R37.4bn for higher education and training
Cape Town - Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande tabled a budget of R37.4bn for the 2011/12 financial year in Parliament on Thursday.
Of that, R9.1bn was set aside for the Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) and the National Skills Fund.
Universities would receive R19.4bn and Further Education and Training (FET) colleges would receive R4.3bn.
Some R4.1bn would go to public entities, of which R4bn had been set aside for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
The remainder of the money would be shared by the South African Qualifications Authority, the Council on Higher Education, the National Skills Authority and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations.
Nzimande said the main objective for the year was to expand opportunities, especially for African youth, to enter technical and other skilled careers.
Work was also underway to strengthen and support FET colleges, to reconfigure Setas and to build two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape to ensure that more students received post-school qualifications.
He said the department was also developing ways to bring the work and resources of all higher education institutions together to benefit the entire higher education system.
"Our department's goals are firmly located within the overall objectives of prioritising job creation, and within the framework of the New Growth Path, the Industrial Policy Action Plan II and the Human Resources.
"The over-arching vision we are developing is that of an expanded, effective post-school system comprising all the institutional types falling under our department: universities, colleges, adult education centres and the levy-grant institutions [Setas and the NSF] as well as the various regulatory and advisory institutions."
He said access to decent education and training was essential as South Africa's unemployed youth numbered about 2.8 million.
"Education is the apex government priority and now accounts for 19.4% of the total national budget for 2011/12."