Stellenbosch University (SU) is rooted in Africa and global in its reach. Over the past one hundred years, it has grown into a South African higher education institution with the vision to be a leading research-intensive university on the African continent, to be globally recognised as excellent, inclusive and innovative, and where knowledge is advanced in service of society. As its mission states, SU is a research-intensive university that attracts outstanding students, employ talented staff and provides a world-class environment; it is a place connected to the world, while enriching and transforming local, continental and global communities. The University’s values – excellence, compassion, equity, accountability and respect – relate to the beliefs and attitudes that guide the institution’s behaviour. All of these values are equally important, are interconnected and inform SU’s ethics code.
Starting out with four faculties (Arts, Science, Education and Agriculture), 503 students and 40 lecturing staff on 2 April 1918, SU today is home to ten faculties spread across five campuses, has a vibrant and cosmopolitan community of more than 32 000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, which include over 4 000 international students from 100 different countries. The University has about 3 300 full-time staff members and 352 postdoctoral fellows.
In 2018, SU launched its Vision 2040, as well as a strategic framework that at its core serves to cultivate a thriving Stellenbosch University, to provide a transformative student experience, to foster purposeful partnerships and inclusive networks, to promote networked and collaborative teaching and learning, to conduct research for impact, and to position SU as an employer of choice.
FACULTIES AT STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY
Stellenbosch University is embarking on a journey of networked and collaborative teaching and learning through the creation of learning communities where students, staff and alumni can experience meaningful learning. The University promotes a learning-centred approach to teaching that focuses on learning as a partnership, where students are seen as co-creators of knowledge and learning environments. Networked and collaborative learning creates an environment that encourages intellectual inquisitiveness, an essential skill for sustained critical and creative thinking.
SU offers tertiary academic programmes that are excellent and socially relevant, delivering world-class graduates ready and able to make a difference. Our traditional mode of delivery is classroom-based contact education but we are harnessing the latest technologies to create connected, networked communities where learning is interactive and collaborative.
To enhance studying on campus, several facilities have been built to provide students with safe learning spaces. The Main Library boasts a Learning Commons, which creates an innovative and stimulating learning environment and is a vibrant extension of the lecture hall. All faculties have computer areas, while the Study Centre allows students to study after hours and gives them access to high-speed internet.
Stellenbosch University values its students and is committed to delivering a transformative student experience to each one of them. Student life at our campuses is a journey – from the first contact with prospective students until they graduate and embrace the role of alumni. We therefore provide opportunities for growth to all students, including guidance, support and services to enable them to succeed. A variety of student accommodation aims to enhance students’ university experience, while societies create an environment where students can meet new people that share similar interests.
We have a long and proud sports tradition. Maties Sport aims to foster excellence in both the academic and sport performances of talented student-athletes, and to promote social cohesion and engagement in an active lifestyle among students and staff.
In order to inspire and be inspired, Stellenbosch University engages and collaborates with stakeholders, the communities we serve, industry, government and our university partners at a local, regional, continental and global level. As a tertiary institution, we are committed to South Africa and Africa and we are intensely aware of our role in and in relation to the international arena. Our collaboration and engagement approach is congruent with our values of respect, compassion and equity. SU’s Division for Social Impact views its role as enabling change through mutually beneficial associations, collaborations and partnerships between the university (staff, students and alumni) and external societal partners in government, industry and the various institutions of civil society – in local and global contexts.
A broad network of more than 150 formal international partnerships across the globe serves to achieve SU’s vision of creating partnerships on various levels. The largest number of these partnerships is in 39 countries outside of Africa and 19 partnerships on the African continent. New geographical areas of engagement include an intentional shift into more collaboration in the global South, in particular with the other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. The division SU International has as its mission to enhance the University’s African engagement and build SU’s international profile.
We have an embedded culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, which forms a vital component of our research success. Through Innovus, our industry interaction and innovation platform for the commercialisation of the University’s assets, a record number of registered trademarks, licences, patent applications, disclosures and spin-out companies have been created. The Nedbank-Stellenbosch University LaunchLab functions as a start-up incubator and business accelerator that boosts entrepreneurship through networking opportunities and mentoring for researchers, staff and students.