Plans to establish varsities in NC and Mpumalanga

2009-09-19 10:20

PARLIAMENT is exploring the possibility of establishing

universities in Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.

South Africa has 23 universities but since the new dispensation and

new provincial borders, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga still do not have


Chairperson of parliament’s portfolio committee on higher education

and training, Marius Fransman, says the committee will engage provincial

education departments and other stakeholders in the two provinces on a

fact-finding mission.

“We see it as part of President Jacob Zuma’s call to capacitate

provinces to meet the needs of rural areas. Therefore the committee will take a

fresh look into the education needs of these provinces,” he says.

Higher education and training director-general, Professor Mary

Metcalfe, says there is political commitment from Minister of Higher Education

and Training Blade Nzimande to broaden the base of education, and the department

was looking at that.

“There are National Institutes of Higher Education in the two

provinces, and over the past couple of years there were measures to

incrementally build their capacities.

“The minister said we need to continue with that process which will

eventually get them to the level of universities,” she says.

However, Metcalfe says there are no time-frames in the process

because it is still in the early stages of conceptualisation.

“The question of viability and quality will be looked at but it’s

still early days of planning,” she says.

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