https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8834Reflecting on 2021Prof Hester C. Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs​<p>​At the end of 2021 we look back at another year in which we navigated the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. But with our experience gained in 2020, we were able to embark on new pathways towards internationalisation in a post-pandemic context.<br></p><p>As with many institutions across the globe, we learned numerous lessons over the past 18 months and implemented several innovative ways of continuing what has worked, while pioneering new ways of doing, especially with regard to the development of our partnerships globally.</p><p>Over the past year, SU has achieved much to continue engaging globally in higher education, guided by our Internationalisation Strategy. For students, we have moved towards a hybrid model because we believe that acquiring global skills is pertinent for our graduates. We are proud of the many teaching and learning opportunities we could unlock. This has also had an influence on furthering our vision to be the leading research-intensive university in Africa.</p><p>We have seen growth in our international partnerships, and our comprehensive Partnerships Framework has been supported this well. This framework focuses on bilateral partnerships with higher education institutions and related international education organisations. We continue to engage with our partners through virtual meetings and have an effect on the networks to which we belong. The eagerness to interact and collaborate globally certainly made it easier and more commonplace for institutions to formalise interactions. </p><p>Also, we have been able to ensure that our staff members continue to benefit from the advantages of global exposure to higher education.</p><p>In 2021, our focus on the rest of Africa ensured progress in increasing our continental footprint and, because of this, SU remains a coveted partner globally due to its geographical location in Africa.</p><p>Moving towards 2022, we look forward to continuing and enhancing our global engagements, and will keep all our valued partners informed of new developments planned for next year.</p><ul><li><strong><em>Prof Hester C. Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs</em></strong></li></ul><p>​To find out more about SU International activities, visit our website: <a href="/english/SUInternational">www.sun.ac.za/international​</a>.​​</p>
Collaboration helps develop aspiring and emerging scholars in and for Africa https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8771Collaboration helps develop aspiring and emerging scholars in and for Africa Sarah J Howie<p>​Africa Universities' Day was celebrated last week (Friday 12 November). In an opinion piece for <em>Cape Times</em>, Prof Sarah Howie from the Africa Centre for Scholarship writes how collaboration between tertiary institutions across the continent can help to develop aspiring and emerging scholars in and for Africa.</p><ul><li>Read the article below or click <a href="https://pclientclips.s3.af-south-1.amazonaws.com/20211118/LDP-1637208076141_1346749.pdf#page=1"><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>​Sarah J Howie*</strong> <br></p><p>Every year on 12 November, the Association of African Universities (AAU) invites higher education institutions across the continent to celebrate <a href="https://blog.aau.org/press-release-commemoration-of-the-2021-africa-universities-day-will-focus-on-building-technology-based-resilient-universities/"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Africa Universities' Day</strong></a>. The theme for 2021 is “Building Technology Based Resilient Universities, Now!" The AAU <a href="https://blog.aau.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Final-Concept-Note-Africa-Universities-Day-2021.pdf">states</a> that this theme is “inspired by the fact that nineteen (19) months after the COVID-19 was declared a public pandemic, most African Universities seem to still be in a predicament about how to move towards a sustainable process of technology-supported teaching, learning, research, collaboration, and administrative operations."</p><p>One could add to this the important aspect of scholarship development on the continent which faces both challenges and unique opportunities. Generally, African nations under-invest significantly in research and development, South Africa included. Of concern is the decrease in government support and the substantial decline in the contribution of the business sector to expenditure on research and development in the country.  <br></p><p>The migration to the global north and elsewhere has traditionally created a diaspora of the African intelligentsia culminating in the brain drain on the continent. Some migration to the South (Africa) from other African countries has been to the benefit of South Africa but in some cases problematic to other African countries. Several scholars do not return to their country of origin given the disparity in resources and environments and exposure to better working conditions. <br></p><p>Scholarship (which includes research, teaching and learning development) is central to universities internationally to generate new knowledge through research and innovations. Some universities in Africa face significant challenges (exacerbated by the current pandemic) in addition to some of the typical infrastructural obstacles in Africa. These include problems with accessing stable internet, reliable and consistent electricity, and lack of academic resources such as library services, laboratories and scientific equipment. However, it is the aging professoriate and shrinking pool of experts who can mentor and supervise postgraduate students and young staff at universities that is also of particular concern. <br></p><p>Relative to other regions of the world, Africa has low enrolments and graduations of masters and doctoral students. UNESCO <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352466255_The_race_against_time_for_smarter_development"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">reported</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>that in 2018 Masters graduates were highest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (32 000), Egypt (27 910) and Cameroon (15 740) compared to 13 520 in South Africa. Unfortunately, figures are not easily available for many African countries. Just over 20 000 doctoral students were reported to have graduated in 2018. Generally, South Africa (where doctoral enrolments are less than 2% of all enrolments at universities) has more doctoral graduates than other reported African countries (with exception of Egypt with 7 700) with approximately 3 000 annually followed by half that number in Cameroon and Niger. Doctoral education is hampered by under-funding in Africa and low numbers of academic staff at universities on the continent have a PhD. This is a hurdle to their personal growth and professional development and prevents them from contributing to their countries' human capital.</p><p>An important consideration with regards to human capital development for a country lies in knowledge production. Masters and particularly doctoral graduates, are generally viewed as being critical to a nation's success in producing, adapting, disseminating and commercialising knowledge which contributes to its economic competitiveness, growth and welfare. However, Africa despite its importance, size and youthful population has remained on the edges of the knowledge society. Therefore, the training of doctoral students in research and knowledge production are fundamental to creating and growing such a society.<br></p><p>Recognising the importance of postgraduate students, especially doctoral students, to societies more broadly across the African nations, a number of initiatives have emerged to increase the access, throughput, quality and graduation of postgraduate students.  