NWU receives award for multilingualism
POTCHEFSTROOM - The North-West University has contributed the most towards multilingualism and nation building in the South African higher education sector during the past ten years. This remarkable endeavour has earned the NWU a recognition award from the Pan-South African Language Board (PanSALB) during a gala event held at the Emperor’s Palace in Gauteng on 2 February 2008.
Prof Marlene Verhoef, Institutional Director: Language Directorate and the custodian of the NWU's multilingualism policy, believes that the way in which the University implements its functional multilingualism policy earned the judges' recognition and resulted in the University earning the award.
“The NWU is delighted about the award,” says Prof Verhoef. “It definitely encourages us to continue on the path of multilingualism that the NWU has embarked upon.”
The NWU's Language Directorate has implemented numerous creative and innovative projects to advance functional multilingualism at the University and the region.
One of the innovative projects is the TransTips comprehension tool, which makes the staff intranet available in four working languages, namely Afrikaans, English, Setswana and Sesotho. Another groundbreaking project is the classroom interpreting services that ensure maximum access to scarce academic programmes. Interpreting services are not only rendered on the NWU campuses, but have also been available at the Potchefstroom Agricultural College and were recently extended to schools. Hoërskool Frikkie Meyer in Thabazimbi and Central Primary School in Potchefstroom are already reaping the benefits, and the NWU plans to extend these services to other schools in other provinces.
The NWU submitted a concise report on the language policy and its implementation to the judges of the PanSALB multilingualism competition. The competition was organised in celebration of PanSALB’s first decade.
Rhodes University was the runner-up in the category for higher education institutions.
Prof Marlene Verhoef, Institutional Director: Language Directorate proudly shows off the recognition award from PanSALB that the NWU has earned for its contribution towards multilingualism and nation building in the South African higher education sector.