Social Work
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Guiding Principles


The following guiding principles are based on the teaching and learning philosophy of the Department, and operationalise the Department's values in order to cultivate graduate attributes.

Building meaningful relationships

We believe that the quality of mutually rewarding student-staff relationship is one of the determinants of the success of our programme offering. Creating and nurturing a reciprocal respectful, non-judgmental, safe space is demarcating our hallmark.


Our communication is characterised by authentic and attentive listening to each other  in order to create individualised understanding, support and cooperation.

Focussing on strengths

We focus on strengths and capabilities instead of highlighting deficits.

Being a thought partner 

Our interactions are not hierarchical, and are perceived as a collaborative partnership, challenging each other towards critical thinking.

Enhancing reflection practice

We promote reflective dialogue in order to review, obtain feedback and redress, where necessary, our teaching and learning endeavours.

Connecting with resources 

We expedite the process of knowledge and skills development by bringing together students and communication structures, stimulating activities, developing and channelling resources and ensuring access to expertise.

Inspiring towards lifelong learning 

We inspire ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated personal and professional development in order to enhance social inclusion, active citizenship, self-sustainability, competitiveness and employability.

Promoting the scholarly integration of theory and practice

Our aim is ultimately to be on the forefront with scholarly integration and dissemination of cutting-edge theory and practice.​