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Sooliman receives Social Justice Champion awardhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8745Sooliman receives Social Justice Champion award<p>​Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of the Gift of the Givers Foundation, has received the Social Justice Champion of the Year 2021 award for the life-saving work carried out by the non-governmental organisation (NGO) during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Gift of the Givers Foundation is the largest disaster response NGO of African origin on the African continent. <br></p><p>The award, which is an initiative of Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Law Trust Chair in Social Justice, was launched in 2020 and recognises individuals who advance equality and reduce poverty, have shown a commitment to justice for all while galvanising others to pull together in a socially cohesive manner.</p><p>Prof Thuli Madonsela, holder of the Chair in Social Justice, conferred the award during a ceremony at the Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel in Stellenbosch last week (5 November). Among the guests were Prof Nicola Smit, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation at SU, and Mr Eon Hendrikse, founder of the Clay Foundation, who shared the award with Kabelo Mahlobogwane in 2020. The Clay Foundation focuses on youth upliftment and leadership development.</p><p>Sooliman has been globally recognised for the life-saving work the organisation does.</p><p>In March 2018, SU bestowed an honorary doctorate upon Sooliman in recognition of the outstanding work he has undertaken through the foundation. Between 2007 and 2019, nine other honorary doctorates were bestowed upon Sooliman for the foundation's rescue missions nationally and globally.</p><p>“I have won many awards over the years, but this award [Social Justice Champion Award] is very special and important to me because of the timing and under the circumstances in which the award was made. I am very grateful.</p><p>“The timing of the award (bringing relief to communities affected by the pandemic) and the wording on the certificate resonate with our work," said Sooliman after receiving the award certificate from Madonsela.</p><p>At the event, Sooliman elaborated on the foundation's relief efforts during the lockdown period, including supplying water, medical equipment and food. The initiatives also included the supply and delivery of 2 500 oxygen machines for COVID-19 patients at more than 200 hospitals in six provinces over ten days during the pandemic outbreak in March last year. </p><p>“People were dying, and we rushed to get the machines to the hospitals. Many people's lives were saved by these machines," said Sooliman.</p><p>The Foundation also refurbished the Freesia Ward at Mitchell's Plain Hospital to serve as a dedicated <a href="https://facebook.com/2555494087811671">COVID-19</a> facility during peak times and multidisciplinary usage at other times.</p><p>Madonsela said Sooliman was undoubtedly the social justice champion of the year for the sterling and life-saving work his foundation did during the lockdown. </p><p>“The work he does is all about advancing social justice. It is about stepping in as social leaders to create equality. As social leaders, we understand that inequality divides societies and that poverty is not a natural human condition but human-made and can be eradicated. This award also recognises leaders who take action to improve the human condition," said Madonsela.</p><p>Sooliman received a statuette and certificate with the following inscription:</p><p>“A Social Justice Champion is someone who has moved the needle consistently to advance equality and reduce poverty, a person who has shown a commitment to justice as justice for all while galvanising others to pull together in a socially cohesive manner. </p><p>“Social justice entails the just, fair and equitable distribution of all opportunities, resources, benefits, privileges and burdens in society. This finds expression in the equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms by all. At the core of social justice is embracing the humanity of every person so that nobody should find it harder than others to exist in society, and nobody should bear more burdens than others."<br></p><p>Photographer: Anton Jordaan<br></p><p>​<br></p>2021-11-10T22:00:00Z 2021-11-10T22:00:00.0000000ZCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder
SU joins other global higher education leaders to discuss universities' role in aiding COVID-19 recoveryhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8667SU joins other global higher education leaders to discuss universities' role in aiding COVID-19 recovery<p>​Now, more than ever before, higher education institutions globally have to practise good citizenship and social responsibility, and promote civic engagement and partnership to counter the effects of COVID-19 on communities and institutions. This was the conclusion reached at the Talloires Network of Leaders Conference 2021 (TNLC 2021) co-hosted virtually by Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life and the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics.<br></p><p>Stellenbosch University (SU) proudly served as a satellite host campus for the event and joined 418 other higher education institutions from 78 countries for the four-day conference themed “Global universities, local impact: Power and responsibility of engaged universities". In particular, participants examined higher education's responsibilities to encourage COVID-19 recovery and help resolve the societal problems amplified by the pandemic. </p><p>All persons on this planet should be active citizens, working together to improve the well-being of all, said Dr Lawrence (Larry) Bacow, president of Harvard University, during the opening ceremony. With COVID-19 having exposed and exacerbated socioeconomic inequality and pushed another approximately 120 million people into extreme poverty in 2020 alone, higher education institutions need to act to make a tangible difference, and not wait for others to bring about change, Bacow added. </p><p>SU's Prof Nico Koopman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel; Dr Leslie van Rooi, senior director of Social Impact and Transformation Division, and third-year medical student Marc Nathanson each moderated an interactive session with academics and students during the event. </p><p>Koopman moderated the discussion on how institutions and their students could promote social