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'SciMathUS helped me to believe in my dreams''SciMathUS helped me to believe in my dreams'Fundeka Ndyoki, SciMathUS Class of 2009<p></p><p><em></em><em>Fundeka Ndyoki says SciMathUS helped her to believe in herself and her dreams. Today this alumna, who obtained an MSc Food Science degree from Stellenbosch University, </em><em>trains and guides staff and external workers towards timely and successful completion of their qualifications and programmes.</em></p><p>I am Fundeka Ndyoki and I was born in the small town of Qumbu in the Eastern Cape. I moved to Cape Town when I was in grade 6 and completed the rest of my primary and secondary education in Mitchell's Plain. <br></p><p>In 2008, my matric year, our Physical Sciences teacher told us about a programme offered by Stellenbosch University to improve your mathematics and science marks in order to qualify for university acceptance. I was the only one who completed the application, because I knew my marks would not be good enough for the civil engineering programme that I wanted to follow. <br></p><p>What stood out for me of my SciMathUS year was the support system that we had – in the student houses from our mentors (<em>Tshego I'll never forget you sis!</em>) – and in class from the facilitators (<em>Dr Elza Lourens, who is now a dear friend of mine</em>). </p><p>SciMathUS helped me to believe in myself and my dreams. I believed that I could do and be anything that I wanted. Even when I would fail a test or get an answer wrong in class — the support from our facilitators really made us believe in ourselves and our capabilities. I was able to double my mathematics marks from 32% to 66% and improve my physical sciences mark by 15% (45 to 60%).<br></p><p>You were forced to dig deep and think!  <br></p><p>We had class from 08:00 to 16:00 on a daily basis. The workload would at times feel heavy, but it taught me what I would be facing when I pursue my degree. I realised that I was in charge of managing my time and that I had to be wise about it.<br></p><p>I am currently working in the food industry (meat industry to be more specific), as a meat market trainer in Gauteng. My job involves training and guiding staff and external workers towards timely and successful completion of qualifications and programmes related to butcheries –  from hygiene, meat cutting and processing –  to programmes where staff are trained to be managers. I really enjoy sharing knowledge and interacting with people. </p><p>I would advise others who find themselves not knowing what to do or where to go, to sign up for SciMathUS –  this programme not only improves your marks but also yourself as an individual. </p><p>To my fellow alumni, please support SciMathUS with a donation (no matter how small, or big!).  There are people who took the leap of faith and supported this initiative because they believed in the positive change it could bring. Let us take this opportunity to help bring change to students' lives as it did for us. </p><p>​<br></p>
Big win for SU at MACE Awards win for SU at MACE AwardsMarick Hornsveld<p>​Communication and marketing professionals from Stellenbosch University (SU) were once again rewarded for outstanding work at the annual Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education (<a href="">MACE</a>) Excellence Awards ceremony for 2021, despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19. </p><p>SU walked away with no fewer than 26 awards at the ceremony, which was held virtually on Thursday evening (29 July 2021). The awards include 12 Bronze and nine Silver Awards, two Gold Awards (awarded to the highest scoring entry in each category) and a Platinum Award (awarded to the highest scoring entry in each of three divisions).</p><p>SU was also awarded the Chairperson's Award of Excellence for the COVID-19 Relief Fund (awarded to a single entry that embodies true excellence in marketing, advancement or communication) as well as the Severus Cerff Award for Consistent Excellence (for the highest success ratio of all entering institutions). </p><p>The MACE Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of specialists and practitioners in marketing, advancement and communication in the higher education sector in Southern Africa. Entries from SU's Corporate Communication and Marketing Division (CCMD), Division of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), Division for Research Development (DRD) and Postgraduate Office received recognition. </p><p>“These awards give appropriate recognition to the continued high-quality work delivered by SU's communication, marketing and fundraising teams. What makes it even more remarkable is that this was achieved during the pandemic amidst many challenges. The team is a true example of SU's value of excellence," said Prof Hester Klopper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy and Internationalisation. </p><p>In congratulating the winning teams, Senior Director of SU's CCMD Ms Christelle Feyt said that “in this challenging year we've all learnt that excellence is not only a skill, but a winning attitude". </p><p>MACE is a membership-based organisation and fulfils a leadership role in the higher education, technical vocational education and training and private education sectors within Southern Africa. It aims to add value to practitioners in marketing, advancement and communication by offering high-quality development programmes, facilitating networking partnerships and transformation and promoting best practice among these professions in its member institutions.</p><p>Karen Bruns, Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations, said her team has produced exceptional work under challenging circumstances over this past year and a half and she could not be any prouder. “The team came up with creative ideas to keep our alumni, donors and friends of the University engaged when we had to cancel all in-person events due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. The fact that all their hard work has been recognised by peers in the higher education sector makes these accolades that much more rewarding."</p><p>Ronel Bester, Strategic Relations Manager at SU's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, added: “Our team is honoured and humbled to be recognised by our industry peers. We believe the recognition is a testament to our commitment to serve the staff and students of our faculty and help tell their stories of achievement, service and excellence with care and dedication."