Stellenbosch University has four campuses and a student population of 19,000, a third of whom are post-graduates. The University population is more than 30 percent non-white, while 98 percent of the students speak English as their first or second language.
Former president Nelson Mandela, accepting an honorary doctorate from the University in 1996, said: “This occasion says much more about South Africa and South Africans than about the individual to whom the degree is being awarded. This occasion is testimony to the fact that we South Africans have struck out on the road toward building a joint future, that we are in the process of breaking down divisive bulwarks of the past and building a real nation united in all its rich diversity.”
Mandela wrote a personal note to AIFS students wishing them the best as “future leaders of the world.”
African Studies courses open to international students are taught in English, as are a number of regular University courses described in this chapter. The majority of South Africans at the University speak English, and English is the common language of the international student population of 400.
The University houses a modern, extensive library collection cataloged on a computerized database. Part of a network of five mutually-supported academic libraries in the Western Cape province, the library is electronically linked to major library databases worldwide. Its architecture is distinctive in that the library is entirely underground.