Stellenbosch University

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Stellenbosch University
Universiteit Stellenbosch
University of Stellenbosch
motto Pectora roborant cultus recti
founding 1866
Sponsorship state
place Stellenbosch
Western Cape
country South Africa
Rector and Vice Chancellor Wim de Villiers
Students 28,864 (2014)
Employee 3.211
The “old main building” ( Ou Hoofgebou ) of the university

The University of Stellenbosch ( Afrikaans : Universiteit Stellenbosch , US for short ; English : Stellenbosch University , SU for short ) is a university in South Africa . The main campus is in Stellenbosch , about 50 kilometers from the center of Cape Town . Until 2016, it was one of the higher educational institutions that mainly taught in Afrikaans.


The history of the university goes back to the establishment of Stellenbossche Gymnasium on March 1, 1866, and to the establishment of the Faculty of Arts in 1881 as Stellenbosch College . In 1887, the college was renamed Victoria College and, when it achieved university status in 1918, it was renamed as Universiteit Stellenbosch or Stellenbosch University . Six former South African Prime Ministers graduated from Stellenbosch University.


Stellenbosch is a city with 90,000 inhabitants (excluding students), which is largely shaped by the university. The university is spread over four different locations, the main campus, the Tygerberg Faculty of Medicine in Cape Town, the Bellville Park Business School in Cape Town and the Faculty of Military Sciences in Saldanha .

Teaching language

In 2014, new guidelines on language use were adopted, which came into force in 2017. Accordingly, English and Afrikaans are practically equal, while isiXhosa is also given space, for example at public events. Lectures - unless they deal with the respective language - are held bilingually in English and Afrikaans or are summarized in the other language at the end. Simultaneous translation is offered in the first year of study . For term papers and exams, students can choose one of the two languages. Up until 2016, Afrikaans was the predominant language of instruction, making the university one of the few higher education institutions with this form after the end of apartheid .


There are 150 departments at the university, which are divided into ten faculties. There are also around 40 research institutes, 2014 student numbers in brackets.

The following faculties are located on the main campus in Stellenbosch:

  • Engineering Sciences (3,712)
  • Linguistics and Social Sciences (5,223)
  • Agriculture and Forest Sciences (1,855)
  • Natural Sciences (3,011)
  • Pedagogy (1,881)
  • Law (812)
  • Theology (527)
  • Economics (7,784)

Outside the main campus are:

  • in Saldanha , the Faculty of Military Sciences (497)
  • in Tygerberg , the Faculty of Medicine (4,091).


The university has a comprehensive library with a computerized database. There is a modern conservatory with two concert halls where concerts are regularly performed. The Langenhoven Student Center, also known as Neelsie , houses the student council, a food court , a shopping center and the offices of around 50 different student organizations.

Within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the “Drama” department operates a theater facility with 420 seats, the Adam Small Theater Complex , named after the writer Adam Small . Until 2018 it was called HB Thom Theater after the historian and former university rector Hendrik Bernardus Thom .

About 30 different sports are offered. Sports facilities include two stadiums, two large swimming pools, various sports fields and a weight training center.

The dormitories can accommodate around 6,000 students.


Of around 29,000 students enrolled in 2014, 63.4% were white, 17.1% colored , 17.0% black and 2.5% Indian . 47.8% of the students were male.


Students demonstrated against racism and discrimination at Stellenbosch University. In August 2015, the documentary Luister was released , which illuminates the allegations in interviews with students. The ANC described the university as "a former camp of white supremacy" and Education Minister Blade Nzimande said that racism and discrimination appear to continue unchanged at Stellenbosch University.


  • Matieland , a university magazine that has been published since 1957.
  • Acroterion. Journal for the Classics in South Africa (also: Quarterly for the classics in South Africa ), a magazine published by the Van Klassieke department at the university since 1956 .

Well-known graduates

Web links

Commons : Stellenbosch University  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Latin : The right education strengthens the chest , or: The right education strengthens the mind / heart , a quote from the Odes of Horace (CARMINVM LIBER QVARTVS, Ode 4, 34), written in view of the victory of Drusus and Tiberius about the Alpine peoples in Raetia 15 BC Chr.
  2. Biographical Sketch - Prof Wim de Villiers (accessed August 26, 2017)
  3. a b c d e Annual Report 2014 (English; PDF; 11 MB), accessed on December 27, 2015.
  4. Language Policy of the University of Stellenbosch (English; PDF), accessed on November 3, 2017
  5. ^ Universiteit Stellenbosch: Faculty of Military Science. General information . at (English, PDF document p. 8)
  6. ^ The Langenhoven student center Neelsie., accessed February 12, 2018
  7. ^ HB Thom meet Adam Small: a new theater for a new era., accessed May 20, 2019
  8. ^ Greg Nicolson: Stellenbosch: 'Luister' could lead to change. Daily Maverick , September 1, 2015.
  9. COPAC: bibliographical evidence on (English)
  10. COPAC: bibliographical evidence on (English)

Coordinates: 33 ° 55 ′ 48 ″  S , 18 ° 51 ′ 53 ″  E