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A boom in the number of black graduates in South Africa

The number of blacks who received university degrees in South Africa in 2008 increased by 334 % since 1991, compared with a 14 % increase in white graduates for the same period, according to research released by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR). Most of these degrees, however were being conferred by formerly white institutions.

It was found that most of the degrees awarded in 2008 were done by the University of South Africa (UNISA), making up 12.8 % of the degrees conferred by 23 public universities and universities of technology. The study showed that University of Pretoria awards the most masters and doctorate degrees with 15.8% awarded in 2008. University of Stellenbosch awarded 13% of masters and doctorates in 2008 and University of Cape Town awarded 11.4%.

Marius Roodt, one of the researchers commented that “other universities, especially historically-advantaged institutions, be supported to become centres of excellence in their own right, but not at the cost of already succcesful universities”

To read more go to the Sapa article on Times Live by Clicking Here!

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African universities score poorly in World University rankings

African universities again fared dismally compared to other universities in the Times Higher Education World Universities rankings. The only African universities in the top 200 slots globally are the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and The University of Alexandria in Egypt.

Five elements of higher education were considered:

  • the volume of research undertaken
  • how the institutions were relevant to the job market
  • ratio of the number of students versus academic staff
  • diversity on campus — a sign of how global an institution is in its outlook
  • the impact of the research conducted

“The ability of an institution to attract the very best staff from across the world is key to global success”, lead researcher Ann Mroz said. “The staff-to-student ratio is employed as a proxy for teaching quality”, she added.

The survey also showed that high density of research students are indicative of  more knowledge intensive institutions and that the presence of an active post-graduate community is a marker of a research-led teaching environment.

The teaching category also examined the ratio of PhDs to bachelor’s degrees awarded by each institution.

The University of Cape Town was ranked 107th among the global top 200 institutions.

To read more go to Benjamin Muindi’s article in the Daily Nation by Clicking Here!

or go to David McFarlane’s article in the Mail and Guardian by Clicking Here!

“Literacy, maths shocker in SA”

“Most primary school pupils in South Africa are failing tests for basic language and mathematics skills. ‘Poor national averages for language and mathematics in grades three and six show that most learners do not acquire the skills and understanding that give substance to the right to education’,  said the Children’s Institute (Cape Town) in a statement.”

Click here to read more as reported by News24

Click here for the Children’s Institute’s Report:  SA Child Gauge  2008/2009

University of Cape Town improves its university ranking

University of Cape Town (UCT) has been ranked 179 in the Times Higher Education QS World University Rankings for 2008, improving its position from 200th place last year, and 257th in 2006. UCT is the only African University on the list.

To read the original Cape Times article on Independent Online, Click Here!

To go the Times Higher Education QS World University Rankings for 2008 Click Here!