Community Interaction Flagship Projects

In 2008, the University’s Community Interaction Committee of Senate [CIC(S)] selected 10 community interaction projects as flagship projects, some of which will be funded through central university funds. This move acknowledges the institutional importance of these CI initiatives, rewards excellence and promotes the sustainability and stability of these initiatives.

The initiatives were selected according to a set of criteria by the Community Interaction Committee of Senate. These criteria include innovation; exceptional results; impact; monitoring, evaluation, reporting and quality assurance measures; focus on Vision 2012, SU Strategic Framework and the SU Community Interaction Policy; ethics and the promotion of the university’s image.

The following initiatives were awarded flagship status by the Community Interaction Committee of the Senate:

Africa Centre for HIV/Aids Management -

The Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management’s mission is to understand the complexities of HIV/AIDS and develop effective ways of ensuring that all students and staff of the University - including communities reached - are prepared in a personal and professional capacity to effectively deal with the pandemic as it unfolds in our society.

The community programme of the Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management is both local and regional, with a specific focus on the Afrikaans-speaking coloured communities on farms and in the outlying areas of the Western Cape. It uses educational theatre as a model for its CI HIV/AIDS initiatives.

Contact person: Prof Jan du Toit – E-mail

Legal Aid Clinic -

Since the inception of the SU Legal Aid Clinic in 1988, the primary focus has been the training of final year LLB students of the Law Faculty of SU. Students are prepared for legal practice through the practical legal training course. Consultations and the realisation of the necessary legal steps in the interests of clients are undertaken under the supervision of qualified staff. The service is basically provided free of charge to the most needy sectors of our community, and more specifically too, previously disadvantaged groups.

Contact person: Mr Kruger van der Walt – E-mail

Matie Community Service (MCS) -

MCS was established in the 1960s by students wanting to deliver a service to their surrounding communities.  Programmes are adapted to the particular needs of  communities, provincial and national priorities as well as being aligned with the priorities, expertise and resources within MCS and Stellenbosch University.

The six programme managers develop skill and experience in their various areas of specialisation (namely, Teaching assistance for matriculants; Adult education and training; Primary healthcare; Entrepreneurship and business skills for adults and high school learners and a One-stop service which provides support to student community projects) and are supported by an advisory board with additional specialist knowledge. At the moment, service delivery has a strong focus on skills development.

Contact person: Mrs Lydia Burger – E-mail

SciMathUS -

SciMathUS was established to address the serious shortage of black professionals in mathematics, physical sciences, accounting and related fields. Matriculation learners are given the chance to rewrite the Senior Certificate examination of the Department of Education and thereby gain entry into degree programmes in natural sciences, applied natural sciences, and economic and management sciences.

Contact person: Mrs Nokwanda Siyengo – E-mail

TB-free Kids -

The TB-free Kids Project is a multi-faceted project in urban communities affected by high levels of poverty, tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), in the Western Cape. This project seeks to make a difference in the lives of people affected by TB and HIV who form part of the Desmond Tutu TB Centre’s existing research studies by using research results to change policy and thereby improve health care and quality of life. The vision of the project is to contribute to improved community health and well-being on a sustainable basis, with a strong emphasis on a multi-sectorial approach, coordination of various activities and strengthening partnerships with the various Departments of Health. A key end-goal is knowledge and skills transfer into policy and the communities.

Contact person: Prof. Nulda Beyers – E-mail

Technology Research Activity Centre (TRAC) South Africa -

TRAC SA is a unique Physical Science intervention program which has adapted, and is continuously adapting to the needs in South Africa. Since its inception in 1994, TRAC South Africa has matured and grown considerably as a program with nationwide facilities. TRAC realised that South Africa has a shortage of engineers in general, as well as technicians, scientists and artisans. It has also formed strong partnerships between itself, its financial partners and other educational role-players. The strength of TRAC SA as a Physical Science intervention program within South Africa, is further demonstrated in the fact that it has now been recognized at national government level as part of the solution to addressing the skills shortage in South Africa.

Contact person: Ms Debbey Olivier – E-mail

Trout Small-scale Farming Project

The project is aimed at farm-workers from rural communities, with a focus on women and youth. The goal of the project is the improvement of living standards and the alleviation of poverty, the transfer of knowledge and skills and the upliftment of people in previously-disadvantaged communities. Attention is also given to training in aquaculture and business practice, as well as the development of life skills.

Contact person: Mr Henk Stander – E-mail

Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health

Ukwanda creates a rural platform for undergraduate training and facilitates research on rural health issues. It is a multidisciplinary project incorporating teaching, research and CI.

Through this programme, the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) ensures that at least 10% of all clinical training in community oriented facilities, take place in rural areas. Ukwanda exposes students to the real health needs within communities, develop their ability to think critically and empower them to serve the needs of these communities in a practical fashion. 

Contact person: Ms Lindsay-Michelle Meyer - E-mail

Unit for Religion and Development Research (URDR) -

The Unit for Religion and Development Research (URDR) is a self-sufficient entity within the discipline of Practical Theology and Missiology in the Faculty of Theology. The URDR’s aim is to conduct research related to the development profile and needs of local communities, to formulate relevant theory on development, to provide a training facility and research space for postgraduate students, to provide a professional research and training service to communities and to communicate its research results through scientific and popular publications.

Contact person: Dr Ian Nell – E-mail

Woordfees -

The Woordfees is the institutional festival of Stellenbosch University and receives wide appreciation and respect for the wide range and depth of the yearly programme of more than 100 presentations. Both the Woordfees and the WOW project have a big impact on both established and emerging artists, organisers, coordinators and student assistants.

The comprehensive WOW project, an empowerment project of the SU Woordfees, has a strong educational focus geared towards learners, students and teachers as well as the general public. Through the dissemination of information, the WOW project aims to create a dynamic around literature and art to promote Afrikaans in a multilingual context, in line with SU’s strategic plan and vision.

Contact person: Prof. Dorothea van Zyl – E-mail