Stellenbosch University aims to diversify, provide greater inclusivity and transform into a “twenty-first century” institution by its centenary in 2018 through a newly tabled five-year holistic strategy.
The university council this week approved a management-developed action plan – the ‘Institutional Intention and Strategy for 2013 to 2018’ – for the institute to stimulate culture, inclusivity and equity, innovation, diversity and transformation.
The strategy included a refined institutional plan, a management vision for 2030, transformation and welcoming culture plans, and a five-year growth strategy, which were “anchored in the realisation that universities worldwide are in some form of transformation mode due to the changing needs and realities of the communities they serve … ,” Stellenbosch University rector and vice-chancellor Professor Russel Botman said.
As outlined in the new development plan, which comprised several strategies aimed at taking the university forward, the institution planned to increase the number of coloured, black and Indian students to 50% of enrolled students by 2018 as part of its transformation.
Of the 27 823 students enrolled at the university in 2012, 18 602 or 66.9% were white and the remaining 9 221 of those enrolled comprised black, coloured and Indian students.
This was a dramatic change from the 762 or 5.4% of black, coloured and Indian students enrolled in 1990.
The university also planned to introduce a fully bilingual academic offering, through parallel sessions or simultaneous interpreting, which enabled students to listen to their lectures in English or Afrikaans.
The university’s Faculty of Engineering would, by 2014, have all lectures for undergraduate engineering students interpreted in either English or Afrikaans, dependent on which language the lecturer chose to use.
Following a progressive pilot project, which kicked off in 2011, about 25 periods a week were currently interpreted, with up to eight different lectures taking place in the same time-slot being interpreted.
All test- and examination papers and assignments were also given in both English and Afrikaans.
Further, the council approved the amended residence placement policy, which would be released in due course.