Formal programmes at universities, networks and consortia have been offering capacity development specifically targeting doctoral students. For example, just before the pandemic the Emerging Scholars Initiative was launched by Stellenbosch University (SU) working with 12 universities in nine African countries across the continent and during 2020 consultations and logistics were put in place. <br></p><p>In 2021, three research capacity development schools in three countries (Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda) were held online and not face to face as originally designed. Senior staff from these institutions (SU and each of these three partner universities for 2021) co-developed and co-taught for each school in total more than 200 doctoral students and staff considered emerging scholars at those institutions. These courses varied across schools depending on the needs of the partners but focused on the preparatory requirements for doctoral education, scientific communication, publishing and the supervision of postgraduate students. <br></p><p>These schools built on the earlier work conducted by the African Doctoral Academy (ADA) located at SU which over more than a decade has offered more than 250 courses to nearly 5 000 mostly doctoral students and staff from universities in over 20 countries on the continent. To further boost scholarship in the continent, capacity development “Joint Schools" had been held between 2016 to 2019 in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania to over 300 students and staff. The Emerging Scholars Initiative, ADA and the Joint Schools provide examples as to how institutions in Africa can and do collaborate to support and promote research development in the continent.<br></p><p>The Emerging Scholars Initiative will present another four Schools in 2022 including in Ghana, Namibia and Uganda whilst attempting to work with universities in Ethiopia where the civil war has interrupted the planned schools in 2020 and 2021. Suffice it to say that civil war is another factor inhibiting scholarship in several parts of Africa. In addition to the resilience required of those living in war and unrest zones, creative solutions have to be sought by higher education institutions committed to the pursuit of scholarship development and partnerships with their counterparts in difficult environments. <br></p><p>Africa needs to mobilise its own resources, break the dependence on external funding and resources and invest in its own development. Only by working together can tertiary institutions and scholars in Africa address the challenges to developing scholarship and contribute to research, teaching and learning in Africa for Africa (and globally) for the prosperity of the continent and beyond.<br></p><p><strong>*Prof Sarah J Howie is the Director of the Africa Centre for Scholarship at Stellenbosch University.</strong></p><p>​<br></p>
EUTOPIA weekhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8749EUTOPIA weekEutopia European University<p>The EUTOPIA Alliance is pleased to announce the fourth EUTOPIA week from<strong> </strong>22 to 26 November 2021.<br></p><p>Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona Spain is hosting this fourth EUTOPIA Week, on-site across the university's three campuses in Barcelona. </p><p>The EUTOPIA Week is an opportunity to bring together all the key actors participating in the EUTOPIA project and offers a week full of interactive in person. </p><p>Eutopia program:</p><p>For more information, visit <a href="https://eventum.upf.edu/70931/programme/eutopia-week-2021-barcelona.html" style="text-decoration:underline;"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1" style="">Eutopia week</span></a>.<br></p><p>Registration: <a href="https://eventum.upf.edu/70931/detail/eutopia-week-2021-barcelona.html">https://eventum.upf.edu/70931/detail/eutopia-week-2021-barcelona.html</a> <br></p><p><br></p><p><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Eutopia%20week%202021%20flyer.jpg" alt="Eutopia week 2021 flyer.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:1015px;" /><br></p><p>​<br></p>
French knighthood in agriculture for SU wine researcherhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8727French knighthood in agriculture for SU wine researcherCorporate Communication and Marketing/Afdeling Korporatiewe Kommunikasie - Sandra Mulder and/en Engela Duvenage<p>​The French government has bestowed a ceremonial knighthood, the Chevalier dans l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole (Knight in the Order of Agricultural Merit), upon wine microbiologist Prof Benoit Divol. He is an associate professor in the Department of Viticulture and Oenology and the South African Grape and Wine Research Institute at Stellenbosch University.<br></p><p>The Order was first created in 1883. Divol, a Parison by birth, is the only person with South African links to have received the Order in 2020. He is acknowledged for his scientific contributions as well as his endeavours to enhance research cooperation between France and South Africa, particularly in the fields of viticulture and oenology.</p><p>Speaking at the event which recently took place (3 November 2021) at Stellenbosch University, French Ambassador Aurélien <em>Lechevallier</em> said Divol's achievements spoke of excellence, dedication, care and solidarity.</p><p>"We want to express our highest gratitude for your endeavours and dedication to France and South Africa."</p><p>Lechevallier said the title of Knight was not only bestowed upon Divol for his remarkable research in winemaking, but also for the academic and professional bond that he has created between South Africa and France.</p><p>Since joining SU in 2005, Divol has been actively involved in research alliances, postgraduate study programme interactions, staff and student mobility and joint PhD studies between SU and the University of Burgundy, the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, the University of Bordeaux and the University of Montpellier. He has also received funding for his research from industry partners in France.</p><p><br><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Prof%20Divol%20award-92.jpg" alt="Prof Divol award-92.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:300px;" />Divol said he felt deeply honoured by the knighthood.</p><p>"French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur was one of the first recipients of this distinction back in 1883. I could not possibly pretend to walk in the steps of a truly remarkable scientist and humanist. It is really flattering and an honour to receive the same distinction, especially because Pasteur is considered the father of microbiology, which is my field of research."</p><p>Divol said on a personal level, it makes him happy to create bridges between France and SA. </p><p>"Once I became an academic, it was only natural to seek and promote partnership and collaboration with France for the sake of science, of winemaking, for myself and for my students. As much as I love South Africa, I feel incredibly proud to be French. I will continue to advocate collaboration between France and South Africa, promoting scientific excellence and good wines."</p><p>Prof Koopman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, acknowledged Divol's extensive contribution to scientific research and enhanced research cooperation between France and South Africa.<br></p><p>"We are honoured to have Prof Divol as part of the University community. Thank you, Mr Ambassador, for recognising one of your countrymen and one of our professors," said Koopman.<br></p><div><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Prof%20Divol%20award-94.jpg" alt="Prof Divol award-94.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:400px;" /><br></div><p>Divol received his PhD in Oenology from the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse in 2004 and a DSc from the University of Bordeaux in 2010. He has been working at Stellenbosch University since 2005, after joining the then Institute for Wine Biotechnology as a postdoctoral researcher. Since then, he has among others led the Department of Viticulture and Oenology as chair and was promoted to associate professor in 2017.