The primary role of the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is the professional learning of academics at Stellenbosch University (SU), with regard to their teaching role. The key issues in the professional learning of academics at SU are informed by this excerpt from the Stellenbosch University Strategy for Teaching and Learning 2014-2018, which states that:
For the University to support graduates to becoming enquiring, engaged, dynamic and well-rounded, the teaching and learning arrangements of the University, as well as the arrangements governing all aspects of the student experience, need to be aligned to such a vision. The following is required to achieve this: Critical and scholarly lecturers. For SU to provide the maximum in opportunities for students to engage appropriately in a research-infused and enquiry-based learning experience, requires lecturers who are role models, leaders, experts, partners and facilitators. They are critical scholars, enquiring into their own disciplines and into the scholarship of teaching and learning. They are reflective and open to critique about their practice. The education context needs to provide conditions in which lecturers may flourish, and share their curiosity with their students.
Of the five strategic priorities outlined in the university Strategy for Teaching and Learning, it is the first one that relates most directly to the role of the Centre for Teaching and Learning: the professionalisation of the scholarly teaching role. The professional learning of lecturers underpins the following strategic priorities of the Centre for Teaching and Learning:
- Create professional learning opportunities for academic staff in faculties;
- Provide opportunities for academics to become more reflective and research-oriented about their teaching;
- Affirm the value and enhance the stature of teaching;
- Contribute to the realisation of the SU graduate attributes in the curriculum;
- Develop a critical mass of teaching and learning expertise in each faculty;
- Build the academic development capacity of CTL staff.
The CTL has adopted a devolved model, which involves a combination of centrally-driven institutional activities, as well as faculty-based projects and initiatives. Advisors therefore carry a dual responsibility to the Centre and the Faculties.