North-West University (NWU) vice-chancellor Dan Kgwadi told journalists on Wednesday in Johannesburg that all he seeks to achieve is a racially inclusive campus. Kgwadi spoke at a time he was facing a torrent of criticism from advocates of the Afrikaans language inside and outside the university.
Kgwadi said he has been subjected to “concerted attempts at disinformation and vilification” in recent weeks. He is spearheading an executive management team that will present a new strategic plan for the institution on August 21.
“I have great empathy for those who fear a loss of culture or language when campuses become more inclusive,” Kgwadi said.
“However, I urge all concerned to accept that we, as a university, have an obligation, an ethical obligation, to provide an environment in which students as young adults can learn to live with people from other cultures, races, languages and religions.
“What my vision does not support is that tuition in Afrikaans at the Potchefstroom campus should be curtailed, or that Afrikaans-speaking students should feel less welcome on the Potchefstroom campus. This is not my view or intention.
“Those who insist on painting a gloomy picture of the future of the Potchefstroom campus as such and the NWU as a whole are simply misguided. I want all students to feel welcome on all campuses.”
Bongani Nkosi Mail & Guardian