Students protest in Stellenbosch over language

2015-07-27 19:24
Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Stellenbosch University rector and vice chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers has slammed a protest, which broke out in a lecture hall at the university on Monday morning. 

A student sent News24 a video of the disruption, saying the objections emanated from the university’s language policy and was led by members of the Open Stellenbosch movement.

“Since my inauguration in April I have confirmed the right of students to protest on more than one occasion, but provided that they comply with the processes and procedures applicable to all university entities,” said De Villiers. 

“Students do not, however, have the right to disrupt any academic activities, infringe on the rights of other students to study or disrupt administrative processes.” 

The university earlier this month announced it would focus on the “consistent and possible accelerated implementation” of its approved Language Policy and Language Plan.

This “evolutionary process” would include monitoring and corrective measures, and give appropriate attention to the needs of students who maintain that language implementation processes adversely affect their academic performance.

In the video, students are seen leaving a third year political science lecture hall at the university's Arts and Social Sciences Building shortly after 09:00 on Monday morning. A handful started chanting.

De Villiers confirmed a sit-in also took place in one of the university’s administrative buildings.

An Office for Transformation is in the process of being established, and a Transformation Committee has been constituted.

On their Facebook page, hours after the protest, Open Stellenbosch called for an end to the t-option - where lessons are given in both English and Afrikaans.

“University management has ignored our calls for the transformation of the language policy, which should cater for the needs of all students at this institution. How are we supposed to get the degrees we are paying for if we don't understand what is being taught?”

De Villiers said the students had no need to resort to mass action. 

“Our management team is eager to engage with the student community at round-table discussions. 

“I have extended numerous invitations to our students. At the beginning of this semester, various student groups received invitations to such a round-table discussion in August, and we envisage this as the beginning of a regular discussion forum.”

Read more on:    university of stellenbosch  |  cape town  |  education  |  protests

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.