engagement. The working group explored the future of learning, teaching and research, and how universities could actively connect academic interests to real-world issues in post-pandemic communities. In the session chaired by Dr Van Rooi, in turn, participants deliberated on ways to assess and measure universities' social engagement so as to constantly evaluate and improve their efforts. The group led by Nathanson discussed the effects of COVID-19 on students and communities, and how they had responded and adapted to the crisis. </p><p>A key theme emanating from all the discussions was that the global pandemic had revealed and compounded many other, underlying challenges, including inequities in access to health care and education, economic inequality, gender oppression, structural racism and climate change. </p><p>The conference culminated in the introduction of the 2021 Talloires Declaration (Boston<strong>)</strong> by two student leaders, Rowyn Naidoo from the University of Cape Town and Susan Azizi from<strong> the</strong> American University of Central Asia<strong>,</strong> Kyrgyzstan. Some of the major commitments in the declaration are to:</p><ul><li>promote human rights and further the free exchange of knowledge, ideas and practices;</li><li>realise the potential of university-community engagement to improve research and teaching and to address societal challenges through collaborations that are adaptable, respond quickly to emerging social issues, and encourage the co-generation of knowledge;</li><li>embrace differences as an essential ingredient of productive collaboration;</li><li>develop the next generation of active citizens to address global challenges; </li><li>create socially inclusive institutions and promote quality education for all;</li><li>amplify the voices and lived experiences of all marginalised groups, including women, refugees, indigenous peoples, children, people with disabilities, and the elderly; and</li><li>declare climate justice an urgent priority and mitigate harmful carbon emissions.</li></ul><p>* <em>The Talloires Network of Engaged Universities is an international association of socially responsible higher education institutions. The network hosts conferences, produces publications on university civic engagement, provides financial and technical support to regional university networks, and awards the annual MacJannet prize for deserving student civic engagement initiatives. </em></p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>2021-10-13T22:00:00Z 2021-10-13T22:00:00.0000000ZCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder
WOW continues to empower learners https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8641WOW continues to empower learners <p>​​​​​With its creative programmes in schools and communities, Words Open Worlds (WOW), an initiative of the Toyota SU Woordfees, has been creating 'wow' moments for learners across the country since 2003. WOW programmes are aimed at developing language skills, literacy and the arts, and broadening participants' horizons in the process. <br></p><p><strong>WOW-50-Schools recruitment drive</strong></p><p>One of WOW's longer-term projects, the WOW-50-Schools recruitment drive, is helping first-generation learners turn their dreams of tertiary education into reality. This year to date, 317 learners, mostly Afrikaans-speaking, learners from WOW-50-Schools schools have applied for tertiary studies at Stellenbosch University (SU) next year, says WOW manager Fiona van Kerwel.</p><p>Van Kerwel says WOW-50-Schools, which is sponsored by SU's Social Impact Funding Committee, recruits mostly first-generation learners who have not necessarily been identified by any other recruitment programmes of tertiary institutions. “The project fills a gap and reaches learners who would otherwise not have the opportunity to study at SU. They do not always receive hands-on support or understanding from others, and face diverse challenges, ranging from personal and social to academic," she says.</p><p>Aaisha Arnolds, a first-generation BA Language and Culture student at SU recruited through the WOW drive, says the project is crucial to ensure that learners pursue tertiary studies. “WOW creates incredible opportunities for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, and who don't always get the chance to showcase their talents," she says. </p><p>While Arnolds was always encouraged by her family to go to university, this is not the case for many other learners. “Some schools have a culture of emphasising tertiary studies," Van Kerwel confirms, “and their academically strong learners would automatically have a mindset of wanting to go to varsity after school. But many other schools do not have such a culture, which is why WOW tries to establish this among the learners at our targeted schools, stressing the value of tertiary studies."</p><p>Van Kerwel adds: “This has a positive impact on learners as well as their communities. It enables learners to reach their goals and bring positive social change to their communities. Like the other WOW projects, the recruitment drive helps transform lives through education."</p><p>Core of the WOW-50-Schools project is to broaden learners' perspectives and help them discover and develop their potential. To this end, WOW facilitates activities to improve reading and language skills and expose learners to arts and culture.</p><p>In collaboration with SU's Centre for Prospective Students program, WOW recruiters start their work in April each year, identifying promising Grade 12s who have Afrikaans as a school subject, either at Home Language or Additional Language level. The learner who would typically qualify attends a disadvantaged school, achieves good grades, and dreams of tertiary studies, particularly in the field of arts and social sciences. The WOW recruiters continue with school visits in search of qualifying learners up until June, Van Kerwel explains. </p><p>As soon as promising learners are identified, the support process starts. WOW staff members help learners apply for admission and accommodation, provide advice on academic programme choices, give career guidance, and assist with bursary and/or loan application administration. But perhaps the most significant support element is provided during their actual study years, Van Kerwel says. “Through academic and social support, we help them have a transformative student experience by taking part in student activities, overcoming challenges and, ultimately, succeeding in their studies. And we proudly attend their graduation ceremonies." </p><p><strong>Sanlam WOW Spelling Festival</strong></p><p>Another very popular WOW programme is the annual<strong> </strong>Sanlam WOW Spelling Festival. The festival, taking place online from 12 to 29 October this year, is South Africa's largest spelling bee of this kind. It takes place across all nine provinces and gives young learners early exposure to SU and the opportunities that tertiary study offers.