Newspaper clipping – The Cape Times – 19 February 2010
We’re not budging on Afrikaans: Nzimande
The government had no desire to do away with Afrikaans as a language of teaching and learning, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said.
What the policy objected to was the tendency to use Afrikaans as a barrier for access to non-speakers of the language. The university has for years been embroiled in debates over its language policy. Describing itself as “predominantly an Afrikaans institution functioning within a multilingual world” it currently offers a complex set of options for teaching in Afrikaans, English and combinations of the two.
Nzimande said Stellenbosch had achieved much in its efforts to be counted among the great universities in the country and had made efforts towards transformation.
He had in his engagement with the higher education community raised issues such as “certain institutional cultures” which continued to impede learning by, and success of, many students.
It was not the role of the government alone to make sure all students felt welcomed and accommodated in all aspects of university life. The institutions themselves should take initiatives to create a culturally and intellectually enriching experience for all their members, particularly their students.
Rupert chairs the Swiss-based luxury-goods company Richemont as well as Venfin and Remgro. As a young man he enrolled at Stellenbosch to study economics and company law, but dropped out to pursue a career in business. In 2004 the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in economics.
Nzimande described Rupert as a distinguished business leader and an entrepeneur.
“Dr Rupert has traversed the journey from student to chancellor and in a sense has completed a full circle,” he said.