THE STATE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE TRANSFORMATION AGENDA

What is the transformation agenda of higher learning education in the so called South Africa? That is question that confronts this country. In early nineties the song that was sang by student leaders, academics, political parties and all constituencies from disadvantaged community on transformation, was that there should be greater access to institution linked to removal of academic exclusion, free education for primary degrees or Diplomas, removal of financial exclusion, curriculum review, greater excess to educational facilities and an end of discrimination in any form including racial, religious and gender.

There was a legitimate expectation that when a democratic government takes over, the legislative framework and bureaucratic environment will be changed to ensure that these principles are encourage and enforced. The evidence is that the same issues are still part of today’s student struggles in University of Limpopo, University of Pretoria, University of Venda, Tshwane University of Technology and University of KwaZulu-Natal, just to name high profile cases.

The Face of Transformation in South African Institutions of Higher Learning

What is the transformation agenda of higher learning education in the so called South Africa? That is question that confronts this country. In early nineties the song that was sang by student leaders, academics, political parties and all constituencies from disadvantaged community on transformation, was that there should be greater access to institution linked to removal of academic exclusion, free education for primary degrees or Diplomas, removal of financial exclusion, curriculum review, greater excess to educational facilities and an end of discrimination in any form including racial, religious and gender.

There was a legitimate expectation that when a democratic government takes over, the legislative framework and bureaucratic environment will be changed to ensure that these principles are encourage and enforced. The evidence is that the same issues are still part of today’s student struggles in University of Limpopo, University of Pretoria, University of Venda, Tshwane University of Technology and University of KwaZulu-Natal, just to name high profile cases.

Public Institutions of Higher Learning have been reduced from 21 to 15 allegedly to foster an integrated education system but the result is ridiculous increase in tuition fees of up to 30% per year in some of the institutions. The reject administrators from the former white only institutions are being sent to govern the disadvantaged campuses where only African students study. The privatisation of student accommodation and related services do not come with the promised saving to our society or institution. The ruling party through its “Size and Shape Framework” were just afraid of closing the absorbed institutions. It was their calculation that economic imperatives will force the institutional councils to take the dirty discussion in the name of economic viability.

It is undeniable that the admission policies of all public institutions have been transformed at the level of racial discrimination. The class perspective has been introduced through a new form of discrimination that has been designed to give the same old results. The financial exclusion of working class and peasant has the same effect as racial discrimination policies because the exploited and excluded social classes are African people who were previous excluded on racial grounds. The middle and upper class remains overwhelmingly reserved for people of European ancestry who enjoy unlimited access to education.

3 thoughts on “THE STATE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE TRANSFORMATION AGENDA

  1. I am excited, the thing captures the stark reality of quisling hypocrisy where changing the internal phrase is equated with a change of the historical-economic reality.
    This is an great contribution to Afrikanist analysis. Keep expanding & deepening the piece. So much to say in so little a space forces you to assume what needs to be explained. So far each sentence is a summary of many historical-economic definitions that need to be revealed and explained. A friend of the article and not its critic,e.g., just assume ‘the abstract notion of race’, and in it, you find ‘concrete classes’ all over. The notions of race or class are complements and not mutually exclusive; assume race and you are dealing with classes, assume class and you analyze the racial makeup of each class. Just provoking you to move forward.

  2. In essence the lack of a broader societal development and transformation targets is manifested by the state of higher education in this country. As matter of fact Cde Sbu you capture the negative picture of higher education in this country. The primary solution is for the ruling party to deviate from its neo-liberal economic agenda and make funding available for students from poor background who happen to be black and remove this tag of NSFAS on them which is the debt they have to pay just because they desire knowledge. Secondly, the funding formula must change dramatically and Black institutions be given much more money than apartheid “mighty built” institutions. There is also a need for institutions to be monitored and are made to be more accountable and efficient in the manner they utilize funds. The are some institutions that continue to use their constitutional guaranteed academic freedom and institutional autonomy to frustrate any space of engagement about institutional transformation and the ANC government continues to dance to this tune.

  3. looking at the content of higher education and compare it with the context in which it is delivered from, it forces us to not only say that the current leadership in the department of education is failing but rather say the country has not realy looked at the fact of having higher education as a pontential teacher it pains me to notice that we are lectured about all the western psychology and philosophy but not the african and not an inclusion on indeginous knowlegde, currenlty at high schools we get national papers in AFRIKAANS AND ENGLISH BUT OH! NO NOT THE NGUNI LANGUAGES kanti elilizwe lelobani< noticably so we have been vex with this westernisation that we forget that as south africa our development has to start from the ground up, not to regard us a country with sound management but rather with sound capabilities and a need to rectify our way of managing.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: