News and Events > News > UMP HOSTS COPAL MEETING
30 June 2022

The meeting was attended by Professor Moses Mbewe, Dean of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, and Professor Calvin Gwandure, Head of the School of Social Sciences.

Opening the meeting, University of Mpumalanga (UMP) Vice-Chancellor Professor Thoko Mayekiso said that UMP was committed to multilingualism. Currently, the university offers IsiNdebele, Siswati, Sepedi, and is  working on introducing IsiTsonga to the curriculum. Professor Mbewe added that UMP was in the early days of developing their language policy with the new Language Policy Framework for Higher Education Institutions in mind.

CoPAL members agreed at their first meeting for the year to steer the conversation in 2022 towards the implementation of the Language Policy Framework for Public Higher Education institutions, which was finalised in 2021 and came into effect in January 2022.

Some of the outcomes included that in 2022 CoPAL would prioritise engaging the universities’ senior leadership and continue impressing upon them the importance of being represented in CoPAL.

The community’s physical meetings will be hosted at the institutions that are yet to finalise language policies so that parallel meetings to discuss their policies can be arranged.

CoPAL is currently planning the second Vice Chancellor’s Colloquium which would, among other matters, use this platform to assess what language resources are available to give effect to the implementation of multilingualism across the academy.

The Colloquium would place on record for the Department of Higher Education and Training that commitment is in place to implement the Language Policy Framework but also underline even more emphatically the need to resource the sector better to turn this commitment into reality.

As part of their plans for 2022, CoPAL will seek to establish collaboration with the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), an organisation mandated to promote multilingualism, to develop the 11 official languages, and to protect language rights in South Africa.

@ Republished from South African Universities.