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South Africa’s FET colleges receives R2.5 billion boost

South Africa’s 50 further education and training colleges (FET) recently received their share of the R2.5 billion which have been earmarked for the expansion of the FET sector to help in skills development in the key growth sectors of the South African economy. A further R1.5 billion will be made available for infrastructure improvement of the colleges.

To read more go to Megan Wait’s article in Creamer Media’s Engineering News by Clicking Here!

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R15 billion set aside for Further Education and Training Colleges

South African Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has set aside R15-billion to increase the number of students attending South Africa’s Further Education and Training Colleges. This is part of a plan to improve the quality of education at FET colleges so that they become the tertiary institutions of choice. The plan also includes an agreement with retired accountants to step in as CFOs at these institutions.

Nzimande wants the  FET student population to grow from the current 400 000 to 4 million by 2030.

To read more go to the article on East Coast Radio Newswatch by Clicking Here!

Plan to expand and improve South Africa’s Higher Education sector

In a Green Paper on Post-School Education and Training, the South African government Department of Higher Education and Training recently announced its plans to raise university enrolments from the current 900 000 students to 1.5 million by 2030. Also mooted was a target of 4 million students for colleges and other post-school institutions – 6 times more than current numbers. These changes will raise the participation rate in post-school education of 18-24 year olds from the current 16% to 23%.

The Green Paper includes in its agenda:

  • new funding;
  • improvement of access to education and training opportunities;
  • research on financial problems facing many students as well as poor living conditions and student support services;
  • strengthening of institutions to improve education quality;
  • the development of a post-school education and training system that is equitable, accessible and affordable to all sections of the population, with free education and training for the poor;
  • support for previously disadvantaged universities, including asisstance to improve infrastructure and quality of teaching and research;
  • reform of South Africa’s complex regulatory system, by doing away with duplication. and incoherence and inconsistency in the functioning parts of the system;
  • building coherence between basic education and the post-school system and between the post-school system and the labour market;
  • strengthening of collaboration between private and public sectors;
  • expansion of distance education, using appropriate information communication technologies, other technologies and methods;
  • the creation of two new universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces;
  • improvement of throughput rates;
  • addressing concern sbout low participation rate of Africans;
  • addressing concern about decrease of male students;
  • improvement of graduation rates in science, engineering and technology, because it is not meeting economic development objectives;
  • strengthening of scholarship in the humanities;
  • provision of resources and funding to strenthen teaching in universities, without reducing the importance of research;
  • exploration of the possibility of partnerships between public and private institutions;
  • strengthening of African languages as part of formal programmes

 The Department of Higher Education and Training also plans to work with the Department of Science and Technology to ensure increased support for postgraduate study and for senior researchers, as well as a stable funding model for all educational institutions that conduct research. This means improving research capacity as a major focus for universities with a specific focus on meeting the country’s developmental objectives.

To read more go to Karen McGregor’s article on University World News by Clicking Here!

To read more go to Kim Cloete’s article at Cross Currents on MoneyWeb by Clicking Here!

To read the Green Paper on Post-School Education and Training Click Here!

Motshekga unveils Master Plan for Education in South Africa

The South African Department of Basic Education has developed an action plan to co-ordinate and guide all interventions in the department in order to turn the education system around.

The plan, which will be known as Schooling 2025: The Department of Basic Education’s Action Plan, will provide long-term solutions to the challenges facing the department, said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

The plan will make provision for the monitoring of progress against a set of measurable indicators covering all aspects of basic education, including teacher recruitment and retention, learner enrolment and well-being, infrastructure, school funding, mass literacy and educational quality.

“The plan will establish key outcomes and performance deliverables for the entire education system, including the national and provincial departments.
“It will commit provinces and provincial education departments to clear, agreed-to outcomes and ensure that all in the system are accountable for attaining these outcomes,” Motshekga said.

She reiterated that South Africa’s learning outcomes continued to be unsatisfactory.

“All local and international assessments are agreed that far too many of our learners, especially African learners, do not perform at the required level.

“We have identified the underlying factors and we are determined to work systematically to resolve them,” said Motshekga.

She added that the adoption of an outcomes approach in implementing government’s priorities, announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address, will ensure that the work of government is measured according to outcomes.

“The outcomes approach enables us to set measurable targets and deliverables, against which we and South Africa can monitor our progress in addressing the challenges in education that remain.”

This article was obtained from BuaNews Online  and was compiled by the South African Government Communication and Information System.

South African government to overhaul funding of research

Sue Blaine recently wrote in Business Day about the South African government’s plans to change the way it funds higher education research, and the possibility of an increase in research funding in 2011.

The Department of Higher Education and Training has allocated R1,8bn to research “outputs” for 2010-11 and recently put R1,6bn into infrastructure improvements in higher education, with a special focus on science, engineering, technology and education, according to acting deputy director-general, Kirti Menon.

Minister Blade Nzimande is also seeking advice from the Council on Higher Education about the possibility that the 80% higher education budget for research outputs be distributed on the basis of the actual research outputs produced by universities. The balance of 20% would be used for research development grants.

To read Sue Blaine original article on allAfrica.com Click Here!

New ASSaf Report, “Scholarly Books: their production, use and evaluation in South Africa today”

A new ASSAf (Academy of Science of South Africa) report, released this month, argues that the Department of Higher Education and Training needs more urgently to encourage and support the writing and publishing of scholarly books, including how they are ‘weighted’ when the department calculates higher education institutions’ research output subsidies.

To read Sue Blaine’s article on the report in the Weekender newspaper Click
Here!
 

The report titled Scholarly Books: their production, use and evaluation in South Africa today, can be downloaded from ASSAf’s site by Clicking Here! 

South African universities stable in global financial crisis

A big increase in state funding is helping South African higher education institutions weather the global financial and economic storm.

Last month, Education Minister Naledi Pandor announced that tertiary funding had been increased to R19.3 billion (US$2.2 billion) for the 2009-10 year – a 27% rise on the previous year. “Government funding of the public higher education system has risen sharply in recent years, and is expected to continue to increase at rates above inflation,” Pandor said.

Included is R13.3 billion in subsidy funds which account for 43% of university income on average. It is the other two income streams that most worry universities: 29% that comes from tuition fees and 28% from ‘third stream’ income.
To read the full article by Karen MacGregor on University of World News Click Here!