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State funds for student expansion

The number of university students in South Africa will grow by 53,000 to reach 837,000 in 2011 – and the government has allocated an additional R700 million (US$69 million) to accommodate the expansion – Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel announced in his 2009 budget speech this month. He also gave the student financial aid scheme a R330 million boost to enable more disadvantaged youngsters to secure university bursaries and loans.

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Reward South African universities that are more productive

In an article in the Sunday Times of 21 September 2008, Adam Habib wrote that the formula for awarding money for research ought to encourage intervarsity competition. In his article he refers to Malegapuru Makgoba, vice-chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s article “A better way to cut up the pie” ( Sunday Times, 7 September ), which brough to the fore the contentious issue of the funding of South Africa’s universities.  He lists this article as worthy of consideration by the Department of Education (DOE ), but criticizes its assumption that South Africa can only offer five globally competitive research institutions — the universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal and the Witwatersrand.

To read the article by Adam Habib Click Here!
To read the article by Malegapuru Makgoba 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!