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The SU Transformation Plan


The Transformation Plan (TP) aims to advance the implementation and operationalisation of the Institutional Intent and Strategy (IIS) of Stellenbosch University (SU). The IIS explicitly anticipates and mandates the development of a TP to promote its own implementation. The TP also aligns with the transformation imperatives of the Institutional Plan (IP) of the University, which stipulates the strategic management indicators and key performance areas with regard to transformation, as well as with the transformation parameters of the business plans of faculties and the professional academic support services environments. The TP is guided by the values of SU, namely excellence, shared accountability, empathy, innovation and leadership in service of others.​​


The TP draws upon various external documents, which include:​

• the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, with its Bill of Rights;

• the White Paper on Education and Training (1995);

• the subsequent Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education: Education White Paper 3 (1997);

• the Higher Education Act of 1997;

• the Soudien Report of 2008 (Report of the Ministerial Committee on Transformation and Social Cohesion and the Elimination of Discrimination in Public Higher Education Institutions);

• the draft Transformation Barometer, which is currently being developed under the auspices of the Department of Higher Education and Training;

• the 2015 Durban Statement on Transformation in Higher Education (DHET 2nd Higher Education Summit Oct 2015); and

• the HSRC Report on Transformation in Higher Education 2017


The TP is developed in a context of accelerated and deepening transformation. The higher education sector in South Africa including SU, have experienced a period of unprecedented turmoil and change over the past few years. This period of instability, accompanied by the significant growth that SU has experienced over the past decade, has given rise to new challenges and opportunities. With its future-oriented focus, as outlined in the IIS 2013−2018, SU is well positioned to maximise its impact and to fulfil its commitment to create inclusive and diverse experiences for its students and staff members in order to unleash their full potential. The TP serves as one of the vehicles for achieving this goal.

Through its TP, SU commits itself to co-creating A New African University where its students and staff work, live, listen and learn, deliberating on the relevance of our knowledge and producing new knowledge to move our society from an exclusive past to a socially just, sustainable, thriving, democratic future. The need for comprehensive transformation at university level is widely acknowledged and has become ever more urgent.


The objectives of the Transformation Plan are to:

  • coordinate, facilitate and advance transformation as an embedded, systemic, inclusive and integrated process and practice at SU;
  • create synergy in our institutional understanding of a working definition of transformation for SU;
  • offer a historic and national context for transformation in higher education and its alignment with national aspirations;
  • establish guidelines, principles and parameters for university-wide transformation actions;
  • establish a reporting, monitoring and evaluation framework aligned with the IIS to track transformation actions and progress; and
  • initiate and guide the development of TP's in the various university environments.


The core definition of transformation in the Transformation Plan:​

Transformation at SU is an intentional and structured process of profound change of the University's places, people and programmes, with the following three major aims:


Firstly, to advance the strategic principles of the IIS, namely

• excellence through diversity;

• access with success;

• inclusivity and co-ownership;

• future orientation and innovation.


Secondly, to promote the realisation of the 7 overarching strategic priorities stated in the 2017-2022 IP, namely​

  • Broadening access

  • Maintaining Momentum of Excellence

  • Enhance Social Impact

  • Expanding Internationalisation

  • Advancing Systemic Transformation

  • Enhancing Systemic Sustainability

  • Executing the Campus Renewal Project


Thirdly, to contribute – through its people, programmes and all its activities – to the change and renewal of society, so that society reflects the central values of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, namely:


• human dignity;

• the healing of the wounds of the nation;

• social justice;

• freedom; and

• equality.


The SU Transformation Plan can be viewed here