Stellenbosch University (SU) implemented 18 academic programmes for the year in an effort to decolonize the curriculum and keep it African-centred.
The programmes have successfully been renewed and accredited, with 14 more revised programmes already approved by the senate to be implemented in 2021.
SU spokesperson Sandra Mulder said the 14 programmes were being evaluated by the SA Qualifications Authority (Saqa).
Professor Arnold Schoonwinkel, SU’s vice-rector for learning and teaching, said the renewal of their academic offering takes place on a regular basis.
According to Schoonwinkel, there were a number of perspectives on the decolonization of the curriculum.
“As we are based in Africa, presenting the knowledge to students in Africa, it is essential to incorporate the local reality and context into the academic programme,” he said.
“We have a lot of material available, produced by our African authors, that incorporates our own reality and which our students need to be introduced to.
“However, decolonization does not mean that the work done by the rest of the world can be ignored.”
Schoonwinkel said four years ago, the purposeful and continuous renewal of academic programmes became a focus area for the responsibility centre at learning and teaching.
“Over the past few years, SU has been refining its processes regarding programme renewal and role-players’ functions have been redefined.”
Schoonwinkel said that gave new momentum to the renewal of SU’s degree programmes.
Wellington Radu, Saqa’s director: advocacy and communication, said Saqa completed the registration of 6268 new, realigned qualifications to the 10-level National Qualifications Framework (NQF) by the end of December 31 last year.
“Thus, higher education institutions and students can respectively offer and pursue these qualifications knowing that they have the Saqa stamp of approval.”
Schoonwinkel said the decolonization of the curriculum was an important part of programme renewal. “But we have to keep in mind that there are several other dimensions of programme renewal that also need attention.”
Schoonwinkel says SU wants to train students to become leaders in their respective fields and to easily adapt to a diverse, multicultural world.