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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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SA government eyeing free tuition to boost skills shortages

In a recent cabinet lekgotla the South African government agreed on a number of resolutions to address skills shortages. The lekgotla noted the mismatch between the supply and demand of skills for specific educational categories in the light of the unemployment rate that is expanding.

Deputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty gave feedback from the lekgotla. He stressed that the labour market is plagued by skills shortages that constrains the country’s economic growth potential. Keeping this in mind the lekotla resolved to take action on various key matters including:

  • examining the possibility of covering the full cost of study for (poor) students in scarce skills areas in all years of study; 
  • guarding against downgrading the social science programme provision;
  • supporting post-graduate students through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to develop a new generation of academics in addition to National Research Foundation initiatives;
  • intensifying efforts to promote research and development in higher education institutions;
  • seeing to it that students that have completed their studies pay back their loans so that other students can also be supported;
  • giving urgent attention to the problem of accommodation in the higher education system (only 18.5 % of students are accommodated in university residences)
  • ensuring that all infrastructure programmes are linked to skills training and workplace experiential learning;
  • strengthening and repositioning Public Service Sector Seta (PSeta) to play a more effective role in skills training for public service
  • seeing to it that all government departments pay skills levies, as required by law;
  • expanding the intake of interns into the public service, municipalities and state-owned enterprises; and
  • utilising training within the public service as largest single employer in the country.

This posting was based on a Sapa article published on Fin24 on 23 august. To read the original Sapa article Click Here!

Academy of Sciences defends academic freedom in South Africa

The Academy of Sciences of South Africa has defended academic freedom it believes is under threat from intrusive government regulations, the “apparently excessive influence” of private sector sponsorships of universities and perceived limitations on free speech within universities. The academy represents the country’s outstanding scientists.

To read more go to Munyaradzi Makoni’s article in University World News 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!

ANC government plans to split the Department of Education

ANC Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe confirmed during a meeting of the Progressive Business Forum, that the ANC government that is installed after the election, plans to overhaul the education ministry, splitting it into two or three separate ministries under different ministers.

This means that one minister will focus solely on the schooling system, and another will look with a specialised focus at tertiary education institutions, which could include reversing former education minister Kader Asmal’s mergers of key institutions.

To read more go to the Finance 24 article by Clicking Here!