</p><p>SU's awards (note: the individuals named below were key players in each case and submitted the particular entries, but the award also goes to all their colleagues who were part of the effort):</p><p><strong>Bronze</strong></p><ul><li>Videography: <a href="">I want to ride my bicycle! A SU Campus tour</a> <em>– Stefan Els, CCMD</em></li><li>Brand-building campaigns: <a href="">helloMaties</a> <em>– Candes Keating, CCMD</em></li><li>General campaigns: <a href="">#WomenofSU</a> <em>– Candes Keating, CCMD</em></li><li>Websites: <a href="/english/Pages/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Disease-2019.aspx">COVID-19 website</a> <em>– Candes Keating, CCMD</em></li><li>Social media: <a href="">#SUgradstory</a> <em>– René-Jean van der Berg, CCMD</em></li><li>Videography: <a href="">Thank you frontline workers!</a> <em>– Wilma Stassen, FMHS</em></li><li>Digital: Internal magazines and newsletters: VIVUS Newsletter e-mailer <em>– Wilma Stassen, FMHS</em></li><li>Social media: <a href="">SU Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences' Facebook page</a> <em>– Hermien Nel, FMHS</em></li><li>Audio, visual and audio-visual: <a href="">Postgraduate Welcoming and Orientation video 2021 #postgradSUccess</a> <em>– Alison Bucholz, Postgraduate Office</em></li><li>Printed and digital annual reports: <a href="">Research at Stellenbosch University 2019</a> <em>– Maryke Hunter-Hüsselmann, DRD</em></li><li>Fundraising campaigns: <a href="">Train for fees</a> <em>– DAR team</em></li><li>Fundraising campaigns: Virtual events <em>– DAR team</em></li></ul><p><strong>Silver</strong></p><ul><li>Writing for news media: <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8082">Improved care for children with TB</a> <em>– Dr Alec Basson, CCMD</em></li><li>Writing for news media: <a href="">Offshore wind energy could help solve SA's electricity woes</a> <em>– Dr Alec Basson, CCMD</em></li><li>Student Recruitment campaigns: <a href="">Virtual Graduation ceremonies</a> <em>– Amira Brown</em></li></ul><ul><li>Digital: External magazines and newsletters: VIVUS Newsletter e-mailer <em>– Wilma Stassen, FMHS</em></li></ul><ul><li>Websites: <a href="">Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Content Hub</a> <em>– Florence de Vries, FMHS</em></li><li>Community and social responsibility campaigns: <a href="/english/faculty/healthsciences/about-us/faculty-charter">Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Charter</a> <em>– Florence de Vries, FMHS</em></li><li>Design for digital media: <a href="">Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences Content Hub website</a> <em>– Hermien Nel, FMHS</em></li><li>Fundraising campaigns: <a href="">Masked Masterpieces</a> <em>– DAR team</em></li><li>Fundraising:<a href=""> #Thank you</a> <em>– DAR team</em></li></ul><p><strong>Gold</strong></p><ul><li>Videography: <a href="">Human Touch</a> <em>– Wilma Stassen, FMHS</em></li><li>Events: Single and multi-day: <a href="">FMHS Gala Concert 2019</a> <em>– Meggan Ceylon, FMHS</em></li></ul><p><strong>Platinum</strong></p><ul><li>Fundraising campaigns: <a href="">COVID-19 Relief fund</a> <em>– DAR team</em></li></ul><p><strong>Special awards</strong></p><ul><li>Chairperson's Award of Excellence: COVID-19 Relief Fund <em>– DAR team</em></li><li>Severus Cerff Award for Consistent Excellence for the highest success ratio – Stellenbosch University<br></li></ul><p><br></p>
Vice-chancellors lead fundraising at universities lead fundraising at universitiesKaren Bruns<p>​Creating access to higher education remains a major financial challenge. For this reason, vice-chancellors, as leaders of universities, play a crucial role as their institutions' chief fundraisers, writes Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations Karen Bruns in an article for <em>Mail & Guardian</em> (23 July 2021).</p><ul><li><p>Read the article below or click <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>for the piece as published.</p></li></ul><p><strong>Karen Bruns</strong><br></p><p>A boxer, a minister, a police officer, a psychologist, a beggar, and a Nobel laureate walk into an inauguration ceremony at a university auditorium. The chair of senate says, “What is this, some kind of joke? Where is our new vice-chancellor?" </p><p>The head of the appointments committee replies, “No joke. We couldn't find one person who could fit the leadership profile, so we hired them all and we stayed within budget."</p><p>This is a story often told, and one that rings true. </p><p>As the leader of an institution of higher learning, university vice-chancellors are charged with countless responsibilities, among them to ensure the highest standards of scholarship and teaching excellence at the institutions they lead. But today, globally-focused universities are large and complex organisations that require substantial leadership. Modern universities can be characterised as having a global vision or perspective, being geographically and culturally dispersed, being internationally renowned, playing a national flagship role, being research-intensive, and often (though not always) as “world-class".</p><p>As a result, vice-chancellors' job descriptions have increased precipitously in recent years. Recruiting vice-chancellors with the range of skills required, and staying in budget, has become immensely challenging. After the successive issues of the student fees crisis, the pace of transformation, the emergencies of droughts and load-shedding, tragic student victims of gender-based violence, the future affordability of government's student fee support (NSFAS), and now Covid-19 and the shift to online learning, it is evident that vice-chancellors cannot simply stay in their academic lane. </p><p>Both academics and professional support staff had to adjust quickly to the new online mode of teaching. While this transition had been under discussion for some time, the necessity to implement was fast-tracked in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. </p><p>It was challenging, but human capacity to implement these changes rapidly was not our greatest challenge. Rather, the real issue of how to finance higher education remains the most significant difficulty. </p><p>The substantial financial challenge has been as a result of subsidy cuts (given state finances having to accommodate massive healthcare expenses) and the inability of students to pay fees (because of the economic crisis). We see a growing “missing middle" cohort as a result of the job losses countrywide. Providing financial support to these students is now more crucial than ever.