We need more black female lecturers - Nzimande

2015-09-22 14:48
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. (File, DoC)

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. (File, DoC)

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Pretoria - There is a big need for more black, female lecturers at universities, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday.

At a briefing announcing a Higher Education Summit between October 15 and 17, Nzimande said one of the biggest problems that would be addressed was transformation in universities.

"We are saying changing the demographics is a very crucial component of transformation. We have made a lot of progress - for example the majority of university students today are female, and also the majority are black," he said.

"But where we have a big problem is with the professoriate.

"We want to scale up the uptake of younger black and women academics. It is going to take a bit of time because it is not an overnight thing to produce a professor, but we hope that the initiatives we are starting now will begin to bear some fruit 10 or 15 years from now."

A discussion document by the department for the summit on "addressing systemic higher education transformation" said black academics made up 32% of permanent academic staff, and were under-represented at senior levels. It said white academics comprised 52% of total numbers in academia, down from 83% in 1994.

The document said another problem was that significant numbers of academics were reaching their retirement ages.

"The implication of all this is that there is an acute need for more academics in the system and that the academic profession should move faster to reflect South Africa's race and gender diversity," it said.

Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  pretoria  |  education

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