The Postgraduate Office (PGO) in the Department of Research and Development (DRD) is a central support and liaison office for postgraduate students. The PGO provides professional support services to all (including international) postgraduate students during the postgraduate lifecycle (from application to graduation). The PGO also guides policy and system development where these impact upon postgraduate students and the management of postgraduate student information. The PGO works with academic and support service environments and develops the necessary mechanisms via the relevant decision-making bodies so that the comprehensive academic and support services provision to postgraduate students remains optimal and continues to comply with international standards.
Located on the Stellenbosch campus, the PGO coordinates its activities as far as possible with similar entities or structures on the other University campuses who provide similar services to postgraduate students.
The PGO has the following focus areas:
Postgraduate Enrolment Support
Prospective Postgraduate Students
The Postgraduate Enrolment Support (PGES) section of the PGO ensures that the University’s postgraduate programme offering is visible and accessible to all prospective postgraduate students. To this end, it publishes an annual Postgraduate Catalogue, maintains the University’s Prospective Postgraduate Student website and manages an enquiries point (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Postgraduate International Students
The PGO recognises the importance of an international postgraduate student body and that international students need additional support to navigate the University’s processes. As such, the PGES section is responsible for facilitating the application and enrolment of postgraduate international students. The PGES section screens applications from postgraduate international candidates. This in-house credential evaluation service assists departments with information on recognition of institutions, the level of awards and the international comparability of the qualifications so that they may make informed decisions on the eligibility of applicants for admission to their programmes. The PGES section also ensures that admitted postgraduate international candidates receive the necessary documentation and information to ensure their enrolment and arrival (where applicable) at SU.
Postgraduate Welcome and Orientation
To facilitate arrival, registration and ongoing interaction between postgraduate students and the various support services at the University, the PGO publishes and disseminates a Postgraduate Welcome and Orientation booklet. This provides a concise overview of some of the most important information that all new postgraduate students should familiarise themselves with.
Joint degrees at SU
The PGO is the institutional custodian of the University’s policy on joint degrees at Master’s and Doctoral level. SU has agreements with a limited number of partner institutions in different countries for the enrolment of joint degree candidates. Most of the agreements are for enrolment at doctoral level. The list of possible institutions with whom SU can enrol joint degree candidates changes as new agreements are concluded. Currently we have joint PhD agreements with the following institutions: click here.
The PGO manages the institution’s joint degree programmes. This includes putting institutional arrangements in place (should these not exist and in accordance with the policy) and managing the contracts of individual candidates according to the agreement governing their joint enrolment.
Postgraduate Funding and Support
The Postgraduate Funding and Support (PGFS) section of the PGO provides information, administers financial support and also engages with broader institutional support structures for postgraduate students, typically as these relate to psycho-social support.
The PGFS section advertises ad hoc funding opportunities on the University’s website as these become available. Advertisements are circulated to faculties (normally via Heads of Departments) and are also posted on the University’s website as well as on noticeboards on campus. Beyond these, the section advertises and administers two main types of funding for postgraduate students:
Bursaries and scholarships that cover the cost of registration/tuition and in some cases accommodation and books;
Travel grants for contributing to the costs for attending and presenting your findings at conferences.
Postgraduate Skills Development Support
The Postgraduate Skills Development Support section of the PGO runs a programme that provides information about and access to opportunities and resources at SU that can assist postgraduate students in their efforts to develop and enhance the skills they will require to complete their postgraduate studies and research.