</p><p>And this brings me to what is probably the most important role of vice-chancellors: that of chief fundraiser. The financial viability of our universities depends on the ability of vice-chancellors to raise money. </p><p>Fundraising is one of the most demanding and visible roles of university leaders, and they should expect to spend an inordinate amount of time raising private funds. A 2012 study in the USA showed that university presidents there spend on average 3.85 days each month away from campus, travelling and performing fundraising duties, but as many as 20 days in a month when time allows it.</p><p>Fundraising is both challenging and demanding. When vice-chancellors sit down with potential personal donors and tries to engage them in the future of the university, they must have a very clear view of the overarching strategy of their universities and be able to articulate their university's priorities, why they had chosen certain philanthropists in particular, and why investment in their university would have positive outcomes.</p><p>Most potential donors are usually enormously successful in their field, and their questioning is rigorous, penetrating, and occasionally quite daunting. If vice-chancellors do not know their university's so-called script backwards, they could be in serious trouble. This means that we cannot only have a clear institutional strategy; our fundraising must be directly aligned with our strategy.</p><p>By going out and asking individuals and organisations for support, we introduce them to the university and hopefully bring them closer to our institution. Universities benefit enormously from donors' advice and gain substantially from their networks and connections too. Some of them even volunteer their time at the university, on advisory boards, in mentorship roles, and in academic-industry engagements. Their support is a great booster for the university's morale and – here is an insider's tip – most of the donors are great fun to spend time with!</p><p>At Stellenbosch University, we have raised R1,7 billion in philanthropic funds since our vice-chancellor, Professor Wim de Villiers, started his term in 2015. Of this amount, donations by trusts and foundations, individuals, and corporates account for more than three-quarters of all donations received.</p><p>The involvement of our vice-chancellor has contributed to doubling the number of national and international alumni hubs since 2015, which effectively means the opening up of networks to our graduates. De Villiers led our peer-to-peer fundraising initiatives by running and cycling in various races to raise funds for food insecurity on our campuses – our #Move4Food campaign.</p><p>More than a third of the R1.7 billion raised has gone towards bursaries and student support, while other funds have been directed towards teaching, infrastructure, research, and community service. We have built new research centres and teaching buildings on our campuses and increased the diversity of our academic and research staff through strategic funding.</p><p>Since 2015, our international donors have begun to account for a larger share of total donors, as we have gone from 13% of all donors being international to 19% prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.</p><p>This is the significant impact made by vice-chancellors in leading universities' fundraising efforts both locally and internationally. Universities tackle the world's most pressing challenges through education and research, and for this, donations provide critical funding. </p><p>As their universities' chief fundraisers, vice-chancellors can be at the forefront of providing access to students and ensuring they lead their institutions into the future – and, in Nelson Mandela's words, provide the next generation of leaders with a powerful weapon.</p><ul><li><em>Karen Bruns is the Senior Director: Development and Alumni Relations at Stellenbosch University.</em></li></ul><p>​<br></p>
SU alumnus vice-captain of SA men’s Olympic hockey team alumnus vice-captain of SA men’s Olympic hockey teamDevelopment & Alumni / Ontwikkeling & Alumni<p style="text-align:justify;">​Stellenbosch University (SU) alumnus Keenan Horne, 29, is the Vice-Captain of the South African men's hockey team at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. During the Olympic Games, Horne will play as a striker and take on an important leadership role which will require him to manage part of the team's duties.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Horne graduated with a BCom Law degree in 2014 and also completed a LLB and LLM at SU. He eventually started working as a candidate attorney at Mostert and Bosman. For the duration of his studies at SU, he competed as a high-performance field hockey player for Maties.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I was the first in my family to study at Stellenbosch University. So given that privilege, I wanted to make my family proud by performing well academically and excelling in sport. Because I believe that my academics and sports complement each other, there was no time to relax. I am a structured person by nature and by planning and managing my time effectively I was able to find the right balance," explains Horne.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">He finds motivation from the experiences of his family and aspires to make them proud given their sacrifices and dedication to his education.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“When I had the opportunity to do my BCom Law degree it was a chance to break the hold that generational disadvantages had had on my parents. Through their commitment to give me a quality education, I was able to excel on all levels." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Among Horne's accomplishments was that he graduated cum laude at SU this year. In 2018 Horne participated in the Commonwealth Games in Australia and received the Rector's Award for Sporting Excellence.