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South Africa: Higher Education challenges of racism and access

Chika Sehoole, Professor at University of Pretoria, 22 July 2012, University World News

“Although admissions figures for black students and numbers of black staff have improved in the post-apartheid era, many black people still feel excluded within the university system and there are problems with a lack of available places to meet the demand for higher education. At the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012, South Africa’s higher education sector made national and international news headlines.

At the end of 2011, the University of Pretoria was hit by allegations of apparent racism among its staff. A black engineering professor alleged systematic harassment and victimisation, on racial grounds.

At the beginning of the 2012 academic year, a black parent was killed in a stampede at the gates of the University of Johannesburg, where crowds of prospective students had gathered in the quest to gain admission into this university.

These two incidents – allegations of racism and the quest for access to higher education, especially by black people – are just two examples of the challenges that South Africa experiences in meeting some of the priority areas identified in 1994 by the post-apartheid government.”

To read the rest of Chika Sehoole’s article on University World News, Click Here!

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UP rector opens Groenkloof Campus Infrastructure Development

Professor Cheryl de la Rey, UP principal and vice chancellor, left and Prof Irma Eloff, dean of Faculty of Education, right

During the recent opening of the new infrastructure development at the Groenkloof Campus of the University of Pretoria (UP), Professor Cheryl de la Rey, vice chancellor and principal stressed the importance of producing quality teachers who will be able to excel in the subjects that they teach. De la Rey also stressed her concern about the decline in the numbers of teachers in the country and the importance of reversing this trend. She added that education was the means to transform the country.

According to De la Rey investment in education is vital and that UP has to be responsive to the needs of South Africa and the African continent

 Some of the major building projects include 3 new high technology lecture theatres with 350; 350 and 400 seats; an open air amphi theatre (boma) next to the Groenkloof dam; lifts; bathrooms and a special passage for people with disabilities; science laboratories; 121 computer working stations; bathrooms and the upgrading of many facilities on the  Groenkloof Campus.

New lecture theatre

Boma

 

 

 

 

 

This new infrastructure development  will provide the necessary cutting edge equipment and facilities needed to ensure the production of quality teachers.

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!

Dr Cheryl de la Rey appointed as new Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria announced the appointment of Dr Cheryl de la Rey as the University’s new Vicedelarey-Chancellor and Principal on 27 July 2009.  This follows the resignation of Prof Calie Pistorius in March this year.

Dr de la Rey was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) on 1 May 2008 and before that served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Psychology at the University of Cape Town for a term of six years. She also served as the Executive Director: Research Promotion on secondment to the National Research Foundation (NRF) from 2000 to 2002.

Dr de la Rey has an outstanding record of scholarly achievement and leadership in the tertiary education environment. The senior management positions she has held at the University of Cape Town, the NRF and the CHE, gives her excellent in-depth knowledge and a strategic understanding of the higher education environment, including the challenges facing universities and the operational environment within which universities function.

She is recognised by her peers as a professional, hard working person of integrity who builds sound human relations.

In her declaration of intent, Dr de la Rey stated that “there is a sound base from which an exciting future can be built to realise a vision to be South Africa’s leading academic institution renowned for the quality of its teaching and student life, outstanding research, diversity, innovation and public engagement.

From Futhi Mtoba ‘s article on UP web site at: http://web.up.ac.za/default.asp?ipkCategoryID=8641&articleID=2554

Story writing exhibition at University of Pretoria’s Education Library

As part of Library Week Celebrations the Education Library of the University of Pretoria recently hosted an exhibition of Stories written and compiled by Early Childhood Education students in 2008. These stories were entered in a competition sponsored by Oxford University Press. The stories form part of a Story Reading Project which has run for a number of years as an innovation outcome of the Early Literacy Module in the Early Childhood Education Programme in the Faculty of Education, at University of Pretoria. picture-033

Dr Ina Joubert who heads up this project received an Education

Innovation award in 2006 for this project. The creativity of the students were really amazing and of the highest standard!

 

Sonja Delport and members of the library team at the Education library worked really hard to ensure that the exhibition was a great success.   

 

irma-eloff-2

The exhibition was officially opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof Irma Eloff on 18 March 2009 and ran till 27 March 2009. In her opening address for the exhibition the dean read a poem by Strickland Gillilan to emphasize the importance of reading to the little child:

 

Richer Than Goldpicture-027
“You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be —

I had a mother who read to me.”

 

To see photos of the exhibition on Slideshare Click Here!

 

Distance Education and Teacher Education in Africa Conference 3-5 August 2009

The Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, University of Cape Coast and the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana and the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE) are arranging a Distance Education and Teacher Education in Africa (DETA) Conference from 3 – 5 August 2009 at the University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana. The theme of the conference will be on “Issues and challenges in education in Africa – the need for a ‘new’ teacher”

For more information visit their web site by Clicking Here!

University of Pretoria joins World Digital Library Project

The University of Pretoria’s Department of Library Services has joined the World Digital Library Project, making it one of the 27 institutions in the world and the only one in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa to belong to this project.
Proposed in 2005 by the Library of Congress in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Digital Library project will make available on the Internet significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.
To read more Click Here!

For more information regarding the World Digital Library project, please visit http://www.worlddigitallibrary.org/project/english/index.html