Unanimous support for Maties English plan - SRC

2015-11-20 20:36
Stellenbosch University. (Photo: Stellenbosch University)

Stellenbosch University. (Photo: Stellenbosch University)

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Cape Town - All Stellenbosch University student representative structures have come out in support of the proposal to make English the primary language of instruction, the SRC said on Friday.

The structures unanimously voted in favour of the initial recommendations by the rector’s management team on the language policy, said Student Representative Council spokesperson James de Villiers.

He said the move clearly showed a commitment to ensure that no student was excluded and that each one had a fair opportunity of succeeding.

Adding their support to the SRC were the Prim committee (representing student housing), the Academic Affairs committee (representing all faculties), the Societies Council (representing all societies), the Military representative council (representing all military students), and the Tygerberg SRC.

De Villiers thanked the university staff who made the "brave move" to show their support.

A group of more than 220 academics and professional support services staff at the university issued a statement earlier in the week.

"The choice of English as the primary language of instruction, with augmented support for Afrikaans and isiXhosa, is based on the principles of social justice and inclusivity," they said in a statement.

The decision to make English the language of meetings, documents and university business enabled the institution to move effectively beyond its political past, they said.

This week, the executive committee of the university's council said it was unlikely that the language of tuition would be changed to English next year.

This came after a statement from the university's executive committee that said the language implementation plan for next year had already been approved. It also said the minimum offering in each language would remain in place.

"Any possible future changes in the language policy/plan shall follow the statutory route," it said in a statement.

University spokesperson Susan van der Merwe said on Monday that the university’s language policy could not be changed before the end of 2015 because of statutory directives. She said, however, that this should not be seen as an instrument to disadvantage English-speaking students. 

Read more on:    stellenbosch university  |  stellenbosch  |  education
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