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“While at university we had 6am gym sessions and directly after that I would attend lectures. In my first year I had 11 subjects, so I was always busy. Having a structured mindset was important in balancing those responsibilities but since I enjoyed both hockey and academics it wasn't overwhelming," he says.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">He acknowledges that he had to work hard consistently and make necessary sacrifices to make the national team. The road to being selected for the national team and by extension the Olympics was rather unconventional for Horne. However, through diligence he made the national team despite playing for the Western Province B team.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I made the national under 21 men's hockey team and we competed at the Junior World Cup in India. In the following year I made the Western Province B team. However, in 2014 I made the national team because I played well for the Western Province B team. Despite my youth, determination and a sense of purpose got me a place on the national team."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Youth empowerment is especially important to Horne and he has therefore started a sporting initiative in the Kraaifontein community to empower the next generation. He encourages students and student athletes to appreciate their unique abilities and says that talent can never be a substitute for hard work. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“My advice to fellow Matie student athletes and students in general is to always maximise what you have. Don't focus on what others have and measure yourself against that standard but utilise your skills to the best of your ability. The most important thing is to have a sense of purpose in life, because motivation and ambitions come from what you believe your purpose is. With a clear purpose, you can achieve anything."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photos: Supplied</em><br></p><p>​<br></p>
SU prepares for release of second draft in July 2021 prepares for release of second draft in July 2021Corporate Communication and Marketing Division / Afdeling Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking<p style="text-align:right;">​2 July 2021<br></p><p style="text-align:left;">The revision of Stellenbosch University's (SU) <em>Language Policy</em> (2016) reached its halfway mark by the end of June 2021 with the completion of the first comprehensive round of consultation on the first draft of the revised policy. SU's preparations for the release of the second draft of the revised <em>Language Policy</em> (2016) for the second public participation phase commencing towards the end of July 2021 are progressing well.<br></p><p>Since the release of the first draft in March 2021, external stakeholders, staff and students have had the opportunity to participate in a public participation process, followed by internal consultation with various groups, committees, faculty boards and statutory bodies, including the Institutional Forum, Senate and Council.</p><p>AFRIKAANS AS INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE </p><p>At its meeting on 21 June 2021 Council accepted the following motion related to the classification of indigenous languages by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET): “SU has taken note with concern of the Department of Higher Education and Training's classification in the <a href="/english/Documents/Language/Notice%201160%20of%20Gov%20Gazette%2043860%20of%2030%20October%202020[2].pdf"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-9-5" style=""><em style=""><strong style="">Language Policy Framework</strong></em><em style=""><strong style=""> for Public Higher Education Institutions</strong></em></span></a>. SU supports the view that Afrikaans and the Khoe and San languages are indigenous languages. Council requests SU's management to take appropriate steps to engage with the DHET to address this issue."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In its comprehensive feedback on the DHET's draft revised <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-9-5" style=""><em style=""><strong style="">Language Policy for Higher Education </strong></em><strong style="">(2017)</strong></span></a>, Stellenbosch University strongly supported the position that Afrikaans is an indigenous language of South Africa. Universities were not given an opportunity to comment on the final version of the <em>Language Policy Framework</em><em> for Public Higher Education Institutions</em><em> </em>published in November 2020<em>. </em>SU also brought the matter to the attention of Universities South Africa (USAf) as it is not known whether any of the other South African universities have had the opportunity to consider the practical and cost implications of the new policy framework.</p><p>CONTEXT DOCUMENT </p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the first public participation process, several participants requested access to information and statistics that the <em>Language Policy</em> Revision Task Team considered while drafting the revised policy.  The <a href="/english/Documents/Language/FINAL%20CONTEXT%20DOCUMENT%20for%20website%201%20July%202021_compressed.pdf"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-9-5" style=""><strong style=""><em style="">Context document for the revision of the</em></strong><strong style=""> </strong><strong style=""><em style="">Language Policy</em></strong><strong style=""><em style=""> (2016</em></strong><strong style="">)</strong></span></a> provides a broad overview of the process and timeline; the international and national higher education context, the Stellenbosch University context; the implementation costs of various language scenarios and the Rectorate's perspective of multilingualism and the SU <em>Language Policy</em> (2016). The context document also contains links to the relevant supporting documents. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Internal and external stakeholders will be invited to participate in the second public participation process running from late July until the middle of August 2021, followed by further internal consultation. Progress reports will be tabled at the Institutional Forum, Senate and Council at scheduled meetings in September with another opportunity for input. The third and final draft of the revised <em>Language Policy</em> (2016) will be tabled for approval at the Council meeting on 2 December 2021.<br></p><p><br></p>
Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela wins Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship 2020 award Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela wins Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship 2020 awardOppenheimer Memorial Trust<p>​​Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award.<br></p>This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award. <br><br>Prof Gobodo-Madikizela's selection was based on her proposed project, titled “Aesthetics of Trauma, Poetics of Repair", and concerns the re-thinking of trauma in new terms, specifically focusing on historical trauma and its transgenerational repercussions. The project will explore how the arts, rather than forgiveness and reconciliation, might be deployed to pursue a reparative and transformative vision. This work will play an important role in shaping rigorous debates on historical trauma and its transgenerational repercussions. Prof Gobodo-Madikizela holds the South African National Research Chair in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma. <br><br>The annual Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award, with a monetary value of R2 million, is ranked as one of Africa's most prestigious research grants. The award recognises scholarship of the highest calibre across various academic and research disciplines. It is a flagship award by the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust. The Trust, which dates back to 1958, has grown to become a significant funder of education, arts & culture and civil society organisations.  Over the past five years, distributions made by the Trust have ranged from R100 million to R130 million annually, with roughly 60% allocated to higher education as part of a sustained effort to build local academia. <br><br>Prof Gobodo-Madikizela, whose accolades include the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship, the Alan Paton Award, the Christopher Award, the Distinguished African Scholar Title at Cornell University's Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and the Eleanor Roosevelt Award, was honoured to be selected for the 2020 Oppenheimer Fellowship Award. <br><br>On receipt of the award, she stated: “Being awarded this prestigious fellowship simply overwhelmed me. It is a tremendous honour, which I accept with deep gratitude. I believe that few topics stake a more compelling claim on humanities research than the legacies of violent histories and their enduring traumatic effects across generations. An opportunity to advance new intellectual frontiers in this field and to be able to involve young scholars as partners on the project is a rare gift."<br><br>Acknowledging the impact made by the Fellowship Award, and expressing the visions of the Trust, Chair of the Trust, Jonathan Oppenheimer, stated: “Prof Gobodo-Madikizela is a globally recognised scholar, a luminary in a fractured world in desperate need of healing intergenerational wounds. Her research is timely, interdisciplinary and tackles transgenerational trauma in new and relevant ways, to open up global participation. Prof Gobodo-Madikizela is the torch bearer of truth and reconciliation and leads the charge from Africa." <br><br>Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor at Stellenbosch University, said “Prof Gobodo-Madikizela's immense contribution to re-thinking historical trauma, her continuous engagement with complex issues of the past and the urgency of her research, make her more than deserving of this prestigious honour. Stellenbosch University is proud to have Prof Gobodo-Madikizela within our ranks and we look forward to seeing where this important project will lead." <br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">About the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust (OMT):</span><br><br>The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust was established by Harry Oppenheimer in 1958 in memory of his father, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, founder of Anglo American Corporation in 1917, someone who was committed to the well-being of the people and development of South Africa, through service to the community. The Trust has a long history of involving independent trustees, along with family members, in its Board and stewardship of the Trust – which has now extended to four generations of the Oppenheimer family. Endowed at inception, the OMT has a long tradition of investing in education and other public-interest activities. To learn more about the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust (OMT), visit: <a href=""></a><br><br>
Deloitte report on language in SU residences report on language in SU residencesProf Deresh Ramjugernath: Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching / Viserektor: Leer en Onderrig​<p style="text-align:right;">​<span>1</span><span>4 June 2021</span><br></p><p>Dear member of the SU community<br></p><p>You are probably aware of the allegations made against Stellenbosch University (SU) with regard to the implementation of our <a href="/english/Documents/Language/Final%20June%20Language%20Policy%20November%202016.pdf">Language Policy</a> in the residence environment during the welcoming period in March this year.</p><p>We conducted an internal investigation, and – given the seriousness with which we took the allegations – we also referred the matter to Deloitte for an independent forensic investigation. We have now received their report, and I would like to share the main findings and recommendations with you.</p><p><strong>Background</strong></p><p>To summarise, it was alleged that, during the welcoming period at the start of academic year 2021, student leaders and administrators at some SU residences reportedly prohibited students from conversing in Afrikaans, including informally.</p><p>As soon as the University became aware of these allegations, we immediately launched an internal investigation and our Centre for Student Communities started engaging with student leaders and students in residences to work towards a common understanding of the Language Policy. And as far as we were concerned, the issues were resolved satisfactorily.