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By Stellenbosch University
Welcome to talks@stellenboschuni – Stellenbosch University’s Podcast where we talk about current topics and innovative research done at the University.

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Prof Sandy Liebenberg: Socio-economic rights during COVID-19


SU graduate is on a mission to help people with disabilities
As a registered social worker but also a person with a disability, Noreth Muller-Kluits always knew it was her calling to facilitate change and help address the needs of persons with disabilities. She recently graduated with a PhD in Social Work, and in this podcast talks about her doctoral research, which focused on the experiences of adults with an acquired physical disability on social work support in a South African context.
December 13, 2020
Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel says adieu after successful career
Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, Vice-Rector for Learning and Teaching, will retire at the end of 2020 after a long and distinguished career at Stellenbosch University. In this podcast, he reflects on the highlights and challenges.
December 10, 2020
Will mandatory audit firm rotation reduce audit market concentration in South Africa?
It’s important for companies to rotate from audit firms after a certain period of time. In this podcast, Prof Nicolene Wesson from the Stellenbosch University Business School sheds more light on mandatory audit firm rotation and what this means for South Africa.
December 10, 2020
Disability in pandemic times.
Thursday (3 December) is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In this podcast, Dr Marcia Lyner-Cleophas from the Disability Unit reflects on what the pandemic has taught us in terms of removing the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating meaningfully in all spheres of society.
December 3, 2020
Trauma narratives and gender-based violence
Gender-based violence (GBV) continues unabated in South Africa, even during the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children (25 Nov-10 Dec). In this podcast, Prof Juliana Claassens from the Gender Unit in the Faculty of Theology talks about the possibility of looking at both biblical and contemporary trauma narratives to deal with GBV in our society. Stellenbosch University
December 1, 2020
PETITE study searches for best treatment options for newborns exposed to HIV
Researchers at Stellenbosch University (SU) are searching for the safest and most effective treatment for babies at high risk of contracting HIV. “Babies with HIV constitute a small proportion of the HIV-positive population, and only a few antiretroviral drug formulations and little pharmacokinetic data are currently available to inform optimal treatment,” says Prof Adrie Bekker of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at SU’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). “We have made significant progress in the field of HIV, but a gap remains regarding optimal prevention and treatment of babies born to women with HIV.” Bekker and Dr Tim Cressey from Chiang Mai University in Thailand are the principal investigators of the PETITE study, evaluating the pharmacokinetics and safety of a novel fixed-dose combination (FDC) 4-in-1 granule formulation (abacavir/lamivudine/lopinavir/ritonavir) in neonates exposed to HIV.  The study is funded by Unitaid as a part of the larger BENEFIT Kids project led by SU’s Desmond Tutu TB Centre. The BENEFIT Kids project primarily aims to improve children’s access to better treatment as well as the prevention of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, and has included this complementary and vitally important study for this much neglected population of infants.
December 1, 2020
Prof Anita Cloete is on a mission to empower South Africa’s youth
Prof Anita Cloete is an associate professor at Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Theology, whose research and teaching is focused on youth, youth culture as well as religion and media. Cloete shares more insight into her life, work and mission to help educate and empower South Africa's youth through teaching and research within the discipline of practical theology.
November 24, 2020
In the spotlight: The Centre for Student Leadership, Experiential Education and Citizenship
In this podcast, Ms Tonia Overmeyer, The Director for the Centre for Student Leadership, Experiential Education and Citizenship, as well as the Dean of Students at Stellenbosch University provides more insights into the recent name change of the Centre. She provides insights into the vision of the Centre as well as the importance of experiential learning as a key element in student development. Finally, Ms Overmeyer outlines the roles and offerings of the various departments within the Centre for Student Leadership, Experiential Education and Citizenship. Stellenbosch University.
November 13, 2020
Promoting children’s rights
World Children’s Day is commemorated in November with South Africans observing National Children’s Day on the first Saturday of the month. In this podcast, Prof Mark Tomlinson from the Institute for Life Course Health Research talks about children’s rights and what’s needed to make them a reality. Stellenbosch University
November 6, 2020
SUNstudent will improve academic administration
In this podcast, Stellenbosch University (SU) Registrar Dr Ronel Retief talks about how SU’s new information system SUNStudent will change the institution’s academic administration, improve services and create a better user-experience for staff and students.
November 4, 2020
Unpacking Experiential Education - The Stellenbosch University Experiential Education Conference
In this podcast we talk to Ms. Ruth Andrews about the upcoming Stellenbosch University Experiential Education Conference. For more information visit:  Experiential Education as Pedagogy for Social Justice: praxis and practice for shaping 21st century global citizen-leaders. The purpose of this higher educational conference is to explore emerging trends and transitions in the higher education experiential education domain and the intersections thereof with social justice and the formation of the global citizen-leader.
November 2, 2020
Not sure what to study? Career Assessments
Stellenbosch University offers career assessments at the Centre for Student Recruitment and Career Advice. In this podcast we talk to Ms Marichen Klaver for more information about these assessments.
November 2, 2020
SU Ombud is here to help you
The Ombud has for long served as an independent channel through which people can seek help. The Stellenbosch University Ombud, Adv. Rina Meyer, is an independent person appointed to facilitate the informal resolution of concerns regarding the University. Meyer shares more insight to the work her office does at the university.
October 27, 2020
Maintaining South Africa’s music archives
Musicologist turned archivist Dr Lizabé Lambrechts works as a popular music and cultural heritage researcher and practitioner. For the past ten years, she has worked as a researcher and as an archivist, building and maintaining one of the biggest and fastest growing popular music archives in South Africa, the Hidden Years Music Archive, at Stellenbosch University. Stellenbosch University
October 27, 2020
SU researcher highlights the importance of African penguin conservation
Dr Marcela Espinaze has always been passionate about wildlife conservation. Her current postdoctoral research investigates the influence of nest types, and their associated microclimatic conditions, on ectoparasite populations in African penguins in South Africa. In this podcast, Espinaze talks about the conservation of African penguins and the parasites that threaten the survival of animal species. Stellenbosch University
October 9, 2020
Student teachers overcome COVID-19 challenges
Monday 5 October is World Teachers’ Day. In this podcast, Prof Maureen Robinson from the Department of Curriculum Studies talks about the challenges that student teachers face during the pandemic and how this might influence teacher education in the future. Stellenbosch University
October 5, 2020
Celebrating our heritage
September is Heritage Month with festivities reaching a crescendo on Heritage Day (24 September). In this podcast, Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation, reflects on the issue of heritage and how South Africans should celebrate it. Stellenbosch University
September 23, 2020
Keeping your heart healthy
September is Heart Awareness Month with World Heart Day being celebrated on 29 September. In this podcast, Dr Jo-Anne Kirby of Campus Health Service/the Institute for Sports and exercise Medicine talks about why it is so important to create awareness about good heart health and how Campus Health Service is making a contribution in this regard. Stellenbosch University.
September 23, 2020
Women’s contribution to peacekeeping operations.
On Monday (21 September), people around the world celebrate the International Day of Peace. In this podcast, Prof Lindy Heinecken from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology speaks about the meaningful contribution female soldiers can make to peacekeeping operations around the world. Stellenbosch University. 
September 21, 2020
Innovation drives research
Research for Impact is one of Stellenbosch University (SU)’s core strategic themes in terms of which the institution wants to advance knowledge in service of society. In this podcast, Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies, tells us more about how the different divisions in his responsibility centre help promote research outputs and innovation at SU to ensure it becomes Africa’s leading research-intensive university and brings about economic and/or social improvement in the country.
September 17, 2020
Not sure what to study? What about Data Engineering
Stellenbosch University recently introduced a new stream Data Engineering under the BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme. In this podcast we talk to Prof Herman Engelbrecht for more information about the degree. What to study is a podcast for prospective SU students about the study opportunities.
September 16, 2020
Internationalisation at SU: Taking education globally
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still impossible for students to study abroad. But, says DVC for Strategy and Internationalisation Prof Hester Klopper, that does not mean internationalisation at SU has halted. Stellenbosch University, Deputy Vice Chancellor. 
September 9, 2020
Improving digital literacy skills
In celebration of International Literacy Day (8 September), Dr Pauline Hanekom from the Stellenbosch University Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP) talks about why it so important for our learners/students to have the necessary digital literacy skills.
September 8, 2020
Not sure what to study? What about Applied Medicinal Chemistry
Stellenbosch University recently introduced an interdisciplinary BSC degree in Applied Medicinal Chemistry. In this podcast we talk to Maambele Khosa for more information about the degree. 'Not sure what to study?' is a podcast for prospective SU students about the study opportunities.
September 3, 2020
Not sure what to study? What about Biomedical Mathematical Science
Stellenbosch university recently introduced an interdisciplinary BSC degree in Biomedical Mathematical Science. In this podcast we talk to Prof Anna-Mart Engelbrecht for more information about the degree. What to study is a podcast for prospective SU students about the study opportunities.
August 31, 2020
Thanks to the lockdown, new challenges in education opened up new opportunities
Higher educational institutes all over the world, including Stellenbosch University, went through some stormy waters to continue with teaching while the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to stay indoors. Lecturers and students have learned some lessons on how to continue under these difficult circumstances with teaching and learning. Dr Mags Blackie, a senior lecturer in chemistry, has also learned some lessons and thanks to her problem-solving mindset created new teaching methods that also support the learning capabilities of students. Angelique Dreyer interviews Dr Blackie, who will share her experience with us.