</p><p>As a microbiologist, Divol, who is also a qualified winemaker, focuses on yeasts and enzymes that are used in the winemaking process. </p><p><em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae </em>yeasts are typically used in the fermentation process. <em>Saccharomyces</em> yeasts are widely used in the food and beverage industries, because of their ability to easily convert sugars into carbon dioxide and alcohol while producing a large variety of flavour compounds. </p><p>Divol however focuses his attention on non-<em>Saccharomyces </em>yeast species, how they take up and use nutrients and how they influence wine composition overall. Along with his students, he studies how such yeasts respond on a cellular and molecular level when exposed to grape juice or wine. They are searching for hydrolytic enzymes and cell wall proteins that might be of interest in the winemaking process, and ways in which to improve non-<em>Saccharomyces</em> yeasts using techniques other than genetic modification. </p><p>“The study of non-<em>Saccharomyces </em>yeasts worldwide only started approximately two decades ago," he mentions. “These yeasts tend to be not as well adapted to survive the fermentation process that turns grape juice into wine as <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae </em>strains<em> </em>are. Nevertheless, they display relevant properties." </p><p>He believes that these complement the <em>Saccharomyces </em>strains in the winemaking process and that their use creates avenues for even more styles of wines to be enjoyed by wine lovers. The use of non-<em>Saccharomyces </em>yeast species could also make winemaking more environmentally friendly, and even reduce the use of chemicals in the process. </p><p>Over the years, quite a few yeasts have been commercialised thanks to research done at Stellenbosch University. One such discovery that Divol and his team has made is expected to be commercialised in the next year or two.</p><p><strong>Main photo:</strong><br><strong> </strong>The French government awarded a Knighthood in the Order of Agricultural Merit to Prof Benoit Divol of the Department of Viticulture and Oenology and the South African Grape and Wine Research Institute at Stellenbosch University.<br></p><p></p><div><strong>Second photo:</strong></div><div><br></div><div>The French Ambassador to South Africa, Aurélien Lechevallier and Prof Benoit Divol greet each other.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Third photo:</strong></div><div><br></div><div>Present at the handover were Prof Nico Koopman, SU's Vice-Rector: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, Lechevallier, Prof Divol and Prof Danie Brink, Dean of the Faculty of AgriSciences.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Photographe</strong>r: Anton Jordaan<br></div><p><br></p><p><strong>Contact details:</strong><br><strong> </strong>Prof Benoit Divol<br> Department of Viticulture and Oenology and the South African Grape and Wine Research Institute <br>Stellenbosch University<br> <a href="mailto:divol@sun.ac.za">divol@sun.ac.za</a><br> 072 325 5428</p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>
SU enhancing and expanding global footprint despite COVID-19https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8687SU enhancing and expanding global footprint despite COVID-19Daniel Bugan<p>​​​The theme “Augmented Internationalisation" was the order of the day at the 18th Stellenbosch International Academic Networks (SIAN) meeting that took place from 13 to 15 October 2021.<br></p><p>SIAN is the annual gathering of Stellenbosch University's (SU) international partner universities.</p><p>Addressing delegates at the opening of the virtual event, Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor at SU, said the University is determined to expand towards augmented internationalisation, which has provided them with the opportunity to enhance and expand their global footprint.</p><p>“Augmented internationalisation has meant the development of programmes for our university students and staff and our partner institutions, which allowed them to experience the benefits of mobility both physically and virtually.</p><p>“At SU we implemented emergency remote teaching, learning and assessment (ERTLA). But since then, as we have come to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, we have now moved to augmented remote teaching, learning and assessment (ARTLA). To make ARTLA possible, the University fast tracked the installation of advanced equipment in around 200 venues to enable lecturers to stream and record lectures as well as interact with students who are not physically present. This approach actually means that students in other countries could and can still attend lectures, thus furthering augmented internationalisation."</p><p>De Villiers says SU has seen continued year-on-year growth in their partnerships since 2018.</p><p>“We have established partnerships and agreements with more than 100 institutions around the world. Our partnerships in Africa, like the <a href="/english/SUInternational/ADA/home">African Doctoral Academy​</a> and the SU Africa Platform, is of great importance to sustainable development on our continent.</p><p>“We've also launched a <a href="/english/research-innovation/Climate-Studies">School for Climate Studies​</a> that will and can have a significant impact, particularly in South Africa and the rest of our continent, in terms of mitigating climate change. We are determined to expand our internationalisation efforts and to move towards augmented internalisation which provides us with the opportunity to enhance and expand our global footprint."</p><p><strong>Global education opportunities and partnerships</strong></p><p>Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the global higher education sector, the University continued fostering partnerships and exploring various opportunities for collaboration on the African continent and the rest of the globe.</p><p>Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs, shared some of the recent highlights of internationalisation at SU that took place during the pandemic.</p><p>One such was the inaugural Umoja Africa Student Leadership Summit, hosted by SU, which has become a champion for ethical leadership and good governance. Another highlight was the Tübingen Exchange Programme between Tübingen University in Germany and SU, which was transformed into a two-week virtual exchange programme in which 10 SU students participated. In March this year, 10 of SU's BCom international students participated in the University of Antwerp's Faculty of Business and Economics' online International Week of Sustainability.</p><p>“The aim was to expose students to international views and perspectives on corporate sustainability, social and environmental sustainability and to foster intercultural skills, she said.</p><p>Other initiatives included the Water Institute at SU, who collaborated with water researchers at TU Dresden in Germany to look at funding possibilities for a joint research programme. While partnership agreements with the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and the University of Humboldt in Berlin aim to enhance and strengthen research exchanges.​</p><p>“Over the past few years, our partnership development has been very strategic. One of these initiatives is where SU and Leiden University in the Netherlands discussed the different challenges that both are experiencing during COVID-19 and how student exchange opportunities could be expanded on in the future," she said.<br></p><p>Klopper said the University has also established partnerships across Africa, such as the Periperi U partnership of African Universities that aims to reduce disaster risks among African countries through improved national and local disaster risk management. Another notable partnership is the AUDA-NEPAD Centre of Excellence, which provides the University with an opportunity to unlock bilateral cooperation across the continent. “We are looking forward to seeing how it will provide a world class science and innovation ecosystem in Africa," said Klopper.</p><p><strong>Internal and external partnerships</strong></p><p>Prof Kanshukan Rajaratnam, Director: School for Data Science and Computational Thinking, which was launched in 2019, shared some of the activities the School has been involved in during the pandemic.</p><p>The School, which has lived most of its life under lockdown, has successfully built augmented collaborative spaces within the University, as well as with external partners.</p><p>Internally, the School has also cemented various partnerships. This includes offering a data science module for the Faculty of AgriSciences in 2022; incorporating data science skills into the medical curriculum at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences; and collaborating with the Faculty of Engineering by offering Master's supervision. The school is also collaborating with the University of Stellenbosch Business School in developing a data science tool to measure the impact of policy on social justice.</p><p>Prof Rajaratnam said internationally they are exploring collaborations that range from data science to climate studies to bio-informatics to genomics surveillance.</p><p>“Our current collaborations adhere to our vision to be a world-class institution for data science and computational thinking. So, when we develop collaborations we want to collaborate globally."<br></p><p><em>Image: Pixabay</em><br><br></p>