</p><p>The allegations were reported in the media and complaints were subsequently made by the Freedom Front Plus and the Democratic Alliance to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). The Commission launched an inquiry and gave notice to SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers to appear at a hearing in Stellenbosch on 10 May.</p><p>The full statement made at the hearing by Prof De Villiers is <a href="/english/management/wim-de-villiers/Documents/20210510%20Wim%20de%20Villiers%20SAHRC%20Final.pdf">available here</a>, and <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8226">click here</a> for a summary news report on the University's website.</p><p>Subsequently, the SAHRC scheduled a second round of hearings for 14 and 15 June, again to be held at STIAS. SU has submitted a follow-up report to the SAHRC, and also made the Deloitte report available to the Commission.</p><p><strong>Findings in the Deloitte report</strong></p><p>Deloitte looked into complaints relating to the Minerva, Irene and Francie van Zijl residences and the Capri private student organisation (PSO), and made the following conclusions:<br></p><p><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Minerva:</span></p><ul><li>There was no SU management instruction to prohibit the use of Afrikaans.</li><li>Residence leaders did not issue a prohibition on the use of Afrikaans.</li><li>Several house committee members had experienced feelings of exclusion due to the use of language when they had been first years at Minerva, and therefore wanted to make the 2021 welcoming period more inclusive.</li><li>Most newcomers bought into the idea of using English during the welcoming period for the sake of inclusivity, but the extent of the implementation was initially not clearly defined and communicated, which resulted in speculation that the Welcoming Programme was being used to take away Afrikaans language rights.<br></li></ul><p><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Irene</span>:</p><ul><li>Deloitte did not identify evidence to support the alleged prohibition on the use of Afrikaans at Irene during the welcoming period.<br></li></ul><p><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Huis Francie van Zijl</span>:</p><ul><li>According to Deloitte, it appears that an official complaint was lodged with the SU Equality Unit (EqU) in respect of an alleged prohibition on the use of Afrikaans at Huis Francie van Zijl on the Tygerberg campus dating back to a period between 2018 and 2020. The EqU had recommended an anonymous survey, which residence leaders had agreed to, but it seems a lack of communication might have led the student who complained to believe that attempts at resolving the matter had been futile.<br></li></ul><p><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Capri</span>:</p><ul><li>Deloitte did not identify evidence to support the alleged prohibition on the use of Afrikaans by the Capri private student organisation (PSO) during the amaMaties Cluster day on 6 March 2021.</li></ul><p><strong>Recommendations in the Deloitte report</strong></p><p>The Deloitte report includes recommendations in terms of Minerva and Huis Francie, but they argue that these warrant wider application at SU.</p><p>The first of these is that residence leaders should be educated on the SU Language Policy and its implementation in residences, as well as on complaint procedures regarding the use of language.</p><p>Deloitte also recommended that, for future welcoming periods, residence leaders should:<br></p><ul><li>Specify that the use of a common language is a request for inclusivity and not a command with the intent to subjugate the rights of any other language.</li><li>Define clearly which portions of the Welcoming Programme would be subject to the use of a common language.</li><li>Allow students who feel uncomfortable about speaking English to have their home language translated for the sake of inclusivity.</li><li>Celebrate the use of a common language in building new friendships.</li><li>Inform newcomers of the processes for dealing with complaints and the relevant escalation procedures.</li></ul><p><strong>SU management response to the Deloitte report</strong></p><p>The Rectorate has noted the findings and recommendations of the Deloitte report, and the following will be undertaken to address these:<br></p><ul><li>Training programmes will be developed to explain exactly what the University means by multilingualism, and how it should be embodied and practised. This will include sensitivity training with regard to exclusionary language and behaviour.</li><li>There will be more training with regard to the implementation of the Language Policy in student communities – not only during the welcoming period, but also in the course of the first and consecutive years.</li><li>The information about the Language Policy in SU's institutional welcoming booklet will be expanded to provide a better explanation of the process for complaints.</li><li>Biannual language implementation reporting will be instituted in student communities from the second semester of 2021. These reports will follow the same reporting process as that currently undertaken in respect of faculty reports.</li></ul><p>Finally, I give you the assurance that we remain committed to inclusive multilingualism at SU, taking into account the diversity of our society and the wealth inherent in that diversity. As the VC said in his submission to the SAHRC on 10 May, we believe that our approach to language provides our students with more choices, broader access and a better future.</p><p>Our student body has demonstrated an ability to resolve difficulties around language, with assistance from our Centre for Student Communities. We want to do even better in managing the complexities and possibilities of multilingualism. SU is a place of learning – we are therefore using this episode to improve the experience that we provide to our students.</p><p>Best regards,</p><p><strong>Prof Deresh Ramjugernath</strong><br><strong> Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Learning and Teaching</strong></p>
