New teaching policy for Maties

2009-02-24 08:40

Stellenbosch - A new teaching model to implement Stellenbosch University's language policy was approved at a special council meeting over the weekend.

This means the four biggest faculties will implement parallel-medium teaching (PMT) - as opposed to the present system of dual-medium teaching (T option) - in the first year of teaching.

The model for smaller faculties like Health Sciences and Law is still to be discussed.

Should PMT (separate streams for Afrikaans and English) prove to be unsustainable in the smaller faculties due to cost considerations or low student numbers, the T option will be considered, said Mohamed Shaikh, senior director: Communication and Marketing.

The three biggest faculties (Economic and Management Sciences, Natural Sciences and AgriSciences) will implement the new teaching model in 2010.

This means four faculties (including Engineering) will be offering PMT in the first study year in 2010.

Provision has been made for the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences to plan the implementation of PMT in the first year for 2011, which will probably involve the realignment of the curriculum.

University can reposition itself

Prof Russel Botman, the university's rector, said Stellenbosch wants to be a university where students can obtain their undergraduate qualifications in the language of their choice - be it Afrikaans or English.

"With these unanimous council decisions the University can now reposition itself," Botman said.

Prof Christo Viljoen, former vice-rector: operations and at present vice-president of the convocation, said it meant students in these four faculties can study in Afrikaans or English, provided they are also exposed to the other language.

A subcommittee must still determine the guarantees and parameters for the implementation of the policy.

One of the guarantees will have to be a minimum exposure to Afrikaans at undergraduate level, for example.

Viljoen emphasised that this was not a new language policy, but the practical implementation of the language policy and language plan that had been accepted in 2002 and adapted in 2008.