[lg policy] Stellenbosch University students want to see a revision of the language policy
hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 15:35:47 UTC 2015
Stellenbosch University Students want to see a revision of the language
Author: Korporatiewe Bemarking / Corporate Marketing
A group of some 300 students convened over the lunch hour on the Rooiplein
yesterday (Wednesday 15 April) to discuss the language policy of the
University. Several staff members also attended the meeting, while
representatives of the Rhodes Must Fall movement of the University of Cape
Town also joined the meeting.
Speakers said that the language policy is indicative of larger
transformation issues at the University. The opinion was expressed that the
policy does not sufficiently cater in the needs of those students who
cannot speak Afrikaans and that the policy must be reviewed.
Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, also attended the meeting
and was request to put forward a point of view. He noted that
transformation is central everything that is being done at the University.
"I believe this university is deeply committed to transformation. This is a
key prerequisite for success. For transformation to be successful, we need
a diversity of people on campus – staff and students. But it also means we
need a diversity of knowledge, ideas, language. And we need tolerance and
respect for these different perspectives."
He committed himself to creating fora and spaces where these pertinent
issues can be discussed. "This will require courageous discussions."
Council's decision on the language policy
Multilingualism and an increase in the lecture offering in both English and
Afrikaans form the essence of the Language Policy accepted by the
Stellenbosch University Council on 22 November 2014. Council also committed
itself to make additional funding available so that at least 75% of all the
University's undergraduate modules will be offered in both English and
Afrikaans within the next five years.
The University follows a blended language model consisting of the
following: parallel medium (separate classes in Afrikaans and English),
double medium (Afrikaans and English in one class) and real time
interpreting from Afrikaans to English or from English to Afrikaans.
The new language policy gives Afrikaans and English the same status. In
2011 the module credits were 64,3% for Afrikaans and this year it is 64,5%.
By 2020 the offering must be 75%. The English module credits were only 25%
in 2011 and in 2015 it is already 63,3%. As with Afrikaans, the target is
75% by 2020.
In the Faculty of Engineering all class modules are already offered in
English and Afrikaans. The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will
reach this target by 2016.
Stellenbosch University also accepts responsibility to promote isiXhosa as
academic language and language of social interaction judiciously and where
possible. Various initiatives have been instituted at the University: as
academic field in the Department of African Languages up to PhD level;
short courses in basic communication skills; career-specific communication
in Education and Health Sciences and the discipline specific terminology
guides in for example social work, sociology, psychology, law and economic
and management sciences. The Language Centre also has developed sport
terminology in three languages for rugby and soccer (football).
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