Towards High Quality, African-centred Teaching and Learning

Departmental Overview

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology currently houses more than 8500 students, servicing more than nine departments in different faculties. With more than 900 first years in Sociology and 400 in Anthropology. We have been experiencing a growing number of postgraduate cohorts with Sociology honours receiving more than 158 application in 2021. This resulted in 14 honours students Anthropology, and 20 in Sociology. We currently have 26 Masters Students in Sociology and 11 in Anthropology. This is matched by 3 PhDs in Anthropology and 3 PhDs in Sociology. 
Most of our students are very active in shaping institutional culture debates and actively participate in different debates on campus. In the past the department has hosted Student Representative Council (SRC) Presidents who were part of the post graduate cohort.  Some of our postgraduate students are involved in conference presentations, publishing, presenting and organising academic seminars around campus. This kind of student involvement brings popularity and opportunities for our staff in terms of training our students using updated curriculum that is relevant to the realities of our students.


Our staffing strategy

The Department has been growing its capacity in the past two years to accommodate the growing student numbers. We have 4 sociology academic staff and 2 more that will be added before the end of the year 2021; we have 4 anthropologists and 1 more that will be added before the end of 2021 as part of the DHET NGAP programme. These colleagues specialise in various sub-fields that are related to our scholarly identity - intellectual histories, Xhosa philosophies, women and gender studies, higher education studies, indigenous medicine, critical and decolonial methodologies, archives, and the sociology/anthropology of health. 
The Department is diverse in terms of its demographics and it truly represents the country’s population profile. Half of our staff members have PhDs while the other half will be completing their PhDs over the next few years. The growing number of students in both undergraduate and postgraduate studies has created numerous workload issues, but we are making equitable improvisations to manage the challenge productively. 


Our Teaching and Learning strategy

The Department currently offers more than 126 courses (from first year to PhD). The current staff members teach a minimum of 4 courses per year and supervise post graduate students. For the past few years, the department has dependent on contract staff to supplement teaching in order to allow staff members to participate in research activities while giving experience to our postgraduate student to teach. 



Our academic staff members are involved in numerous research activities that profile the Department and increase its research capacity. In 2020 during the pandemic, our academic staff managed to generate a number of research publications that will go on to add new knowledge to our disciplines. We have many young academics, who are still at an early-career academic level. The Department’s future looks promising in this regard. We will work towards harnessing their energy and distribute the workload fairly while we create a nurturing academic culture, especially for the postgraduate cohort.


Strategic vision:

We see this Department as being best positioned in this University to surface its vision of being a “dynamic African university, recognised for its leadership in generating a cutting-edge knowledge for a sustainable future”. Thus, we designed a strategic vision around the theme: “High Quality, African-centred Teaching and Learning Environment”.
This vision was endorsed by many of our academics in the Department and we also wish to anchor it to our shared values of ethical and committed duty to African scholarship. 

Other key strategies and priorities for the future entail:

·      Build capacity for quality teaching and supervision

·      Tap into digital support and critical pedagogies

·      Interdisciplinary teaching and research

·      Position the Department as part of the Medical School's strategic partners 

·      Streamlining the Curriculum for Efficiency

·      Building a nurturing academic culture

·      Support young academics

·      Build a strong postgraduate ethos

·      Exploit the competitive edge of having middle/senior black staff cohort

·      Position the Department as a key resource on the intellectualisation of African languages and African Historiography


Our value proposition:

An African-centred and intellectually stimulating Department with a global footprint


Envisaged output:

High Quality Teaching, Learning and Research with internationally recognised and impactful research publications; a competitive postgraduate programme that nourishes high quality scholarship and development.