Stellenbosch University maintains position on Emerging Economies Rankingshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8684Stellenbosch University maintains position on Emerging Economies RankingsCorporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking [Alec Basson]<p>​Stellenbosch University (SU) is still one of the top universities within the emerging economies in the world.  <br></p><p>This was confirmed by the latest <a href="https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/emerging-economies-university-rankings-2022-methodology"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings 2022</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>released on Tuesday 19 October. SU claimed 24th position overall, and third in South Africa. This is quite a remarkable achievement given that a record number of 698 universities from 50 countries and regions qualified for the 2022 ranking. This is a 15% increase from 2021 (606).</p><p>According to the THE, the Emerging Economies University Rankings use the same 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators as the <a href="https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">THE World Universities Rankings </strong></a>to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments – but the weightings are recalibrated to reflect the characteristics of the emerging economy universities. It includes only institutions in countries or regions classified by the Financial Times Stock Exchange as “advanced emerging", “secondary emerging" or “frontier".</p><p>The performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); Research (volume, income and reputation); Citations (research influence); International outlook (staff, students and research); and Industry income (knowledge transfer).    </p><p>The institution endeavours to become Africa's leading research-intensive university, globally recognised as a place of excellence, innovation, and where knowledge is advanced in service of society.</p><ul><li>In September, the 2022 Times Higher Education (THE) <a href="https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">World Universities Rankings</strong></a> ranked SU in the category 251–300 out of more than 1600 universities from 93 countries.<br></li></ul><p>​<br></p>
Moving human wrongs to human rights in Africahttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8666Moving human wrongs to human rights in AfricaCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​​​Partaking in the historical journey of moving human wrongs to human rights in Africa, Stellenbosch University (SU) recently hosted the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition – the largest annual gathering in Africa for students and lecturers of law.</p><p>The competition, organised by the University of Pretoria's (UP) Centre of Human Rights (CHR), involved competing law students, referred to as 'mooters', simulate a real court situation by arguing a hypothetical human rights case related to gender-based violence (GBV), gender identity, sexual minority and children rights. The mooters delivered their arguments in front of a bench of judges and prominent jurists who interrogated them on their statements. </p><p>This year, SU's Chair of Social Justice and previous South African Public Protector, Prof Thuli Madonsela, chaired the bench of judges comprising Dr Solomon Dersso, chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Justice Angelo Matusse, previously a judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, Dr Robert Nanima, a member of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and Prof Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen, a judge of the constitutional court of Andorra and lecturer in international law at the Sorbonne University in Paris.</p><p>To date, law faculties of 175 universities from 50 countries across Africa have participated. They gathered in 19 countries and proceeded with moot court cases in English, French and Portuguese.</p><p>Earlier this year, 60 teams from law faculties in Africa entered the competition and battled it out until eight teams were selected for the quarterfinals in Stellenbosch. For a second year, the competition took place in hybrid mode.</p><p>At the end of the finals, the presiding judges praised the finalists for demonstrating great skills, talent and the ability to think on their feet, especially in answering the judges' questions.</p><p>One of the four teams in the finals was SU's team, Megan Roos (final-year LLB) and Shaniaé Maharaj (second-last year BAccLLB), who finished as runners-up with the partnering team from the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique. To read more about the SU team's achievement, click here.</p><p>The winners of the competition were the combined team of the law schools of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny University in Côte d'Ivoire and Kenyatta University in Kenya.</p><p>At the official opening, Prof Nicola Smit, Dean of SU's Faculty of Law, highlighted the Faculty's excitement to host this event in its centenary year. She also said the competition would undoubtedly contribute to participants' growth as a person. “You may even find it a little challenging, but that is what good legal education is all about, isn't it?" she said.</p><p>Along with the centenary year, the event also coincided with a momentous year for UP, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the competition and the Centre's 35th birthday. </p><p>This year's event also included the renaming of the competition to the “Christof Heyns African Human Rights Moot Court Competition". Prof Christof Heyns, a renowned human rights lawyer and founding father of the competition, passed away in March this year.</p><p>According to Prof Frans Viljoen, CHR's director, Heyns is remembered for his vision of bringing law students across the continent together that has become a reality and is going from strength to strength. Except for bringing law students together, the competition is contributing to the transformation of legal education in Africa and exposing generations of young African lawyers to the African legal human rights systems. </p><p>For this reason, winning the competition is not the primary purpose, said Viljoen. The competition  has rather become an important institution for the African human rights movements. “It is our shared resolve to pursue an Africa where we move from human wrongs to human rights. The competition has inspired people to take Moot's message further in their own lives," said Viljoen. </p><p>“SU's partnership is a testament to the University's shared commitment to collaborate with human rights movements and to help develop and transform Africa's legal system and discourse," said Smit. She also emphasised that SU supports an inclusive, progressive and transformative legal culture.</p><p>In a welcoming message at the opening dinner of the event, Prof Deresh Ramjugernath, SU's Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching, welcomed moot competitions and students' benefits from participating. “Moot competitions give students on our continent a unique opportunity to experience and learn from diverse cultures, legal systems, languages and socio-economic realities," he said.</p><p>Elaborating on the benefits, he said that they promote oral communication, the ability to think on one's feet, collaborate with others and solve problems. “I am extremely thrilled about these events where students get a real, immersive action-based and experiential learning, which equips them for the experiences in the real profession," he said.</p><ul><li><p>Viljoen paid a special tribute to SU's Prof Annika Rudman, whose dedication, professionalism and adjustability as the head of the Faculty's organising committee ensured the success of the 2021 Moot Competition.</p></li></ul><p> </p><p>​ </p><p><br></p>