'SciMathUS, paving the way to my MBA''SciMathUS, paving the way to my MBA'Modesty Lewis<p>What a pleasant journey it has been! I was born and bred in Paarl. I grew up in a family of five and I am the youngest of three children. In my Grade 10 year I had the conversation with my parents about my future plans. I soon became aware that my parents were not able to support any form of study financially and that I had to work hard in order to reach my dreams. Even though the competition amongst my peers was tough, I managed to find myself in the top 10 each year and also top student in mathematics; maths was always my favourite. When I finally got to my matric year, I thought I was ready to go out into the world and become a Mechanical Engineer. Little did I know that I was not equipped to overcome the national maths exam paper until I was staring it in the face. Disappointment filled my heart and sorrow filled my eyes as I realised that I will not be able to accomplish what I have planned.<br></p><p>Even though I applied to SciMathUS as a back-up plan earlier that year, it never crossed my mind that I would actually need it. I thank God for the teacher that told me about this bridging course because this was the second chance that I needed. I was lost as my plans fell apart and I was not willing to settle for something I had no interest in. Furthermore, this was also the start of a new journey in my life as I said goodbye to my high school career and started on a fresh expedition with the SciMathUS team, not knowing what will happen. </p><p>My SciMathUS year was probably the best year of teenage life. I was able to experience campus life and make new friends from all over South Africa, while working towards my adjusted goals. Meeting new people and building relationships is the first thing that stood out for me. You were able to speak your mind, while still respecting others, ask questions and then ask again if you still didn't understand. The teachers were very supportive and easy to work with. I always tell people that SciMathUS opened a door in my mind that I didn't know existed. </p><p>The other programmes were also to our advantage, especially mine. We did an introductory course to Engineering Drawings which really helped when I started my first year in engineering. The computer course helped with navigating the University website as well as basic skills like e-mails, Excel and Word. The communication programme developed my skills to write reports and draft proper e-mails that displayed professionalism. We were really spoiled with all of these skills and all we had to do was show up and work hard.</p><p>SciMathUS gave me preliminary exposure to campus life and how to handle it in conjunction with the studies. The programme also provided the necessary support system required to equip myself for university studies. The teachers provided sufficient guidance and taught us new and more efficient ways of studying which I was able to use during my undergraduate studies. </p><p>After I completed my Mechanical Engineering degree, I started working as a Junior Engineer at GRW-Engineering in Worcester. 2021 will be my 8<sup>th</sup> year at the company and I have been promoted numerous times and currently holds the position of Product Design Engineer. Furthermore, my passion for people and leadership has led me to embark on the MBA journey which I completed at the end of 2020. </p><p>For those that might end up in the same boat as me after matric, consider SciMathUS! Even if you just need a back-up plan, SciMathUS could be it. A bridging course is not a disgrace. It is simply an alternative route to achieve your dreams and I am proof of that. SciMathUS changed my life. I was able to substantially improve my marks and was granted a university bursary to cover my tuition. A few months into my studies, I received a full scholarship for my entire course. It was not a walk in the park to get where I am today. I had to work hard and made some difficult sacrifices, but in the end it was worth it. ​<br></p><p><br></p>
'Let me update you' – Prof Wim de Villiers'Let me update you' – Prof Wim de VilliersProf Wim de Villiers<p>8 June 2021<br></p><p>Dear member of the SU community</p><p>I want to provide you with a personal update on our recent appearance before the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).<br></p><p>Having received complaints from the Freedom Front Plus and the Democratic Alliance about an alleged prohibition on the use of Afrikaans at Stellenbosch University (SU), the SAHRC held a hearing at STIAS on 10 May 2021. <br></p><p>My full statement made on the day is <a href="/english/management/wim-de-villiers/Documents/20210510%20Wim%20de%20Villiers%20SAHRC%20Final.pdf">available here</a>, but the main points follow below.</p><p>The problem arose at the start of the academic year in March, when student leaders in residence apparently requested newcomer first-years to use English only, to ensure that everyone had access to crucial information. <br></p><p>In a complex environment such as a large university, mistakes can happen. If newcomer students were indeed asked to stick to English in a <em>social</em> context, that would be wrong, as it is not our policy. To the contrary, our Language Policy (<a href="/language"></a>) advances <em>multi</em>lingualism, taking into account the diversity of our society and the intellectual wealth inherent in that diversity. </p><p>So, when the allegations came to the fore, we expeditiously investigated. And we took immediate remedial action. Through our Division of Student Affairs, we engaged with student leaders and students in residences to work towards a common understanding of the Language Policy and its implementation.<br></p><p>Let me be very clear: There is no ban on Afrikaans at SU – not in lecture halls, in residences, or anywhere else on campus. SU is a national asset. We are proud of our contribution to human development, and are confident that our students have more choices, broader access and a better future as a result of our approach to language. <br></p><p>I undertake to keep you informed in this regard, and we will share new developments with you as the process unfolds. As always, I am available for further discussion.<br></p><p>Let me conclude with good news. We are pleased to report that SU has broken its own record for the most qualifications ever awarded at the institution in an academic year. The latest figures show that the University conferred 9 234 degrees, certificates and diplomas in 2020 – up from the previous record of 9 133 set in 2019. (<a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8304">Click here</a> to read more.)</p><p>This is a remarkable achievement, considering the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It speaks volumes for SU's ability to be agile, as well as for the can-do attitude of our staff and students. </p><p>We would not have been able to manage this without your backing and encouragement. Thank you for your ongoing support. <br></p><p>Let us now go forward together, saam vorentoe, sonke siya phambili!<br></p><p><strong>Prof Wim de Villiers<br></strong><strong>Rector and Vice-Chancellor<br></strong><strong>Stellenbosch University</strong></p><p>​<br></p>