</p><p>The festival allows learners to interact with language in a fun manner, thereby laying the foundation to turn them into avid lifelong readers. At the same time, it serves to increase the literacy level at their schools, particularly in light of the loss of contact teaching time due to the COVID-19 lockdown. </p><p><strong>Additional WOW programmes</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The following additional WOW projects are also planned or already underway: </p><ul><li>WOW programmes forming part of the Toyota SU Woordfees are being broadcast on DStv channel 150 and, for Namibian viewers, on GOtv from 1 to 10 October. For the Woordfees programme schedule, click <a href="https://www.woordfees.co.za/eng/woordf">here</a>.</li><li>WOW reading circles: Online reading activities with participating schools and learners are being planned. Electronic evaluation is being created, which will replace the pre-pandemic evaluation of books for high schools and school visits by professional authors.</li><li>WOW debates and orators: The debates will be uploaded to the WOW website soon. These form part of the annual interschool sports and cultural competitions, and usually take place in the third term.  </li></ul><ul><li>Poetry: Grade 12 prescribed' poems will be recorded and discussed and loaded on the WOW website. Prior to the pandemic, established poets and authors visited more than 100 schools in three provinces.</li><li>WOW webinar: The WOW Teachers Day, which saw 200 teachers from approximately 80 schools visiting the Woordfees every year pre-COVID, has been replaced with a TV programme, Welwees-Wyser. </li><li>WOW open day: An online WOW open day for learners will be hosted in October.</li><li>WOW school media: The school newspaper development programme has also moved online and training videos that will cover the WOW school media curriculum, will take place in October.  </li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p><br></p><p><br><br></p>2021-10-06T22:00:00Z 2021-10-06T22:00:00.0000000ZCorporate Communication and Marketing Division/Afdeling Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder
Toyota SU Woordfees TV pop-up channel live from Fridayhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8530Toyota SU Woordfees TV pop-up channel live from Friday<p>​​​​The Toyota SU Woordfees TV pop-up channel <span lang="AF">goes live on Friday, 1 October 2021.</span> Fees TV, as it will be known on DStv, is the first ever arts festival on South African television, and it will be on air from 1 to 7 October 2021.<br></p><p>Fees TV brings all the variety and vibrancy of one of South Africa's biggest arts festivals, the Toyota SU Woordfees, to television. The programme content displays a broad range of genres: theatre, writers and books, dance, lifestyle, stand-up comedy, contemporary and classical music, film, discourse, and visual arts. The pop-up channel celebrates the arts and the diversity of talent and creativity of local artists, with a strong focus on quality-Afrikaans books, theatre, music, and film. </p><p>Fees TV will be available in South Africa on DStv Channel 150 from 1 to 7 October 2021, 24 hours a day, to all DStv Premium and Compact Plus subscribers. In Namibia, it will air on GOtv channel 15, with access for all GOtv Max subscribers. The Fees TV pop-up channel will also be available on DStv Now, and a selection of content on DStv Catch Up.</p><p>“A large variety of content by local producers has been curated to reflect the interests of our loyal festivalgoers. The programme will appeal to the culturally curious and all lovers of the arts, books, music, good food and wine. People from different walks of life, backgrounds and languages will be able to come together around their love of the arts to experience beauty, spectacle, debate, provocative ideas, and community. Lifestyle-orientated content will focus on scenic Stellenbosch and surrounds where the festival usually takes place," says Toyota SU Woordfees festival director, Saartjie Botha.<br></p><p>Highlights and anchor productions featured in the programme launch presentation include the following:<br></p><p><strong></strong><strong>Writers' festival</strong></p><p>The Woordfees started 21 years ago as an all-night poetry festival, and books and writers are still at the heart of the festival programme. Writers, poets and thought leaders on the Fees TV channel include Lien Botha, Andries Bezuidenhout, Nataniël, Nathan Trantraal, Joan Hambidge, Zandra Bezuidenhout, Bernard Odendaal, Ashwin Arendse, Veronique Jephtas, Dominique Botha, Jolyn Philips, Hilda Smits, Rudie van Rensburg, Erns Grundling, Ingrid Jones, Reuben Riffel, Max du Preez, Oscar van Heerden, Albert Grundlingh, Louise Viljoen and Willem Anker. </p><p><strong>Theatre</strong></p><p>See a variety of South Africa's most celebrated talent on stage – on your screen. The theatre series includes: </p><ul><li>The multi-award winning <em>Valsrivier </em>(based on Dominique Botha's acclaimed novel)<em> </em>with Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Tinarie Van Wyk Loots and Stian Bam, theatre direction by Janice Honeyman, and film direction by Christiaan Olwagen </li><li>The 2020 Fiësta Award winner for Best Production: <em>Die poet, wie's hy?</em>, a celebration of poet Adam Small's work, starring Dean Balie with theatre direction by Frieda van den Heever, and film direction by Christiaan Olwagen  </li><li>Reza de Wet's classic play <em>Mis</em> with Nicole Holm, Martelize Kolver, Jane de Wet and Laudo Liebenberg, theatre direction by Wolf Britz, and film direction by Jaco Bouwer</li><li>Adam Small's celebrated <em>Krismis van Map Jacobs </em>with June van Merch, Ilse Klink, Dann-Jacques Mouton and Elton Landrew, theatre direction by Jason Jacobs, and film direction by Jaco Bouwer</li><li><em>Ferine and Ferase</em> with theatre legends Andrew Buckland and Sylvaine Strike, theatre direction by Toni Morkel, and film direction by Jaco Bouwer</li><li>Satirical game show <em>Off the Record</em> with Standard Bank Young Artist winner Jefferson “J Bobs" Tshabalala and guests </li><li>Hannes van Wyk in the popular one-man show <em>Sê groete vir ma</em></li></ul><p><strong>Classical Music</strong></p><p>Viewers are spoiled for choice<strong> </strong>with a variety of concerts including the world-renowned Stellenbosch University Choir; pianist Megan-Geoffrey Prins; Italian opera arias with baritone Theo Magongoma, soprano Kimmy Skota, and tenor Arthur Swan; Cape Town Baroque Ensemble with Handel's London operas; mezzo-soprano Minette du Toit Pearce accompanied by Phillipus Hugo; pianists Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhães; and Zorada Themmingh on the organ of the Moederkerk in Stellenbosch.</p><p><strong>Contemporary</strong> <strong>Music</strong></p><p>Highlights of the contemporary music series include:</p><ul><li>A celebration of David Kramer's 70<sup>th</sup> birthday with Emo Adams, Loukmaan Adams, Robin Auld, Schalk Joubert and friends in the tribute: <em>Boland to Broadway</em>. </li><li>Karen Zoid performing<span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;"> </span>20 of her greatest hits with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra </li><li><em>Karoo Suite</em> – an ode to the beauty of the Great Karoo in word, music, and spectacular images with Coenie de Villiers and Deon Meyer</li><li>Luna Paige, Ramon Alexander, and Frazer Barry exploring the origins and showcasing the variety of Afrikaans music in <em>Smeltkroes</em>.</li></ul><p>Also on the music menu: Amanda Strydom, Spoegwolf, Die Heuwels Fantasties (with Francois van Coke, Tarryn Lamb and Jack Parow), jazz, cabaret, folk, swing, and poems set to music.</p><p><strong>Stand-up Comedy</strong></p><p> Enjoy the sharp wit of 13 of the country's most popular stand-up comedians: Marc Lottering, Schalk Bezuidenhout, Nik Rabinowitz, Shimmy Isaacs, Alan Committie, Bennie Fourie, Alfred Adriaan, Melt Sieberhagen, Kagiso Mokgadi, Joey Rasdien, Hannes Brümmer, Conrad Koch and Wayne McKay.</p><p>Woordfees TV will broadcast predominantly in Afrikaans but will also include English and multi-lingual works. All Afrikaans narrative works produced by the Woordfees festival, such as plays and discussion, will have English subtitles.<br></p><p>Non-subscribers can buy one of several one-month subscription packages for the month of October and enjoy the Toyota SU Woordfees on TV and DStv Catch Up in the safety of their homes.</p><p>The launch broadcast of around 20 minutes is still available to be viewed on the Toyota SU Woordfees Facebook page and the DStv YouTube channel. </p><ul><li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/woordfees">https://www.facebook.com/woordfees</a></li><li><a href="https://www.youtube.com/dstv">https://www.youtube.com/dstv</a></li></ul><p><strong><em> * </em></strong><em>Toyota SU Woordfees TV pop-up is aired from 1 to 7 October on DStv channel 150 in South Africa and on GOtv channel 15 in Namibia. Watch woordfees.co.za and the Woordfees social media platforms for new highlights and information on Fees TV.</em></p><p><em>For enquiries, contact Danie Marais: danie_marais@sun.ac.za</em><em>               </em></p>2021-09-29T22:00:00Z 2021-09-29T22:00:00.0000000ZToyota SU Woordfees / Toyota US Woordfees
Dave Pepler and Science Café Stellenbosch make TV debut at Woordfeeshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8597Dave Pepler and Science Café Stellenbosch make TV debut at Woordfees<p></p><p>Well-known environmentalist <a href="https://davepepler.com/">Dave Pepler</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ScienceCafeStellenbosch">Science Café Stellenbosch</a> will make their debut television appearance as part of the <a href="https://www.woordfees.co.za/eng/hoe-kyk-ek-woordfees-tv/">Toyota US Woordfees package on DStv</a> next week.</p><p>Since 2015, Dave's hosting of the Stellenbosch Science Cafés has become a regular attraction at Woordfees, tackling topics ranging from the human microbiome and swarm intelligence of termites, to tasting honey bush tea, the link between sugar and stress and the evolution of skin colour.</p><p>This year, Dave will confront the climate change crisis from the perspective of the world's oceans and specifically that of the Southern Ocean – that vast and stormy patch of ocean stretching uninterrupted from the farthermost tip of the African continent to Antarctica.</p><p>His guest is Alakendra Roychoudhury, professor in environmental and marine biogeochemistry in SU's Department of Earth Sciences. </p><p>Part of the conversation is a slide show with an animation of the major ocean currents circulating the globe, the largest and strongest of these being the Antarctic Circumpolar Current circling Antarctica. Another animation shows the rise in global temperature since 1880.</p><p>“Prof Roychoudhury does not beat around the bush," says Dave. “This is by far the most important topic I've ever addressed in a science café conversation."</p><p>Science Café Stellenbosch will be broadcast at <a href="https://www.woordfees.co.za/eng/woordfees-tv-program/science-cafe/">16:15 on 1 October 2021 on DStv channel 150</a> (dates and time are subject to change).</p><ul><li>Click <a href="https://www.woordfees.co.za/eng/toyota-us-woordfees-produksies-2021/">here </a>for the full Woordfees programme guide. </li></ul><p><em>On the photo: Dave Pepler (left) in converation with Prof Alakendra Roychoudhury during the recording of Science Cafe Stellenbosch at HomeBrew Films in Cape Town. Photo: Wiida Fourie-Basson​</em></p>2021-09-26T22:00:00Z 2021-09-26T22:00:00.0000000ZMedia & Communication, Faculty of Science
SU academics heading for a TV screen near youhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8591SU academics heading for a TV screen near you<p>​If you were watching TV in the early 1980s, you'll probably remember the dubbed series <em>Beste Professor.</em> Originally broadcast as <em>The Paper Chase</em> in the United States, the series featured brilliant law student James T. Hart (played by James Stephens) and his tough time under grumpy professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. (John Houseman).</p><p>Those were the days before couch potatoes could access a host of programmes at the touch of a button, and the weeks between episodes felt like ages. Of course, Hart was everyone's hero, but the professor was a star in his own right for the authoritative way in which he shared his expertise and knowledge with his students.</p><p>Now fans of the series can look forward to a revival of sorts with a number of inserts titled <em>Professor Presenting</em> scheduled to be broadcast on DStv as part of the Toyota SU Woordfees in the first week of October. Although in a completely different format, the inserts retain a key element of the original <em>Paper Chase </em>formula, namely an expert sharing his or her knowledge. (Click <a href="/english/Documents/BESTE%20PROFESSOR%20-%20Datums%20en%20Tye_finaal.