'Unity the greatest challenge at Stellenbosch University'

2015-08-31 14:15
Stellenbosch University. (File, Stellenbosch University)

Stellenbosch University. (File, Stellenbosch University)

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Cape Town - Creating unity at Stellenbosch University is what the newly-elected SRC chairperson has identified as his biggest goal.

“I want to get all the student bodies and societies around one table, because this needs to be a united effort,” said theology student Axoxile Qina.

But, he said, he was aware that ensuring unity during turbulent times would not be easy.

The university management will on Tuesday appear before the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training to table their transformation plans after allegations of racism at the institution, highlighted in the documentary Luister (Listen), in which students tell of discrimination on and off campus.

Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers last week said he welcomed the invitation, adding that the university would subsequently also provide feedback to Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande on its transformation challenges, progress made, current initiatives and future plans.

Qina, a master’s student, said his vision was to unite the campus through their common humanity.

‘Turbulent times’

“There are going to be some big challenges on the road ahead, but I am not one to shy away from a challenge. I am looking forward to this opportunity.”

De Villiers has also previously said that the university "finds itself in turbulent times, and it is now more than ever that we need visionary leadership".

Last week, portfolio committee chairperson Yvonne Phosa said they had noted "with serious concern the allegations of racism and violence" at the campus.

"We are 21 years into a democratic South Africa and such alleged acts certainly have no place in our society."

She said while they were aware of some measures that had been put in place, such efforts had to be "sped up" in light of the allegations revealed in the Luister video.

Read more on:    stellenbosch university  |  cape town  |  racism  |  education

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