Decolonization? That is the big question mark hanging in the air around Stellenbosch University . It is an important word which seems to hold the future of Stellenbosch University.
By defenition decolonization means “to release from the status of a colony. And
to allow (a colony) to become self-governing or independent.”
I believe that decolonization starts the moment that we stop classifying, defining and judging people based on their race, their culture, their gender, their financial status, their background and where they come from.
It’s time for South Africans to put the past behind them. We should remember those who suffered, who fought and who built up this country and taught us many lessons. We cannot; however, keep immersing ourselves in the past. If we do, we will miss out on the present and the future! Let us learn from our past mistakes and be committed to not making the same mistakes again. What was the biggest mistake from our past? … Summed up in one sentence: defining people on the basis of outerly, uncontrollable characteristics such as race, culture, gender, financial status, background and so forth.
The only criteria by which university students should be allowed, awarded and promoted is excellence, hard work and merit. That is the only aspects that can solely be attributed to that individual alone despite their background and outerly appearance. This is a fair basis on which every individual has the opportunity to truly deserve what they achieve.
A university is an institution of excellence that needs to keep up and compete with global standards otherwise its efforts are in vain. We should therefore not forget what the main purpose of Stellenbosch University is: to cultivate future leaders, academici, scientists, engineers, business people and artists by equipping them through world class tuition.
It’s about quality not quantity!