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-9-5">here</strong></a> for the <em>Professor Presenting</em> schedule.)<br></p><p>However, this time around, it is fact-based, not fiction. All the experts presenting are leading academics associated with Stellenbosch University (SU), delivering accessible talks on interesting topics. The presentations are made in TED Talk-style and are 10 minutes each. </p><p>Economist <strong>Prof Johan Fourie</strong>, for instance, tells us what we stand to learn from historical data. Cellular biologist <strong>Dr Hanél Sadie-van Gijsen</strong> explores whether natural products can really aid weight loss, while engineer <strong>Prof Thinus Booysen</strong> shares some tips to keep the “demanding donkey" on your ceiling (aka your geyser) in check. </p><p>Microbiologist <strong>Prof Karin Jacobs</strong> marvels at the wide variety of fungi in fynbos, and futurist <strong>Dr Morne Mostert</strong> provides guidance for better crisis management. <strong>Prof Stella Viljoen</strong>, a Visual Arts lecturer, exposes racism and sexism in the magazine <em>Scope</em>, while botanist <strong>Prof Nox Makunga</strong> enthuses about the range of South African plants offering health benefits.</p><p>We can change the world, provided we put our children first, says public health expert <strong>Prof Mark Tomlinson</strong>. Data scientist <strong>Prof Kanshu Rajaratnam</strong> points out pitfalls in the COVID-19 information landscape, and clinician <strong>Prof Helmuth Reuter</strong> uses actual case studies to explain how our immune system fights off arthritis and viral pneumonia.</p><p>So, to attend class without leaving the couch, do tune in. Long live our TV professors!</p><p>* The Toyota SU Woordfees 2021 be aired from 1 to 7 October on DStv channel 150 in South Africa, and on GOtv channel 15 in Namibia. Visit <a href="http://www.woordfees.co.za/">www.woordfees.co.za</a> and the Woordfees social media platforms for highlights and information on Fees TV. Click <a href="/english/Documents/BESTE%20PROFESSOR%20-%20Datums%20en%20Tye_finaal.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-9-5">here</strong></a> for the <em>Professor Presenting</em> schedule.<br></p><p>​<br></p>2021-09-22T22:00:00Z 2021-09-22T22:00:00.0000000ZCorporate Communication and Marketing Division/ | Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking
The Faculty of Law is making a difference through its social impact initiativeshttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8583The Faculty of Law is making a difference through its social impact initiatives<p><span style="text-align:justify;">​Despite being forced to close its doors from 26 March until 21 June in 2020, the Stellenbosch University Law Clinic still managed to provide access to legal services for close to 1 000 individuals. Assistance was provided in various legal fields, which was facilitated through legal practitioners employed at the clinic and through the Faculty of Law students under the supervision of these practitioners.</span><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In 2020, the Law Clinic assisted the greatest number of clients with eviction matters in the Western Cape. Ninety-five client files relating to eviction problems were opened, with a total of 120 matters of clients being finalised and simultaneously 200 pending files being worked on. The clinic successfully finalised 26 eviction applications, either by reaching mutually acceptable agreements that were made court orders or by successfully opposing eviction applications. Since the beginning of 2020, to date a total a total of 36 families were successfully assisted with their relocations from farms in Stellenbosch, Paarl, Simondium and Wellington. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Financial Literacy Project (FLP), a collaboration between the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, is aimed at equipping members of the community with financial skills that will enable them to make informed decisions that will be advantageous to their economic wellbeing. The FLP provides community members with fundamental financial concepts to assist them in their financial endeavours and involves student volunteers from Financial Planning 378 and the Law of Civil Procedure modules. During 2019 and 2020, students in groups of 3–4 provided training sessions to farm workers and high school learners. In 2019, 29 presentations were delivered to 879 high school learners and approximately 650 farm workers on 8 farms were visited. In 2020, during the hard lockdown, the in-person approach was converted to a digital one. Instead of visiting schools and farms, each group of students received 2 topics on which to prepare a video or PowerPoint presentation for both school learners and farm workers. These efforts culminated in a financial literacy package comprising different financial literacy topics such as the Consumer Protection Act and How to Distinguish Between Wants and Needs. The financial literacy package was delivered in various languages to eleven 11 schools and 18 farms and organisations. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The FLP also forms part of other training initiatives offered at the Law Clinic, such as the Women's Empowerment Toolbox workshop in which 43 Somerset West community members participated. The workshop focussed on various issues such as discrimination and sexual harassment. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Throughout 2021, each student group is required to produce a concept concerning the teaching of a particular financial literacy topic. A list of topics, target audiences and instructional media from which each group will make a selection is provided. For example, a group may choose the topic The Importance of Budgeting aimed at a specific audience, such as primary school learners, to be delivered in the form of posters. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The FLP hopes to reach an increasingly larger segment of the community through different media platforms, considering the COVID-19 pandemic and our students' restricted access to meeting in person. Through the adoption of this approach, we hope to build up resources to further educate different and larger communities in the future. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Another example of an initiative under the auspices of the FLP is the design, publication and dissemination of the A3 calendar, which is printed and distributed on a large scale to communities in the Cape Winelands area. The calendar contains tips for managing one's finances. In addition, an A3 information sheet containing more detailed tips for managing one's finances has been created and distributed throughout these communities. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Law Clinic has conducted various training and empowerment initiatives over the past year, including the Women's Empowerment Toolbox workshop and constitutional rights-based training. At the beginning of December 2020, the clinic presented a Legislative Training workshop to members of the Witzenberg Water for Justice Coalition in Bella Vista. Material that specifically accompanied the workshop and that was also intended for use in the future was developed and prepared in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Various exciting collaborations between the Law Clinic and key role players are in place with a view to effectuating social impact, inter alia, through training and empowerment. Towards the latter part of 2020, Black Sash, which is one of South Africa's foremost human rights organisations, approached the clinic to collaborate on a potential high-impact matter. The mission of Black Sash is to work towards the realisation of socio-economic rights as outlined in the South African Constitution with an emphasis on social security and social protection for the most vulnerable to reduce poverty and inequality. During September 2020, Black Sash released a research report titled <em>Social Grants: Challenging Reckless Lending in South Africa</em>. The report demonstrates how South Africa's extensive social grant system that was meant to provide resources to the poor has been abused to serve as collateral for debt granted on exploitative terms and conditions. The report ultimately advocates for urgent remedial action, including legislative alignment, stricter enforcement of existing restrictions on predatory lending and improved financial education. In Black Sash's efforts to give effect to the findings and the recommendations of the report, it identified the Law Clinic as the organisation with the necessary legal expertise in debt justice to assist in this important and ongoing project. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">During the time when the Law Clinic had to close its doors, the clinic decided to launch a social media campaign to create awareness regarding certain rights and obligations of relevance in the current circumstances. Various Facebook and website posts were made relating to the clinic's fields of expertise but also regarding other matters, for example labour-related legal advice and information. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr Mary Nel is head of the Ubuntu Learning Community Project, which is an educational partnership between Stellenbosch University and the Department of Correctional Services. In 2020, a 17-session interdisciplinary short course to be presented in Brandvlei Correctional Centre was planned. The course incorporated insights from history, economics, art and music, English and law. The participants included 20 Stellenbosch University students and the same number of incarcerated persons. Unfortunately, after the first month, COVID-19 forced the termination of the face-to-face sessions. In September 2020, Dr Nel finally managed to re-enter Brandvlei Correctional Centre to meet with the incarcerated participants. She further obtained permission to start planning a series of online engagements in the form of seminars, workshops and meetings for the incarcerated participants from the 2019 and 2020 Ubuntu Learning Short Course cohorts. They also held a very successful in-person creative writing workshop behind bars in October 2020. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">It was decided that due to the ongoing COVID-19-related concerns, it would not be prudent to recommence with the short course in 2021. Instead, a series of online seminars was planned in consultation with the participants. The planning of online interaction with incarcerated participants took longer than expected, but by March 2021, the infrastructure and permission to commence were in place. The first session entailed a very fruitful and inspiring interaction between incarcerated participants and a formerly incarcerated Unisa lecturer. It took place recently, with a series of sessions coming up over the next few months. These will entail both experts, for example Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron, now Prison Inspector, addressing and engaging with participants and outside Ubuntu Learning participants from past years interacting with those behind bars. While these sessions are only envisaged as an alternative until the face-to-face short course can recommence, the online interactions initiated by the COVID-19 restrictions are another example of the innovation of the Ubuntu Learning initiative. The online meetings between Stellenbosch University and outside participants and those behind bars are a first for South Africa.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The social impact initiatives of the Faculty of Law are encouraging as these are evident of the faculty's commitment to making a difference in society"<br><br></p><p>​<br></p>2021-09-20T22:00:00Z 2021-09-20T22:00:00.0000000ZChevaan Peters
Cross-sector partnerships are crucial for long-term social impacthttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8585Cross-sector partnerships are crucial for long-term social impact<p>​​​​​<br></p><p>In line with the global requirement for higher education institutions (HEIs) to maximise their community engagement through partnerships and utilising the quadruple helix which includes government, industry, business and civil society, Stellenbosch University (SU) recently hosted its annual Social Impact Symposium. The symposium was entitled <em>Reviewing 'Engaged' partnerships for Social Impact: Catalysing cross-sector partnerships for long-term social impact.</em></p><p>According to Ms Ernestine Meyer-Adams, Director of the Division for Social Impact, this was done as part of SU's commitment to drive alignment to the SU's Vision 2040 strategic goal of purposeful partnerships and inclusive networks. </p><p>In addition to a great number of senior SU staff, academics and students attending, the event was also well supported by several external professional organisations in the sector, i.e the South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF) which was represented by several HEIs such as University of the Western Cape (UWC), University of Venda (Univen), Rhodes University (RU), Central University of Technology (CUT), University of the Free State (UFS), Wits, Nelson Mandela University (NMU), to name but a few.