SU joins other global higher education leaders to discuss universities' role in aiding COVID-19 recoveryhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8667SU joins other global higher education leaders to discuss universities' role in aiding COVID-19 recoveryCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder<p>​Now, more than ever before, higher education institutions globally have to practise good citizenship and social responsibility, and promote civic engagement and partnership to counter the effects of COVID-19 on communities and institutions. This was the conclusion reached at the Talloires Network of Leaders Conference 2021 (TNLC 2021) co-hosted virtually by Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life and the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics.<br></p><p>Stellenbosch University (SU) proudly served as a satellite host campus for the event and joined 418 other higher education institutions from 78 countries for the four-day conference themed “Global universities, local impact: Power and responsibility of engaged universities". In particular, participants examined higher education's responsibilities to encourage COVID-19 recovery and help resolve the societal problems amplified by the pandemic. </p><p>All persons on this planet should be active citizens, working together to improve the well-being of all, said Dr Lawrence (Larry) Bacow, president of Harvard University, during the opening ceremony. With COVID-19 having exposed and exacerbated socioeconomic inequality and pushed another approximately 120 million people into extreme poverty in 2020 alone, higher education institutions need to act to make a tangible difference, and not wait for others to bring about change, Bacow added. </p><p>SU's Prof Nico Koopman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel; Dr Leslie van Rooi, senior director of Social Impact and Transformation Division, and third-year medical student Marc Nathanson each moderated an interactive session with academics and students during the event. </p><p>Koopman moderated the discussion on how institutions and their students could promote social engagement. The working group explored the future of learning, teaching and research, and how universities could actively connect academic interests to real-world issues in post-pandemic communities. In the session chaired by Dr Van Rooi, in turn, participants deliberated on ways to assess and measure universities' social engagement so as to constantly evaluate and improve their efforts. The group led by Nathanson discussed the effects of COVID-19 on students and communities, and how they had responded and adapted to the crisis. </p><p>A key theme emanating from all the discussions was that the global pandemic had revealed and compounded many other, underlying challenges, including inequities in access to health care and education, economic inequality, gender oppression, structural racism and climate change. </p><p>The conference culminated in the introduction of the 2021 Talloires Declaration (Boston<strong>)</strong> by two student leaders, Rowyn Naidoo from the University of Cape Town and Susan Azizi from<strong> the</strong> American University of Central Asia<strong>,</strong> Kyrgyzstan. Some of the major commitments in the declaration are to:</p><ul><li>promote human rights and further the free exchange of knowledge, ideas and practices;</li><li>realise the potential of university-community engagement to improve research and teaching and to address societal challenges through collaborations that are adaptable, respond quickly to emerging social issues, and encourage the co-generation of knowledge;</li><li>embrace differences as an essential ingredient of productive collaboration;</li><li>develop the next generation of active citizens to address global challenges; </li><li>create socially inclusive institutions and promote quality education for all;</li><li>amplify the voices and lived experiences of all marginalised groups, including women, refugees, indigenous peoples, children, people with disabilities, and the elderly; and</li><li>declare climate justice an urgent priority and mitigate harmful carbon emissions.</li></ul><p>* <em>The Talloires Network of Engaged Universities is an international association of socially responsible higher education institutions. The network hosts conferences, produces publications on university civic engagement, provides financial and technical support to regional university networks, and awards the annual MacJannet prize for deserving student civic engagement initiatives. </em></p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>
Robert Kotze honoured for role in Confucius Institute at SUhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8655Robert Kotze honoured for role in Confucius Institute at SUEngela Duvenage <p>​​​​During a recent virtual event hosted from Beijing, China, Robert Kotze, senior director of Stellenbosch University (SU) International, was awarded a long-service medal in recognition of his involvement in supporting the work of the <a href="http://www0.sun.ac.za/cisu/">Confucius Institute at SU</a> (CISU) for more than a decade. CISU not only conducts extracurricular Chinese training at SU itself, but at schools and institutions in the broader Boland region as well.<br></p><p>Kotze, who serves as the local CISU director, was one of 75 directors worldwide to receive this recognition. His fellow recipients included peers from other African universities in Egypt, Madagascar, Kenya and Rwanda, among others. </p><p>The event was hosted by the Chinese International Education Foundation (CIEF), an international NGO that recently took over the coordination of programmes that promote the Chinese language and culture throughout the world. The initiative sees Chinese universities provide teaching, personnel resources and operational funding to more than a thousand Confucius institutes or classrooms worldwide. </p><p>In his keynote address, CIEF president Prof Yang Wei thanked medal recipients for the way in which they had been supporting Chinese teaching and learning at their respective institutions. Short videos were also shown to highlight the endeavours of various Confucius institutes. </p><p>CISU was established in 2007. Kotze thanked SU's Chinese partner institution, Xiamen University, for their ongoing support since inception, as well as for the honour of having served alongside five enthusiastic and committed Chinese co-directors at SU during this time. Prof Binlan Huang is the current Chinese co-director at CISU. </p><p>First established at SU's Centre for Chinese Studies, CISU moved to SU International in 2009. It provides non-credit-bearing language training at different proficiency levels to SU students as well as members of the broader Stellenbosch community, as well as opportunities to learn more about the Chinese culture. “The main mission is to accommodate people who are interested and willing to learn the Chinese language and understand the culture," Kotze explains.</p><p>CISU also coordinates a range of enrichment programmes at 14 schools in and around Stellenbosch and elsewhere in the Boland, such as Kylemore Secondary and Worcester Gymnasium. “I believe CISU's contribution is meaningful and opens up new worlds to the learners," Kotze says. “It has also allowed the University to forge relationships with these local schools."</p><p>In addition, its involvement with the Confucius Institute has enabled SU to strengthen its academic network in China. Over the years, the University has facilitated many summer and winter camps for learners and students, as well as the compulsory semester exchange to China for Chinese Language honours students as part of their graduate programme. “The Confucius Institute's work is grounded in broader academic collaborations to ensure that links between universities remain rooted in their respective scientific endeavours."</p><p>His work with the Confucius Institute has also been beneficial from a personal growth perspective, Kotze says. “It has given me many opportunities to visit China and learn more about various aspects of Chinese culture and history. Apart from training and capacity-building opportunities, the programmes always include rich cultural activities. Going to Beijing is always a special experience, and my visits to Zhangjiajie and the Terracotta Soldiers in Xi'an are also lifelong memories."</p><ul><li>For more information about the Confucius Institute at SU, visit www.sun.ac.za/cisu.<br></li></ul><p>​<br></p>
