The University of Pretoria, is phasing out Afrikaans as the official medium of instruction, and will soon only use English as the primary language of communication and administration.
This policy was adopted in 2016 after an extensive consultation process with the University’s council and senate.
“The change in policy is aimed at facilitating social cohesion and the university will continue to embrace and encourage multilingualism to foster unity and provide equal opportunities to speakers of all South African languages,” said UP spokesperson, Rikus Delport.
Delport explained that the decision came from the findings that the percentage of students who reported their home language to be Afrikaans had decreased from 85 percent to 30 percent between 1992 and 2015.
The University also stated that the phasing out would be done gradually to accommodate Afrikaans students, and that where assessments and question papers are set in Afrikaans, only currently enrolled students would be allowed to answer in Afrikaans.
“Students who registered for the first time prior to 2019 will continue to receive lectures, tutorials, study guides and assessment material, question papers and assignments in Afrikaans,” concluded Delport.