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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!

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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! 

Sweeping changes announced for South African schools

From 2009 every Grade 9 pupil in South Africa will be writing a national certificate whether they are leaving school or not. This was one of five major policy changes announced by Minister of Education Naledi Pandor recently.

Other changes include proposals to:

  • Lower teacher pupil ratios(reduced class sizes);
  • Rearrange districts into smaller more manageable areas;
  • Get Internet into every school in the country by 2013; and,
  • Expand Further Education and Training Colleges.

To read more go to the Pretoria News article by Clicking Here! 

Do we need a four year degree?

According to an article published in the Mail and Guardian Newspaper Education minister Naledi Pandor has asked her advisory body, the Council on Higher Education, to look into the viability of a four-year undergraduate degree as a response to South Africa’s 50% university drop-out rate.

To read the article Click Here!

Racism Committee Members announced by SA Minister of Education

The South African Minister of Education, Mrs. Naledi Pandor, announced yesterday the establishment of a Ministerial Committee on “Progress towards Transformation and Social Cohesion and the Elimination of Discrimination in Public Higher Education Institutions”. The primary purpose of the committee will be to investigate the nature and extent of discrimination in public higher education institutions, with a particular focus on racism. Prof Crain Soudien will chair the Ministerial Committee and its members are: Dr Olive Shisana, Professor Sipho Seepe, Ms. Gugu Nyanda, Mrs. Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele, Dr Charles Villa-Vicencio, Prof. Mokubung Nkomo, Ms Mohau Pheko, Mr Nkateko Nyoka and Dr Wynoma Michaels. The Committee will also be expected to report on the following: the nature and extent of other forms of discrimination based on, for example, gender, ethnicity and disability in public higher education, and in particular university residences; the steps institutions have taken to combat discrimination, including an assessment of good practice as well as the shortcomings of the existing interventions; advise the Minister of Education and the key constituencies in higher education on the policies, strategies and interventions needed to combat discrimination and to promote inclusive institutional cultures for staff and students; identify implications for other sectors of the education system. Prof Crain Soudien is professor of education at UCT, the author of a study of integration in South African schools, and chair of the ministerial committee into school governing bodies (2004). Dr Olive Shisana is head of the HSRC and was previously DG of Health. Professor Sipho Seepe is the academic director the Henley College of Management and is the Chair of the South African Institute of Race Relations. Ms Gugu Nyanda was head of the DG of Education’s office until 2005 and is now a consultant. Mrs Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele was the Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC and is a former Minister of Housing. Dr Charles Villa-Vicencio recently retired as the head of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, and was the Director of Research at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Mokubung Nkomo is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria , and the co-editor of an HSRC conference proceedings on school integration. Ms Mohau Pheko ( http://secure.financialmail.co.za/06/1020/fox/ffox.htm ) is the co-ordinator of the gender and trade network in Africa . Mr Nkateko Nyoka is MTN’s group executive of corporate services and a former CEO of the Independent Communications Authority of SA. Dr Wynoma Michaels is a scientist and specialist trainer.

Commission of Inquiry into racism at SA Universities

The minister of Education of South Africa, Naledi Pandor announced the formation of a commission to investigate racism at all 21 tertiary institutions in South Africa, during the opening of the Biological and Conservation Sciences Building at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban on Thursday 20 march 2008. To read more click here! 

Statement by Naledi Pandor MP, Minister of Education, on the release of the 2007 senior certificate examination results, Sol Plaatje, Pretoria, 28 Dec 2007

For the whole statement click here!