Stellenbosch Tries Again on Language Policy

May 23, 2016

Stellenbosch University on Sunday announced that its governing council had approved new principles for a language policy. Stellenbosch is one of South Africa's leading research universities, but the dominance of Afrikaans language courses at the university is seen as discouraging by many black students and potential students who are fluent in English and see Afrikaans as a relic of apartheid. The university has been going back and forth on how much it will emphasize one language or the other, facing criticism on all sides.

Under the principles announced Sunday:

  • English offerings should be expanded so that no student is excluded from programs because of the lack of English instruction.
  • Afrikaans offerings should not be decreased, and should be "further promoted."
  • "[A] commitment to the development and promotion of isiXhosa as academic language."
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