"Stellenbosch University is recognised for our proud heritage of excellence in teaching and learning, our world-class research and our active involvement in communities to improve the world in which we live.
My vision is to position this University as a knowledge pioneer that applies science and cutting-edge technology to some of the toughest challenges in Africa. Over and above our seven centres with a special focus on Africa, we are working towards finding sustainable scientific solutions to our continent's specific needs, ranging from democracy, governance and leadership to communication, education, health care, food security and water resources. In academic terms we describe this approach as a pedagogy of hope, because future generations deserve better.
However, this vision should not be confused with a deviation from our higher education mandate. Nor are we creating a community-based university. With careful consideration of our University's proven academic and research expertise we have taken the conscious decision to focus some of our research programmes strongly toward five areas in which we can make the most significant contribution to the national and international development agenda: the eradication of poverty and related conditions; the promotion of human dignity and health; the promotion of democracy and human rights; the promotion of peace and security (including food security); and the promotion of a sustainable environment and a competitive industry.
Over the past three years, our academic and research experts joined forces to formulate more than 20 innovative initiatives - firmly rooted in our academic and research programmes - that are focused on these development themes. Together with our objectives to consistently and continuously improve staff and student success, as well as providing facilities and infrastructure to entrench our position as a leading 21st-century institution, these initiatives form a cornerstone of our strategic positioning for the next decade. Some of these initiatives are new; others are well-established research projects that have been taken to a higher level of significance and relevance.
This has strengthened our science for society approach significantly. Through the application of science we unlock new knowledge, and as builders of hope on the African continent we put our academic and research expertise at the service of human need. We call it the HOPE Project."