Stellenbosch University Oenology lecturer recognised for excellence in teaching

by Engela Duvenage, Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University - 05 Apr 2016

Marianne McKay, who teaches Oenology at Stellenbosch University (SU), has been recognised for her engaged teaching strategies. This lecturer, who works in the Department of Viticulture and Oenology (DVO), is to receive the 2015 National Excellence in Teaching Award. It is awarded annually by the Council for Higher Education (CHE) and the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) in recognition of excellent teaching at South African universities.

Ms McKay will receive the award during a gala dinner during the annual HELTASA conference, which takes place from 17 to 20 November 2015 at North-West University.

Since joining Stellenbosch University in 2007, Ms McKay has had a focus on enhancing the relevance of taught material through various mechanisms. This includes introducing a service learning component to the modules she teaches to oenology students, as well as industry-based exercises and work-integrated learning. She has also been instrumental in including wine-tasting and sensory evaluation at every level of the undergraduate degree.

“My teaching strategy includes a big commitment to the professional development of students,” she explains. “We have found that an engaged approach really helps students to find their place in the wine industry. It makes them work-ready and employable on graduation.”

Feedback from the DVO’s industry partners has been very positive.

Ms McKay works closely with Dr Antoinette Smith-Tolken of the SU Division for Social Impact in conducting research into work-integrated and service learning aspects. Together they have published and presented this work at national and international conferences in South Africa and the United States.

Ms McKay is not only involved in the development of future winemakers and viticulturists graduating from Stellenbosch University. She is also helps with the oenology training of students from the Pinotage Youth Development Academy (PYDA), through which young previously disadvantaged Boland residents are taught vocational skills that are relevant to the wine, tourism and hospitality sectors. Along with colleagues from the DVO she presents tailored short-courses to these students at the University’s facilities. She has been a member of the PYDA Board  since its inception 4 years ago.

Media enquiries:

Ms Marianne McKay

Department of Oenology and Viticulture

Stellenbosch University

021 808 3774


Released by Engela Duvenage for the Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University

Go Back

Post your comment


Be the first to comment!

Thank you!

You have successfully signed up.

Thank you!

Your post has been sent for moderation.