Stellenbosch SRC backs English as teaching medium

Cape Town – The Stellenbosch University Student Representative Council [SRC] on Tuesday expressed concern over council’s decision on the language policy, saying it provided no real solutions.

SRC spokesperson James de Villiers said in a statement: “We are afraid the motion regarding language implies no real change at the university, ultimately resulting in many students that will stay excluded on this campus.”

The SRC has been calling for the language policy to be changed, making English the main medium of instruction.

At the weekend, the Senate announced that it had supported a motion in support of the university management's proposal.

Multilingual offering an ‘asset’

On Monday, council in a statement reportedly said language should never be an obstacle for any student pursuing studies at the university who had no command of either Afrikaans or English.

"Thus council requests management to expand the necessary mechanisms to this end, and to monitor these continuously.

"If this should imply that the English academic offering exceeds the set target, it will be supported by council."

However, council said these changes should not be to the detriment of the institution's Afrikaans offering.

"Council requests that the Afrikaans undergraduate academic offering should also be increased. Council confirms that its multilingual academic offering is considered a strategic asset of SU that should be expanded as a competitive advantage," it said.

De Villiers said the SRC stuck by its call for parallel medium teaching at Stellenbosch University, with English as the primary medium of communication.

“We are concerned that council is not acknowledging to sentiments of the staff and students that is directly affected by language implementation at this institution.”

‘We expected more from council’

He said the SRC would continue to put pressure on the rector’s management team to ensure that their recommendations are put into action.

“We have already aligned ourselves with the rector’s management team’s recommendations by accepting a motion that already requires all university residences to communicate in English…”

The SRC said it believed in a truly inclusive campus.

“Unlike council, we do not believe that the current language policy is conducive to creating that environment.

“We expected more from council. We expected council to relay innovative plans about language at Stellenbosch University, to show true leadership, but unfortunately council opted to continue with the status quo,” said De Villiers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 833 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 9557 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1115 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.