ADA branches out with Webinar Wednesdays https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8643ADA branches out with Webinar Wednesdays SU International<p>​<span style="text-align:justify;">​S</span><span style="text-align:justify;">U International's African Doctoral Academy (ADA) has been offering capacity development interventions for current and prospective PhD candidates, supervisors and researchers since 2009. With its flagship annual summer and winter schools, the ADA has built a significant following over the years. These schools are made up of a number of short courses on research design and methodology, academic preparedness, research dissemination and supervision, and are accredited by Stellenbosch University (SU) and presented by both SU and other experts.</span></p><p>Since February 2021, a new ADA initiative, Webinar Wednesdays, has been offering regular support and stimulation to the ADA's followers, and providing a platform for SU staff and ADA associates to share their work and research interests. The webinars, held on the first or second Wednesday of the month, also give the ADA a year-round presence, instead of only in the run-up to its annual schools. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Seven webinars have been presented to date: </p><ul><li>In “Creating an academic vision, and the habits that make it a reality", Prof Sarah Tracy, a qualitative researcher from Arizona State University, United States, helped delegates set research targets and reach their academic goals.<em> </em></li><li>Prof Kanshu Rajaratnam, director of the newly established SU School for Data Science and Computational Thinking, elaborated on “Data science and its relevance for us in Africa",<em> </em>including how data science has helped us understand the spread of COVID-19 across the world.</li><li>In the webinar “Creating a functional home office", Prof Sebastian Kernbach, a fellow at Stanford and a lecturer at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland, shared ideas on how to use design thinking principles to create a productive remote work environment. </li><li>SU's Doris Viljoen, a senior futurist at the Institute for Futures Studies, explored how futures thinking could open up doors when planning scenarios in both research and institutions in her session “Scenario Planning".</li><li>Prof Brigitte Smit, an experienced trainer in computer-assisted software at the universities of Alberta and Johannesburg, offered handy tips and tools for data collection, transcription and analysis in<em> “</em>Use of Digital Tools for research". </li><li> In the session, “Tips to get published", novice writers wanting to produce articles for submission to scientific journals were shown the ropes by SU's Prof Leslie Swartz, who himself has published over 400 academic outputs.</li><li>Finally, Intro to Data Visualisation, with Marié Roux of Stellenbosch University's Library and Information Services where she coordinates the #SmartResearcher workshops aimed at postgraduate students, researchers and academic staff. </li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The response has been tremendous: On average, the webinars attracted over 100 participants each, from across all disciplines, with one reaching up to 260 people. All the webinars are publicly available on the ADA's YouTube channel at <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD4ct5mOJ1zpkB2HIB9xQtg">https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD4ct5mOJ1zpkB2HIB9xQtg</a>.</p><p>The next Webinar Wednesday features Mr Kirchner van Deventer (SU Library and Information Services), who will be providing a hands-on demonstration of Mendeley referencing management software and share the main features of this powerful programme.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><em>Save the Date: Summer School 2022</em></p><p style="text-align:center;"> Webinar Wednesdays: 20 October 2021 at 12:00 - 13:30 (GMT+2)Mendeley referencing management software </p><p style="text-align:center;">Register <a href="https://wintersummer.wufoo.com/forms/z12qva4n13lpzde/"><span lang="EN-US" style="text-decoration:underline;"><strong>here</strong></span></a></p><p> </p><ul><li><em>Those who wish to contribute to Webinar Wednesdays and share their research are invited to contact ADA programme manager Corina du Toit (</em><a href="mailto:corina@sun.ac.za"><em>corina@sun.ac.za</em></a><em>).</em></li></ul><p>​<br></p>
REAPING THE BENEFITS OF AUGMENTED INTERNATIONALISATION https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8645REAPING THE BENEFITS OF AUGMENTED INTERNATIONALISATION Prof Hester C. Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs​<p>​​As countries across the globe have begun to roll out their vaccine programmes, we have seen the world opening up and returning to a sense of what we remember as being normal. But we have all accepted that our way of work and living has changed tremendously, and we're unlikely to return to the normal we knew.<br></p><p>The entire world has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet many innovative ideas and practices have also stemmed from this adversity. Technology is changing more rapidly than ever before in the history of mankind and has become an essential part of our world.</p><p>At Stellenbosch University (SU), we have done much to curb the impact of the pandemic and ensure the systemic sustainability of our institution. Over the past year, we have shared with you many of these innovations in this newsletter. These innovations have set us on the path towards augmented internationalisation as a means of strengthening our internationalisation efforts within a new global arena. They have also sustained us in our resolve to continue implementing SU's internationalisation strategy.</p><p>Augmented internationalisation has seen us develop programmes for students and staff at SU and its partner institutions to continue experiencing the benefits of mobility both physically and virtually. In October 2020 already, we presented our first online Global Week, when we encouraged students to take up hybrid mobility opportunities. Since then, we have seen an increase in students who choose to take up virtual mobility across the various programmes we present.</p><p>Our global partnership network and participation in international networks and consortia have also benefited much from our augmented internationalisation approach. In fact, SU has seen continued year-on-year growth in our partnerships since 2018, despite the restrictive conditions brought about by the pandemic since the start of 2020. </p><p>SU is determined to expand its internationalisation efforts, and moving towards augmented internationalisation has provided us with the opportunity to do so, enhancing and expanding our global footprint in the process. As we continue to navigate our new reality, we look forward to engaging with our international students and partners, whether in person or virtually.</p><ul><li><strong><em>Prof Hester C. Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs​</em></strong></li></ul><p>​<br></p>
