When Stellenbosch University (SU) started its journey of connecting with higher education institutions in other parts of the world, we could never have imagined that internationalisation would take flight and position our institution as a global academic leader.
This year, at SIAN 2023, we celebrate 30 years of internationalisation at SU – a journey that started with one partnership in 1993 and that has flourished into a global network spanning across six continents.
For me, one of the recent highlights has been the approval of the first Internationalisation Strategy in 2019 and the subsequent implementation of the strategy, which has set us on a path towards realising SU's vision of being Africa's leading research-intensive university, thereby fulfilling our mission to be a placed connected to the world, while enriching and transforming local, continental and global communities.
Steered by our strategy, we have unlocked new opportunities especially on the African continent and in other parts of the Global South. It has also ensured that our students can be empowered with global competencies through various study-abroad, international@home and other programmes. For our staff, our strategic approach has provided a myriad of connections with the world's top researchers in their varied fields of expertise.
We aim to provide our students with a transformative experience, and we want to be an employer of choice – comprehensive internationalisation has aided us in leading the way in this regard.
Among our most valued stakeholders are our university partners and networks. We believe in comprehensive partnerships that are all-inclusive and wide-ranging in its features and activities. Through our global partnerships and networks, both SU and its partners are able to make a global impact and transform the world we live in.
I am therefore delighted to welcome you to SIAN 2023. I am extremely proud that SU can celebrate this momentous milestone with you, our partners. The UBUNTU philosophy affirms our commitment to our partners and networks, 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. I firmly believe that the future of internationalisation at SU looks even brighter.
Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy, Global and Corporate Affairs