</p><p>Meyer-Adams stated that the 2021 symposium allowed SU to analyse and celebrate the engaged collaborations that have managed to journey together ethically and authentically towards sustainability through mutually beneficial relationship building. The Social Impact (SI) partners of SU that were invited to present, were identified from partnership initiatives that are registered on the Social Impact Knowledge Platform.</p><p>The Faculties of Education, Military Science, Economic and Management Sciences, Law and Theology showcased their initiatives through dual presentations with their external partners. These initiatives demonstrated collaboration between different faculties without the need to cross any policy barriers, said Meyer-Adams.</p><p>Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation at SU, said the symposium was a platform for the University to review and rethink its strategy and way forward as an engaged university. “We must constantly and continuously reflect on society through teaching, learning and research, as well as partnerships to make a long-term and positive impact on society. The symposium allowed us to rethink, review and reimagine our social impact strategy," said Van Rooi.</p><p>Delivering the keynote address on the topic of <em>Cross-sectoral engaged partnerships: Transformative Power of Higher Education to Deliver Effective Societal Impact,</em> <span style="text-decoration:line-through;"> </span>renowned academic in the sector <span style="text-decoration:line-through;"> </span>Dr Cornel Hart explained how and why community engagement, partnerships and engaged scholarship became responsibilities of higher educational institutions.</p><p>With her extensive experience in research methodology and assessing community development, Hart noticed a new challenge for institutions, namely to measure and evaluate the extent of their impact on society and the footprint they have made.</p><p> </p><p>As part of her presentation, she shared a SI typology that is a framework to plan SI projects in a professional and well-organised manner and, at the same time, measure and evaluate SI projects. She encouraged project planners to use the typology in designing so that the project will promote cross-sector partnerships across the entire institution while addressing the National Development Plan (NDP) and other regional and international development goals.</p><p>The highlight of the symposium was the dual presentations by SU academics and their external societal partners who shared in their joint social impact initiatives and the positive impact their initiatives had on communities.<br></p><p>“Building on this solid foundation, the future looks promising for changing the plight of communities through solid, ethical and sustainable university/community partnerships," Meyer-Adams commented.<br></p><p> The joint presentations included the following:<br></p><p>Faculty of <strong>Military Science</strong> and Stable Seas company – The Stable Seas Index: <em>Exploring maritime security data sets to benefit fishing communities in the Western Cape</em></p><p>Faculty of <strong>Education</strong> and Paternoster NPC - <em>Reflections on trust and mutual respect in the educational objectives in a Public Private Partnership</em></p><p>Faculty of <strong>Economic and Management Sciences</strong> and the <strong>Law </strong>Faculty with mutual partner Department of Correctional Services – <em>Prison University Education through the Ubuntu Learning Community and Ex-Cell Workshop</em></p><p>Faculty of <strong>Theology</strong> with Ekklesia's ecumenical partnership: <em>The key to significant social impact​</em></p><p><br></p>2021-09-20T22:00:00Z 2021-09-20T22:00:00.0000000ZCorporate Communication and Marketing/Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder
SU/Kayamandi initiative uses art to change negative attitudes towards mental illness https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8552SU/Kayamandi initiative uses art to change negative attitudes towards mental illness <p></p><p>In a first-of-its-kind Stellenbosch University (SU) social impact initiative, academics and artists worked together to combat the stigmatisation of those with mental illness.</p><p>Driven by Prof Ben Loos and Dr Tando Maduna (both from Physiological Sciences) as well as Prof Elmarie Costandius (Visual Arts), the project involved the creation of artworks inspired by the scientific micrographs of human brain cells generated by postgraduate SU Science students as part of their research. Kayamandi artists Gerald Choga, Portia Mphangwa, Nomsa Mukwira, Zacharia Mukwira, Simon Shumi and Zingisa Vula selected the fluorescence and electron microscopy images that appealed to them and used them as a departure point for their creations, which reflect their perceptions, emotions and experiences regarding mental illness. </p><p>The artists, SU staff and students as well as Kayamandi health workers and other community members all seek to rectify inaccuracies about mental illness that are causing negative attitudes towards those suffering from mental health conditions. With this project, they hope to alleviate stigmatisation, foster a better understanding, and improve behaviour towards people with mental illness. </p><p>It all started when Physiological Sciences students' research found that some communities were often either uninformed or misinformed about mental illness, exposing community members with mental health conditions to neglect and perceptions of being lazy or even afflicted by witchcraft. In response, Prof Costandius decided to use the medium of art to address this and involved artists from an existing project focussing on the socio-political history of the arts and documentation of material culture in historically disadvantaged areas around Stellenbosch. “So, the approach was to use visual access and visual literacy to give insight into certain stigmatised medical conditions, including depression, neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's, and teenage suicides," explains Prof Loos.  </p><p>“The artists' comments about their experiences are most insightful," he says. “Their work provides a real window into some of the thoughts, fears and hopes associated with the specific illnesses in our immediate communities. The process brought the science micrographs to life and created an additional context to the artworks."</p><p>Adding further value to the initiative are the isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans translations of the explanatory legends accompanying each artwork. “Access to language together with the pictures was important to us, so the translations allow for a much wider reach," says Loos. Science communication is further supported by having postgraduate Science students explain the science in lay terms to visitors viewing the artworks. “The art makes it much easier to explain the scientific work behind it, and the problem we hope to address through the project," Loos adds.</p><p>The artworks have been taken up in the University's art collection and will be used for either a single, permanent exhibition or various temporary exhibitions across SU. The collection is available for in-person viewing on the first floor of the Jan Mouton Learning.</p><p>For more information, contact Profs Loos or Costandius at <a href="mailto:bloos@sun.ac.za">bloos@sun.ac.za</a> or <a href="mailto:elmarie@sun.ac.za">elmarie@sun.ac.za</a> respectively.<br></p><p>​<br></p>2021-09-12T22:00:00Z 2021-09-12T22:00:00.0000000ZCorporate Communication and Marketing Division/Afdeling Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder
SU book project to have impact on education during and beyond pandemichttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8553SU book project to have impact on education during and beyond pandemic<p>​In a social impact project of Stellenbosch University (SU), a series of four books will be published that aim to empower learners, teachers, parents and principals in dealing with the demands of teaching and learning both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.<br></p><p>With the second book in the series recently published, Prof Jonathan Jansen, distinguished professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies hopes that the publicati<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Learning-under-Lockdown-Voices-of-South-Africa’s-Children__5b8744b0a3d3fbe7ee080c9509097041%20-%20Copy.jpg" alt="Learning-under-Lockdown-Voices-of-South-Africa’s-Children__5b8744b0a3d3fbe7ee080c9509097041 - Copy.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:162px;" />ons will have a meaningful and sustainable impact on education into the future.<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/9781928314493.jpg" alt="9781928314493.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:137px;" /><br>The first book, <em>Learning under lockdown: Voices of South Africa's children</em>,<em> </em>appeared in September 2020. It<em> </em>comprises<em> </em>approximately 400 essays by learners between the ages of 9 and 19, sharing their experiences of coping with the lockdown and staying on track with their schoolwork.<em> </em>Prof Jansen and SU alumna Emily O'Ryan compiled the book after working through 640 submissions from learners across the country. The book is available at CNA bookstores.<br></p><p><em>Teaching in and beyond pandemic times,</em> the second instalment in the series was published in July 2021. Edited by<em> </em>Prof Jansen and Theola Farmer-Phillips, a Mitchells Plain teacher and SU postgraduate student, this book has been compiled from the teacher's perspective. It contains several educators' accounts of the teaching challenges and successes they experienced during the lockdown. </p><p>Reflecting on this latest release, Prof Jansen describes it as an essential resource for both students and practising teachers to enrich their teaching skills and empower themselves. Unlike traditional academic publications, it was written by teachers for teachers, about immediate teaching concerns, in the first person.</p><p>The teachers' monologues were essential to enable readers to take ownership of the publication, he says. “In other words, this was not about academics overwriting teachers' voices. The intention was to give teachers a platform to express their anxieties and fears, but also share their hopes and dreams for education beyond the pandemic." </p><p>The COVID-19 restrictions forced contributors to interact in cyberspace, which, in fact, broadened the project reach. “Teachers also partnered with one another across phases and grades in ways not witnessed in pre-pandemic times. This kind of momentum must be sustained, given the endless possibilities for professional learning and networking among teachers in schools," Jansen says enthusiastically.</p><p>The publication also contains practical information on topics such as hybrid teaching beyond the pandemic. “The teachers' stories demonstrate how schools in disadvantaged areas can move beyond sole dependence on copied materials or textbooks," says Jansen. In addition, policymakers and education planners will also find the book a valuable resource on what schools need to close the academic gap between the privileged and the poor.</p><p>The idea for the project started in 2020 upon seeing how teachers, learners and parents struggled with schoolwork and the impact of the pandemic on teaching and learning, Jansen explains. “I felt the need to do more than just conduct research and write traditional academic texts. I wanted to generate the kind of books that would speak to the crisis of the time in my field," he says. The idea evolved into the conceptualisation of four books that address teachers, learners, principals and parents respectively. </p><p>SU's Social Impact Funding Committee made available funding for the start-up costs of the first two books. “With the generous funding from the University, we could launch the series, which, in essence, examines learning, teaching, parenting and leading under lockdown," says Jansen.</p><p>Work on the third and fourth books is well under way, with publication scheduled for next year. The authors are also negotiating with the Western Cape Department of Education to supply copies of the second book to schools so that teachers would have easy access to this valuable resource. </p><p>Above all, Prof Jansen is pleased that the project has managed to connect campus and communities. “This kind of social impact is meaningful and enduring, both inside and outside higher education institutions," he says. </p><p> </p><p>​<br></p>2021-09-12T22:00:00Z 2021-09-12T22:00:00.0000000ZCorporate Communication and Marketing Division/Afdeling Korporatiewe Kommunikasie en Bemarking - Sandra Mulder