Our varsities need transformation, not destruction - Nzimande

2016-04-19 16:04
Blade Nzimande (Netwerk24)

Blade Nzimande (Netwerk24)

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Pietermaritzburg - Parents need to be part of the solution for problems facing tertiary institutions, instead of condoning protests, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday.

Nzimande was delivering the keynote address at a University of KwaZulu-Natal graduation ceremony at the Royal Showgrounds, where he decried the destruction of property on university campuses during recent protests, including the Fees Must Fall campaign which started last year.

The minister noted comments, allegedly made by some parents who had expressed their support for students who had participated in the trashing of campuses.

"I want to be quite forthright over the comments made by some parents by saying, this is irresponsible parenting. Today our universities are sitting with a bill of over R300m in damages to universities from the previous financial, this can educate 10 000 poor students," said Nzimande.

He told an audience of academics, including UKZN Chancellor and ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, graduates and parents, that while the country’s laws allowed protests, destruction of property should not be condoned.

"Our universities need transformation, not destruction," Nzimande said.

Nzimande expressed satisfaction at seeing student graduating at Masters and PhD levels, saying this would be an answer to the country’s problem of aging academics.

"I am very happy to see so many Masters and PhD graduates and we hope that some of you will pursue the academic route because the average age of academics is 50, and if nothing is done to address this, we as the country will be in trouble in ten years’ time,” said Nzimande.

He said, while government was happy seeing graduates from the universities, other centres of higher education should be considered by those seeking post-matric studying.

Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  university protests  |  education

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