August 27, 2020
Addressing the gender pay gap
In celebration of Women’s Month, Prof Anita Bosch from the University of Stellenbosch Business School talks about the gender pay gap in South Africa and why more transparency is needed in this regard.
August 25, 2020
The importance of female researchers and eradicating poverty in Africa
Prof Ronelle Burger is a researcher and lecturer in the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University. She researches exclusion and poverty in African countries, and supports the design of systems and policies that help improve the lives of the poor.
August 21, 2020
Not sure what to study? What about Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Stellenbosch University (SU) recently introduced a new BSC degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. In this podcast we talk to Prof Hugh Patterton for more information about the degree. "Not sure what to study?" is a podcast for prospective SU students about the study opportunities.
August 21, 2020
Gender doesn’t matter in teaching
In celebration of Women’s Month, Prof Nuraan Davids from the Department of Education Policy Studies speaks about the need to address the stigma of teaching as ‘women’s work’ by disrupting patriarchal discourses and norms that perpetuate the marginalisation of women. Stellenbosch University
August 20, 2020
Reusing wastewater
In this podcast, Dr Rene Naidoo-Blassoples from the Institute for Wine Biotechnology talks about how her project is recovering wastewater for reuse in sanitation, farming and agriculture to help address water and food insecurity. Stellenbosch University. 
August 14, 2020
Addressing stigma around women’s health
In celebration of Women’s Month, Dr Rizwana Roomaney from the Department of Psychology talks about the stigma around women’s health issues and how this should be addressed. Stellenbosch University
August 13, 2020
Communicating with empathy
In this podcast, Dr Elize Archer from the Centre for Health Professions Education talks about why it is so important to equip medical students and healthcare professional with empathic communication skills. Stellenbosch University. 
August 12, 2020
More women needed in STEM careers
In celebration of Women’s Month, Prof Nox Makunga from the Department of Botany and Zoology talks about the need for more women to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Stellenbosch University 
August 11, 2020
Regulating online contracts
In this podcast, Dr Sanmarie van Deventer from the Department of Public Law highlights the importance of regulating online contracts to protect internet users when they browse a website, click the “accept” icon or download software.
August 11, 2020
Questioning the Meanings of Sexual Violence
In celebration of Women’s Day and Women’s Month, Prof Louise du Toit from the Department of Philosophy highlights the devastating impact of sexual violence by saying that it takes away the victim’s sense of power he/she has in the world.
July 31, 2020
Addressing staff health and wellness during COVID-19 and beyond
With the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, well-being and mental health has become an important priority for many academic institutions around the world. Shibu Mamabolo, who specialises in Employee Health and Wellness discussed how Stellenbosch University is helping staff with wellness resources.
July 29, 2020
Violin gets African tone: Sonata No. 1 for solo violin by C.J. Brand
Prof Martina Meincken has initiated the process of making African violins by using indigenous African wood species. The first violin was made over three months from yellowwood and sapele by one of the best luthiers in South Africa, Hannes Jacobs from Pretoria.  We also have a special surprise. Christian Brand joins prof Meincken and plays his piece: Sonata No. 1 for solo violin by C.J. Brand.  (Please note that the Violin recording was done on a cellphone in a non controlled environment. This was not a professional recording in a studio. ) Read the full story here:
July 24, 2020
Having the competitive edge through Data Science
According to Prof Kanshukan Rajaratnam, Stellenbosch University has a competitive edge. “Thanks to our leadership, SU has deviated from the norm in a unique manner. The School is set up to focus not only on Data Science, but also on Computational Thinking, thereby offering a unique value proposition to students, researchers and industry. I am excited to be part of shaping and growing what is an important part of the University's future." Visit for more information.
July 21, 2020
Collaboration key during pandemic
In this podcast, Prof Stan du Plessis, Chief Operation Officer and Chairperson of the Institutional Committee for Business Continuity, highlights the importance of a collaborative approach to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 16, 2020
Celebrating Mandela Day
In this podcast, Renee-Hector Kannemeyer, Deputy-Director for the Division of Social Impact and also the Head of Matie Community Service, talks about the institutional activities that staff and students can participate in to celebrate Mandela Day during the Covid-19 pandemic.
July 16, 2020
Tobacco’s murky political history
In this podcast, Dr Elijah Doro from the Department of History makes the point that current debates about the cigarette ban also have to pay attention to the murky political history of tobacco.
July 15, 2020
Stemming the tide of fake news
In this podcast, Prof Lizette Rabe from the Department of Journalism speaks about the insidious nature of fake news and what we can do to curb its spread.
