Welcome to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences...
The pace of development has been so rapid over the last few decades that it has been estimated that everything we know today will constitute only 1% of the world's total pool of knowledge in 20 years' time.
In fact, a whole new knowledge-based society and economy has emerged which is constantly in the process of transforming. This means that the worker of the future may well have to change jobs seven or eight times in his or her lifetime and may retire in an occupation that does not yet exist. In the context of a developing country such as South Africa, universities play an important role in this process of knowledge creation.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is fully aware of the extent of this challenge and strives continuously through its creative strategies to make a significant contribution to a knowledge-based society and economy in Africa. Please browse around on this website and see how we could be of service to you.
Johan Hattingh (Dean)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Stellenbosch University Private Bag X1 Matieland 7602
The mission of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is the discovery, transfer and application of knowledge for the promotion of the human sciences, and the enrichment and enhancement of the quality of life of the people of this region, country and continent.
The Faculty wishes to be a dynamic and internationally acknowledged centre of academic leadership in the Western Cape, South Africa, and the rest of Africa that:
is considered a sought-after base for training in the humanities, in particular the Arts, Languages and Social Sciences;
provides excellent teaching and research that is relevant to the region, country and continent, and is internationally competitive;
implements innovative initiatives in community service and makes a contribution towards developing a just society;
is accessible to all members of the South African population who qualify for university admission,
and is enriched in its teaching, research and service provision by a representative staff, with an institutional culture that promotes the optimal fulfilment of human potential and characterised by a participative, empowering ethos that exploits language and cultural differences as an asset.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has 18 departments that represent three broad disciplinary groups, namely Arts, Languages and Social Sciences, and has 10 centres.
In 2011, we had 3 363 registered undergraduate students and 1 529 postgraduate students. Our staff component consists of 173 academic and 91 support staff members. The Faculty places immense value on creating a space for a diversity of people and ideas to flourish as this also help us to further develop the various research fields in our environment. We therefore make a concerted effort to employ staff and admit students to our Faculty who contribute to our goal of creating a diverse environment where all forms of knowledge can develop and prosper.
For information about student and staff numbers as well as demographic factors, please consult the University's Factbook.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has modern and well-equipped facilities that promote quality teaching and research. A few examples are:
HUMARGA The Humanities Computer User Area, better known by its Afrikaans name HUMARGA (Humaniora Rekenaargebruikersarea), serves four faculties - Arts and Social Sciences, Education, Law and Theology. Computer user facilities exist at each of these faculties and specialised equipment and software are also housed in the Geography and Environmental Studies, Journalism, Visual Arts and Music departments. The aim of this facility is to provide students with a computer user area to electronic sources as well as electronic classrooms and support services that make a contribution to their education. Some of the services provided include access to network space, e-mail, internet, multipurpose printers, specialised software and the latest technology. HUMARGA's open area, situated on the third floor of the Arts Building, has 250 workstations. The facility is open 24 hours to students with a valid student card, which has been activated for HUMARGA use. HUMARGA works closely with the Office for Students with Special Learning Needs and the Lombardi Braille Centre to cater for students living with disabilities as far as possible. For more information about the Lombardi Braille Centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The computer user area also houses electronic classrooms used for academic lectures in related modules. Students can contact HUMARGA's help desk at 021 808 2129 or email@example.com for assistance during office hours. For more information, visit HUMARGA.
Konservatorium A modern building that hosts the Endler Hall, the Fismer Hall and the Jannasch Hall. The Endler Hall, which has excellent acoustical characteristics, has been acclaimed one of the finest concert halls in the world and seats 556 people. It boasts one of the finest mechanical tracker action organs in the country, built by the renowned Danish firm Marcussen, as well as two Bösendorfer concert grand pianos. The Fismer Hall seats 200 and is a multipurpose venue suitable for chamber music concerts, rehearsals and conferences. The Jannasch Hall, cabable of seating 180, is a lecture hall and is especially suitable for multimedia presentations and meetings. The Konservatorium has three floors with 57 practice studios, of which six are equipped with pipe organs and several with grand pianos. These practice rooms have a high level of sound insulation and are designed to eliminate the production of standing sound waves when practicing. The Konservatorium also hosts a music library which has a large collection of sheet music, print and online books, theses and journals, audiovisual material and a rare and unique collection of music manuscripts and artefacts housed in the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS), some dating from the 16th century. In addition, it has state-of-the-art recording studios, equipped with the latest technology. The studios are capable of professional recording, editing, mixing and film audio work, with soundtracks for local and international movies having been recorded in this space already. For more information, visit the Music Department.
HB Thom Theatre The HB Thom Theatre is a multi-purpose facility used by our students for artistic educational exposure through performances presented by our students. The productions of other artists, including community productions in which our staff and students are involved, are also put on show here. Plans are currently underway to redesign the current space to offer more streamlined and cost-effective utilisation of technical and performance resources. For more information, visit the Drama Department.
When Stellenbosch University first opened its doors in 1866, it was known as the Stellenbosch Gymnasium. Fifteen years later, its name was changed to Stellenbosch College, whereafter it was changed to Victoria College in 1887. In February 1916, a law called "De Universiteit van Stellenbosch-wet" (Law nr 13 of 1916) was published and on 2 April 1918, it came into effect, leading to the institution's final name change to Stellenbosch University.
The Arts Department of the Gymnasium was founded eight years after the Gymnasium was established. By 1879 about 69 students were enrolled for a BA degree at the Gymnasium. The first professor employed in the Arts Department was Prof Archibald MacDonald who lectured Greek, Latin and English literature. He was later joined by Prof Thomas Walker who was appointed as Professor in English and Philosophy in 1878, and in 1879 Prof Nicolaas Mansveldt became a Professor in Modern Languages (Dutch, French and German) and History.
The law which led to the final name change in 1918, also made provision for a Faculty of Arts. After being known as such for many years, in 2008 the Faculty’s name was changed to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.