Newspaper and Opinion pieces

  • A new report now shows much more profound ways of understanding why, every year, violent student protests erupt around the country. We are betraying the promises we made to our young about opening the doors of learning and culture to all, because we cannot adequately support even those few school leavers who make it to university, or not many of them. And if you are, for instance, hungry more often than not, your chances of academic success are slim. The extraordinarily blunt, but also careful, report eloquently demonstrates that many universities are forced into taking measures they know to be dreadful for their students. (Mail & Guardian 02 Mar 2012)

  • Students at South Africa's universities live in squalid accommodation and often go hungry. Thousands of mainly poor, black students have to live in such appalling conditions that it is a “major miracle” they manage to pass any academic courses at all. (Mail & Guardian 02 Mar 2012)

  • In a first for South Africa, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has established a chair of rural education. To be launched on Monday at a public lecture on UKZN’s Edgewood campus, the John Langalibalele (JL) Dube Chair in Rural Education will facilitate an exclusive focus on rural teaching and teacher training, Professor Relebohile Moletsane, the first holder of the chair, told M&G Online. (Mail & Guardian 05 Nov 2010)

  • The Academy of Science of South Africa (Assaf) report proposes 10 "game-breaking recommendations".

  • The first study of the field diagnoses a major crisis that threatens its survival. Declining student enrolments in the humanities and the post-1994 government’s heavy prioritising of science and technology disciplines are major causes of a crisis in the humanities that threatens their survival in South Africa. This emerges from the first-ever study of the field in this country, the Academy of Science of South Africa said. (Mail & Guardian 6 Aug 2011)

  • Only a small percentage of SA's professors are black women. The cards are stacked in men’s favour, says Professor Esther Ramani. That has to change. Ramani is one of the very few black and female professors in South Africa. Out of the 4 000 professors in South Africa only 4% are black, according to an August 14 article, ‘10 steps to develop black professors’, in City Press. And fewer, still, are black women. According to the same article “only 34 or 0.85% of the total number of South African professors are women”. (Mail & Guardian 12 Oct 2014)

  • Blade Nzimande says the focus of higher education will shift from universities to FET colleges, which must be overhauled in line with workplace needs. In a green paper released in Pretoria, Nzimande, the minister of higher education and training, envisages that more than 4.5-million students a year will be enrolled in universities, colleges and other post-school institutions. (Mail & Guardian 12 Jan 2012)

  • Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande's new policy document offers an unflinchingly thorough analysis of SA's training needs, but is it enough? At first glance, the clear-sighted and wide-ranging green paper appears to meet both needs. Late in its 100 pages it delivers perhaps the most succinct expression of the UJ tragedy's deepest sources: post-school "education and training opportunities ... are too limited to meet either the needs of society and the economy or the expectations of young people and their parents". These opportunities must be expanded "very significantly". (Mail & Guardian 13 Jan 2012)

  • Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana (28) hit a fire storm on his appointment to the Cabinet. Bongani Nkosi turns up the heat. People say I support the president. Who else should I support? I support the leadership as elected by the Polokwane conference. I do not see how supporting the president of the ANC, the president of the republic, is factional. As I said, people may criticise, but they must not undermine the authority of the president. I would not know what factionalist stunt I pulled to get appointed.(Mail & Guardian 06 November 2012

  • The launch of Blade Nzimande's white paper and the audited data on universities exposes the steady pattern of dropouts, failure and graduation. The statutorily independent Council on Higher Education, presented the latest audited data on universities. This showed that about half of all students who enter university drop out before they complete their degrees or diplomas. (Mail & Guardian 17 Jan 2014)

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