• Education Library

  • Library Website

  • Library Facebook

  • Library Catalogue Keyword Search

  • New Books in the Library

  • Pages

  • Select a Category

  • Visitors to this Site

  • Archives

  • Advertisements

Decline in South African PhD graduates a major problem

South Africa’s inability to produce enough doctoral graduates to build the ‘knowledge economy’ it aspires to, or simply to replace the existing cohort of academics in the higher education system, is a challenge widely acknowledged by government departments, their agencies and universities. But fixing the problem is a lot harder.

According to Professor Johann Mouton, director of the University of Stellenbosch’s Centre for Research on Science and Technology (CREST) which has conducted a five-part study on the PhD, part of the solution lies in making more money available to doctoral students to enable them to pursue their studies full-time.

Currently about 80% of South African doctoral students are part-time and generally take far longer to complete their degrees than their European or American counterparts.

Mouton identified a string of blockages to postgraduate study:  

  • The low number of matric [school leaving examination] exemptions, and too few good passes in maths and science
  • The problem of student poverty and debt. SA produces about 100,000 bachelor graduates a year, but the majority of those need to start working immediately to pay off debt

The number of potential researchers is whittled down at each level of the system. Out of about 22,000 honours students, those pursuing masters and doctorate degrees amount to only 10,000, of which just under 1,200 (1,182 in 2008) end up graduating with a PhD.

To read more go to Sharon Dell’s article in University World News Africa Edition by Clicking Here!

Advertisements

University students in South Africa can’t read?

The recent publication in South Africa of the results of pilots of the new National Benchmark Tests – tests which measure the performance of school-leavers in three key areas and aim to predict whether or not they will have difficulty as they enter university – has brought a flurry of outrage from academics and politicians. They are reported as claiming that standards are dropping and students can’t read or write. While this sort of knee-jerk reaction to tests conducted at a national level is largely predictable, especially in a country where the school system still experiences huge problems, it is also questionable given research produced in the field of academic development – an area which has long concerned itself with the issue of student ‘under-preparedness’ at universities…….

To read the rest of this article by Chrissey Boughey on University World News Click Here!

Rise in SA university student drop-out-rate expected

South African vice-chancellors warned the government recently to expect more students to drop out following shocking results of  pilot national benchmark tests.

A draft report produced for the vice-chancellors’ association Higher Education South Africa (HESA) by the National Benchmark Tests Project shows that most first-year students could not adequately read, write or comprehend – and universities that conduct regular competency tests have reported a decline in standards.

HESA’s findings make it clear that South Africa’s school system, which is following the Outcomes Based Education System,  is continuing to fail its pupils and the country. This will place pressure on universities to do a lot more to tackle what appear to be growing proficiency gaps.

To read more go to Karen MacGregor’s article on 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!