Record number of qualifications in 2020 despite COVID-19 challenges number of qualifications in 2020 despite COVID-19 challengesCorporate Communication and Marketing Division<p></p><p>Stellenbosch University (SU) has broken its own record for the most qualifications awarded at the institution in an academic year. The latest figures show that the University conferred 9 234 degrees, certificates and diplomas in 2020 – up from the previous record of 9 133 set in 2019.<br></p><p>“This is a remarkable achievement, considering the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers said.</p><p>When contact tuition was suspended on university campuses nationwide in March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19, SU responded by pivoting to emergency remote teaching, learning and assessment (ERTLA). </p><p>“The crisis pressed the fast-forward button on our plans to slowly but surely include more online and hybrid elements in our learning and teaching offering. What we had been planning to do over five years, we had to get done in five weeks," Prof De Villiers explained.</p><p>“It was a tremendous team effort. Everyone pulled their weight – from lecturers who had to repackage their courses, and students who had to get used to exclusively online class attendance and assessments, to overloaded ICT systems that had to be upgraded in record time."</p><p>“SU procured more than 1 700 laptops, which were subsequently made available on a loan basis to students who needed them. Considering we were in a hard lockdown, we obtained special permission for courier services to deliver the laptops to addresses across the country. The University provided mobile data to students to ensure they would have access to the internet. And we created a dedicated support site to help students with various aspects of the new, online mode of learning and teaching."</p><p>“Assessments were conducted mostly online for the first time in SU's history. Faculties and departments, lecturers and support divisions made an extraordinary effort in a very short space of time to ensure that exams could proceed."<br></p><p>All of this paid off when the University held a first set of graduation ceremonies for the academic year in December 2020, and a second set in March/April 2021. While, initially, the number of qualifications awarded was slightly less than in 2019, it became apparent that some master's and doctoral students who had been on a trajectory to graduate just did not manage to complete their research in time due to the impact of COVID-19. They could, for instance, not do field research during the stricter levels of lockdown. </p><p>To accommodate these candidates, the submission deadline for their theses and dissertations was extended to 1 March 2021. Their faculties had their research examined, and submitted the results by 14 May. Various units of the University then collaborated to ensure that proper governance processes were followed to have the candidates' results approved – first by faculty boards, and then by the Executive Committee of Senate on 25 May 2021.</p><p>Thanks to this concession, an additional 105 master's and 31 doctoral degrees could be included in SU's final Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) report for 2020 to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The graduates will be afforded the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremonies in December 2021 (COVID-19 permitting).</p><p>The additional qualifications take SU's tally for master's and doctoral degrees for the 2020 academic year to 1 316 and 302 respectively, and the overall number of qualifications conferred to 9 234. Of these, 4 769 were at undergraduate and 4 465 at postgraduate level.</p><p>“These are some of the highest figures of all universities in South Africa. Through these qualifications, we are proud to be making a valuable contribution to the development of our country, our continent and the rest of the world," Prof De Villiers said.</p><p>An important part of the high level of student success achieved at SU in 2020 was the extensive support programme rolled out behind the scenes. This not only enabled the initial rapid switch to online learning and teaching, but also sustained the new approach for the rest of the academic year.</p><p>With financial support from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust and the Harry Crossley Foundation, SU was able to expand its capacity to develop additional multimedia educational material and offer its students more virtual academic tutoring, mentoring, psychosocial support and technical assistance. </p><p>A dedicated support site was created to assist lecturers with the switch to ERTLA, and daily webinars were well attended. </p><p>Additional tutoring was offered to 22 534 students, and a special short course was developed to improve tutors' skills. Tutors reported that the extra time spent with students had relieved the pressure on lecturers and facilitated enhanced teaching and learning, while students also attested to the benefits of the additional support.</p><p>The SU Language Centre delivered over 1 250 podcast translations to convert English learning material into Afrikaans in support of multilingualism. The Centre also hosted academic skills webinars, produced writing skills videos, provided online reading and writing support, as well as real-time interpreting for deaf students.</p><p>“Congratulations to everyone concerned. These achievements speak volumes for SU's ability to be agile in the face of adversity, as well as for the can-do attitude of our staff and students," Prof De Villiers said.<br><br></p>