July 10, 2020
Addressing population issues
In celebration of World Population Day (11 July), Prof Mark Tomlinson from the Institute for Life Course Health Research highlights some of the population issues we face today and what we should do to address them.
July 10, 2020
Community healthcare workers offer life-saving services
In this podcast, Prof Bob Mash from the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Care talks about how community healthcare workers are delivering medicine to high-risk groups who can’t go to healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 3, 2020
Teachers going the extra mile
In this podcast, Prof Aslam Fataar from the Department of Education Policy Studies talks about how teachers have gone beyond the call of duty to meet the needs of learners during the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 30, 2020
Impacting transformatively on society
In this podcast, Prof Nico Koopman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Social Impact, Transformation and Personnel, speaks about how his responsibility centre is helping to promote transformation and diversity at Stellenbosch University and beyond.
June 25, 2020
Young people rising above challenges
In celebration of Youth Month, SR Chairperson Lewis Mboko talks about the challenges young people face during the COVID-19 pandemic and what they can do to rise above them.
June 22, 2020
The plight of refugees and asylum-seekers
In celebration of World Refugee Day (20 June), Dr Callixte Kavuro from the Department of Public Law highlights the plight and challenges of refugees and asylum-seekers.
June 19, 2020
Rector in the hot seat
When he took the helm at Stellenbosch University in 2015, it was the time of Rhodes Must Fall, Open Stellenbosch, the ‘Luister’ video and Fees Must Fall. Five years later, he started his second term in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. And still he sees the glass “half full”. We talk to Professor Wim de Villiers about what makes him tick, and what the future may hold for one of Africa’s top higher education institutions.
June 18, 2020
Challenges facing the youth.
In celebration of Youth Month, Mandela Rhodes Scholar and Master’s student in Educational Policy Studies Delecia Davids highlights some of the pressing challenges young people face.
June 15, 2020
Cybersecurity during lockdown
In this podcast, Prof Bruce Watson from the Department of Information Science offers a few tips on how we can protect ourselves against cyber criminals during the lockdown.
June 15, 2020
Student leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In celebration of Youth Month, Philosophy student and SRC member Ingrid Heydenrych talks about the challenges student leaders are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic as they try to stay in touch with their fellow students.
June 15, 2020
Young people as agents of change
In celebration of Youth Month, Psychology Honours student Unopachido Mubaiwa talks about the power young people have to bring about transformation in society.
June 15, 2020
Jazz, vinyl and a South African take on popular music.
In this podcast, Dr Stephanie Vos from the Africa Open Institute talks about the importance of looking at popular music from the vantage point of local artists, producers and listeners.
June 10, 2020
Keeping invasive species in check
In this podcast, Prof Brian van Wilgen from the Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology talks about the impact of invasive species in South Africa and what needs to be done to keep them in check.
June 5, 2020
NPOs struggle to stay afloat during COVID-19 lockdown
In this podcast, Ms Anika Berning from the Department of Business Management highlights the challenges non-profit organisations face as they try to help alleviate the plight of millions of South Africans during the lockdown.
June 3, 2020
Political leadership during COVID-19 pandemic.
In this podcast, Prof Zwelinzima Ndevu, Director of the School of Public Leadership, takes a closer look at the leadership our government has thus      far provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 28, 2020
Thinking strategically about the future you want...
In this podcast, Dr Morne Mostert from the Institute for Futures Research offers a few tips that may help senior decision-makers and students to think strategically about the future during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 26, 2020
Eat a bug... Insect farming offers exciting possibilities
In this podcast Dr Elsje Pieterse from the Department of Animal Sciences talks about the idea of farming with insects to use as food, bioplastic, animal feed and even as alternatives for antibiotics.
May 22, 2020
Prof Jason Bantjes talks about students’ mental health problems.
In this podcast Prof Jason Bantjes from the Department of Psychology talks about students’ mental health problems and what needs to be done to address them in a way that help students  deal with these psychological challenges.
May 21, 2020
Ms Ilhaam Groenewald talks about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown on sport.
In this podcast, Ms Ilhaam Groenewald talks about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown on sport and what the landscape may look like once we’ve weathered the storm.
May 20, 2020
Prof Michael le Cordeur reflects on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our democracy and various issues related to education.
In this podcast, Prof Michael le Cordeur reflects on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our democracy and various issues related to education.
May 20, 2020
Prof Sandy Liebenberg: Socio-economic rights during COVID-19
In this podcast, Prof Sandy Liebenberg explains that in our battle against COVID-19, we should not neglect the socio-economic rights of millions of South Africans who are trapped in poverty and unemployment.
May 20, 2020