News24

SA may get more universities

2009-09-18 13:23

Cape Town - Parliament is "exploring the possibility" of establishing universities in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga, the chairperson of the portfolio committee on higher education and training said on Friday.

Marius Fransman said the committee would engage the provincial education departments and other "stakeholders" in these areas to explore the skills needs and how best to phase in a university for each province.

"South Africa has 23 universities but since the new dispensation and new provincial borders, the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga still do not have their own universities," Fransman said.

"With the establishment of a new department of higher education and training it has become a priority for the committee as part of its oversight role to revisit this long outstanding issue and to investigate it once more."

Facilities

Fransman said the committee had to establish how many students had to use facilities in other provinces and how many potential candidates would study in their own provinces once universities have been established.

The committee also needs an indication of the number of students at present using distance learning, he said.

"We want an idea of which courses, chairs or faculties are needed in these rural provinces, and which ones will be of priority should universities be incrementally developed. We also need a sense of work done previously."

Fransman said Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande and his new department had been tasked to look at the matter.