Emerging Scholars Initiative online and on the gohttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8632Emerging Scholars Initiative online and on the goSU International<p><strong style="text-align:justify;">Emerging Scholars Initiative online and on the go</strong><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Just as the <a href="/english/SUInternational/Pages/Programmes.aspx">Emerging Scholars Initiative (ESI)</a> of SU International's Africa Centre for Scholarship (ACS) started mobilising to host its envisaged multidisciplinary joint schools across Africa in 2020, the pandemic hit. But thanks to some clever footwork and agility, the initiative made the switch to cyberspace and has managed to host its first four schools amidst the challenges posed by COVID-19.</p><p>The ESI seeks to co-host joint schools with 12 Stellenbosch University (SU) partner universities in nine African countries, namely Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia. A number of the partner institutions also form part of the prestigious African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), which opens up further opportunities for collaboration and stronger ties between high-ranking African partners. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The initiative serves as an extension of the activities of the African Doctoral Academy (ADA), also situated in the ACS. The ADA's Stellenbosch-based schools, aimed at current and prospective PhD candidates, supervisors and researchers, has reached over 5 600 people from 55 countries since inception in 2009. Moreover, in 2016, the ADA launched its Joint Schools in Africa Programme to provide affordable and quality competency-based learning on-site at African partner institutions so as to enable and enhance scholarship and career training. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The ESI aims to accelerate this objective. Focusing on two streams – one for doctoral students and another for early-career staff, all identified as emerging scholars by their institutions – the project delivers courses on research methodology, supervision, academic writing and publishing as well as generic skills, depending on the needs and priorities of individual institutions. Courses are co-designed by facilitators from SU and from the partner or host institution.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Fortunately, when the coronavirus pandemic compromised the ESI's ability to host these schools on-site, they could draw on the experience of the ADA, which has been hosting its doctoral schools fully online since July 2020. As a result, the ESI too managed to transition to a fully online teaching environment and has, this year to date, already hosted successful online multidisciplinary joint schools with Strathmore University (Kenya) in April, the University of Lagos (Nigeria) in May and June, and the University of Rwanda in August.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Building on the success of these first three schools, the ESI will continue enhancing scholarship in Africa, creating opportunities for collaboration, and strengthening SU's partnerships on the continent. At the same time, SU students gain exposure to new environments in Africa, which increases their global competence and offers enriching cross-cultural experiences.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Visit programme site <a href="/english/SUInternational/Pages/Programmes.aspx">here</a>.<br></p><p>​<br></p>
SU to quality-assure new Africa-centred international school-leaving qualificationhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8633SU to quality-assure new Africa-centred international school-leaving qualificationSU International<p>​​<span style="text-align:justify;">​S</span><span style="text-align:justify;">tellenbosch University (SU) has entered into an exciting working agreement with the Independent Examinations Board's international arm (IEB-International) to quality-assure an Africa-centred school-leaving qualification that will be introduced internationally.</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">IEB-International is a subdivision of the Independent Examinations Board (IEB), a South African non-profit. The IEB is an internationally respected board that conducts assessments for school-leavers in the independent school sector, including the South African National Senior Certificate (NSC), which has, until 2021, been offered in other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries as well.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, as recent changes in national regulations prevent the IEB-NSC from being offered outside South Africa, neighbouring countries that had been offering the NSC needed an alternative, comparable qualification and curriculum. To fill this gap, IEB-International has developed the IEB International Secondary Certificate (IEB-ISC). The qualification is Africa-centred, of a high quality, and internationally comparable. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Available from 2022, the IEB-ISC has been evaluated by Universities South Africa (USAf). This means that international candidates who obtain the qualification with merit or at an advanced level, and are offered a place at a South African higher education institution, will have met the minimum requirements for admission to degree programmes. In addition, the IEB has engaged UK Ecctis (previously known as UK NARIC) – who represents the United Kingdom in all international qualification matters – to benchmark the qualification and specific subject curricula internationally.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Yet, in terms of its mandate, South Africa's national authority for basic education quality assurance may not quality-assure an international school-leaving qualification outside South African borders. Hence SU was approached. In terms of the agreement, SU's Unit for International Credentialing (SU-UIC), housed in SU International's Africa Centre for Scholarship (ACS), will play a key part in quality-assuring the IEB-ISC. This includes establishing and maintaining consistent, appropriate academic standards in individual subject areas, verifying that the IEB has applied appropriate quality assurance processes to conduct credible annual examinations, and ensuring that the certification is authentic and free from manipulation.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">An ISC quality assurance governance committee has met twice already. The committee will oversee the quality assurance of key IEB-ISC processes, the ISC-related work of the SU-UIC, as well as the functioning of the two working committees charged with curriculum and assessment, and standardisation respectively. The governance committee is chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs, Prof Hester Klopper, and comprises nationally renowned educationalists and leaders from basic and higher education, as well as former curriculum and assessment policymakers.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Quality-assuring the ISC offers SU a unique opportunity to be part of pioneering work with regard to international school-leaving qualification alternatives on the continent. The University is proud to be able to contribute to an affordable, African-centred approach to curricula and assessment.</p><ul><li>For more information, visit <a href="/SU-UIC">www.sun.ac.za/SU-UIC</a> and <a href="http://www.iebiq.com/pages/aboutus">www.iebiq.com/pages/aboutus</a>.<br></li></ul><p>​<br></p>
