English gets the nod from Maties
THE majority of Stellenbosch University’s Senate members yesterday approved plans to have classes taught in English next year at the traditionally Afrikaans language educational institution.
The university’s Student Representative Council said in a statement that it was “pleased” at this decision.
The SRC said “Senate has approved the recommendations made by the rector’s management team on November 12”.
“This motion by the Senate clearly solidifies campus support for inclusivity,”
They also called on the university council “to see this stance by Senate as a convincing factor in their decisions regarding the future of language policy at SU”.
If Stellenbosch University’s language policy proposals are approved, students will be able to study in English and Afrikaans next year.
This follows a months-long campaign by the Open Stellenbosch movement which has campaigned for access to education in English.
Open Stellenbosch has argued that offering the majority of the university’s classes in Afrikaans and not other languages meant that access to education had been limited.
In response, the university announced recently that it wanted English as the primary teaching and communication language from as early as January.
The university’s changed language policy awaits approval by its Council at the end of this month.
If passed, English would become the lingua franca of meetings at residences as well as of administration, including meetings, official documents and services at reception desks.
Afrikaans advocacy groups like AfriForum and the FW de Klerk Foundation have expressed dismay at the language shift.