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South Africa: Higher Education challenges of racism and access

Chika Sehoole, Professor at University of Pretoria, 22 July 2012, University World News

“Although admissions figures for black students and numbers of black staff have improved in the post-apartheid era, many black people still feel excluded within the university system and there are problems with a lack of available places to meet the demand for higher education. At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, South Africa’s higher education sector made national and international news headlines.

At the end of 2011, the University of Pretoria was hit by allegations of apparent racism among its staff. A black engineering professor alleged systematic harassment and victimisation, on racial grounds.

At the beginning of the 2012 academic year, a black parent was killed in a stampede at the gates of the University of Johannesburg, where crowds of prospective students had gathered in the quest to gain admission into this university.

These two incidents – allegations of racism and the quest for access to higher education, especially by black people – are just two examples of the challenges that South Africa experiences in meeting some of the priority areas identified in 1994 by the post-apartheid government.”

To read the rest of Chika Sehoole’s article on University World News, Click Here!

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Centralised admissions to SA universities on the cards

South African Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, yesterday announced that his department is planning a central application system for universities across South Africa. He said, they are considering discontinuing walk-ins at registration time at universities, and aim to have a centralised application office in place by 2013. The applications office will handle all higher education applications in one office and will carry one application fee.

Minister Nzimande’s announcement came shortly after a tragic incident where the mother of a prospective student was killed at the University of Johannesburg, during a stampede at the entrance to the university.

To read more go to Mvuzo Ponono’s and Tebogo Monama’s article in the Sowetan, by Clicking Here!

South African Education Faculties flooded by students

The calibre of teachers in schools looks set to drastically improve as scores of South Africa’s top students sign up for the teaching profession, writes Prega Govender on Times Live.

Universities across the country confirmed being flooded with applications from first-year students wanting to study the four-year teaching degree.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s education faculty, increased its admission requirements after receiving almost 14,000 applications for only 650 places

Increased applications for the teaching degree at other South African institutions include:

  • University of Johannesburg: 2690 applications with 965 enrolled;
  • University of the Witwatersrand: 2800 applications with only 420 enrolled;
  • University of Pretoria: 2625 applications with 1333 enrolled;
  • University of Limpopo: more than 1500 applications for 524 places;
  • North West University: 1851 applications at two of its three campuses for 926 places; and
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University: 1452 applications and only 365 admitted.

The University of Cape Town though does not offer the bachelor of education degree, and Stellenbosch University recorded a drop of 64 in its teacher enrolment from 280 last year to 216 this year.

A very encouraging trend according to Bobby Soobrayan, director -general of Basic Education is that pupils with good matric passes are thinking about teaching, which is ideal “as we want good students to go into teaching”.

To read Prega Govender’s original article that were published on Times Live Click Here!