Studying abroad during COVID? How Maëlle made it workhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8638Studying abroad during COVID? How Maëlle made it workSU International<p>​​​​<span style="text-align:justify;">​Mo</span><span style="text-align:justify;">st students going on a semester exchange expect to have their boundaries shifted and to learn how to navigate different social contexts. However, the outbreak of the global pandemic has added a whole new dimension to the experience of studying abroad.</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“We were determined to travel, despite all the uncertainty, and continued with our preparations until we were given the go-ahead," says Maëlle Barrere, a master's student from SKEMA Business School France. She was one of over 300 students who finally arrived at Stellenbosch University (SU) on a semester exchange in the first semester of 2021 after having waited a year for their home countries' hard lockdowns to be lifted so that international travel could recommence.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">And it was well worth the wait, Maëlle says, as she was able to make the most of her exchange, even securing an internship at SU International. We sat down to learn more about her experience.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong><br></strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Explain the way you felt when you found out you could travel again after the hard lockdown.</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Excitement was the first thing I felt, although there was still a lot of uncertainty. France was still under curfew, and the embassies were not fully functioning. And the stress slowly started to creep in when we received word of the rise in cases in South Africa. But since we were determined to travel, we continued with our preparations until we were given the go-ahead.<br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>What were your expectations of SU? And </strong><strong>have they been met?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Over and above everything else, I expected to have a rich cultural experience, to meet new people, and to grow from the experience. And, indeed, my expectations have been met, even though in between ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and hybrid ways of working. I didn't expect to meet such nice colleagues, see such beautiful landscapes, and create such good memories.<br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>How did you end up working at SU International?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">With hybrid learning and pandemic restrictions, it was difficult to meet new people and engage, but I was determined to make it work and still find a way to integrate with my new environment. So, when I was given the opportunity to intern at SU International, I grabbed it, and it has turned out to be one of the highlights of this exchange experience.<br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Now that you have been here a while, what has your experience of studying and working at SU been like? </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">What has stood out most for me is the working environment: Working at SU International as an intern is very different from working in France. Here, I enjoy an open-door and collaborative working approach, where I can talk directly to my manager and feel that I am contributing to the team. In a way, my interaction with my colleagues compensated for the fact that the peer engagement and social integration that normally come with an exchange experience were limited due to COVID.<br><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>If you were to explain your SU experience to someone who hasn't been, what would you say?</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong> </strong>Firstly, if you are worried about travelling to South Africa, knowing that it is not the safest country in the world, arriving here at Stellenbosch gives you that safe cocoon feeling. Secondly, SU is beautiful – the landscapes, the culture. I really wish I could discover it fully. I did manage to travel during recess and enjoyed the beauty of the country. On a visit to South Africa, one at least needs to get to Cape Town and Durban, enjoy the beaches, and definitely see the Drakensberg. I am still hoping to get to see Kruger National Park before I leave.</p><p>​<br></p>
Growing partnerships for a global reachhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8637Growing partnerships for a global reachSU International<p><span style="text-align:justify;">​When the pandemic hit, SU International's efforts to grow the University's network of global partnerships certainly did not stop. Making the most of the online space to reach out and establish links worldwide, the University managed to increase its number of partnerships across all regions (see figure 1 below).</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/11growth1.png" alt="growth1.png" style="margin:5px;width:698px;" /><strong>Figure 1: Growth in partnerships by region, 2018–2021 (as in January 2021)</strong><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">No doubt, this has largely been thanks to a strong focus on our Internationalisation Strategy and associated Partnership Framework. In goal 4 of the strategy, we commit ourselves to cultivate close relationships with our international stakeholders through functional engagement, active collaboration, and mutually beneficial, complementary, reciprocal and transformational partnerships. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Another reason for the regional growth illustrated in figure 1 was the focus on internationalisation at institutions worldwide over this same period. The eagerness to interact and collaborate globally certainly made it easier and more commonplace for institutions to formalise their interactions.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The appreciable difference between the number of partnerships with Europe and with the other world regions can be attributed not only to SU's historical linkages with the European continent, but also our African location. The novel research conducted on our continent, and the immense real-world impact it has on our people, adds to Africa's appeal. With its excellence in research and its existing connections and networks on the continent, SU is able to act as a promoter and coordinator of collaboration across Africa.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> In addition to regional-level global collaboration, our Partnership Framework also provides for partnerships at the faculty/departmental level (see figure 2).</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/22Growth2.png" alt="22Growth2.png" style="margin:5px;width:698px;" /><br></p><strong style="text-align:justify;">Figure 2: Growth in partnerships at faculty/departmental vs institutional level, 2018–2021 (as in January 2021)</strong><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Partnerships at the faculty/departmental level generally support specific research collaborations in an academic setting. While these collaborations strive to achieve many of the features of an institutional partnership, they also afford more custodianship to the relevant academic environment.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Yet we are not simply looking to grow our number of partnerships. Instead, we focus on strengthening relationships that go beyond merely facilitating an activity (transactional), to being more consequential in terms of impact and transformation at both partner institutions (transformational). Attributes that make for a good balance between transactional and transformational include:​<br><br></p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li> alignment with SU's five strategic research areas, and the sustainable development goals they are aimed at;</li><li>supporting international knowledge diplomacy;</li><li>potential for facilitating a transformative staff or student experience;</li><li>providing for collaborative degree programmes, especially at postgraduate level;</li><li>potential for bilateral activities based on shared membership of multilateral networks and consortia (e.g. BRICS NU, SSUN, ARUA, AC21 and others);</li><li>for African partnerships specifically, initiatives aimed at developing emerging scholars; and</li><li>a focus on being “in service of society".</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> <a href="/english/Documents/2019/SU%20INTERNATIONALISATION%20STRATEGY%20Council_Final.pdf"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">SU I</span><span style="color:#242424;font-family:"segoe ui", system-ui, "apple color emoji", "segoe ui emoji", sans-serif;font-size:14px;background-color:#ffffff;text-decoration:underline;">ntenationalisation strategy</span><br></a><br></p><p>​<br></p>