Committee to check universities

2012-10-03 00:00

HIGHER Education Minister Blade Nzimande is to establish a national oversight committee on transformation.

Nzimande said his department was also exploring the idea of introducing compulsory community service for those who had completed their university studies.

He made these announcements at a function held in Durban last night to launch the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) transformation charter.

He said the aim of the oversight committee was not to police institutions, but to work closely with them to achieve the transformation goals as laid out in the White Paper on Higher Education.

Nzimande said he was following the advice of the Soudien report in establishing the oversight committee. The Soudien Inquiry was headed by University of Cape Town deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Crain Soudien. It was launched in March 2008 after a video showing a racist incident at the University of the Free State became public. The inquiry was based on questionnaires and visits to the country’s 23 universities.

It found that discrimination — especially racism and sexism — were endemic at universities.

The inquiry led Nzimande to hold a transformation summit in 2010

He told the gathering last night that some of the objectives of the oversight committee would be to:

• Conduct annual audits on transformation activities within universities;

• Ensure that all university councils develop transformation frameworks, including transformation indicators with set targets. The targets should form the basis of performance contracts and measures for vice-chancellors;

• Monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of quality assurance bodies to steer transformation, particularly on issues of curricula and languages, contextual relevance and access; and

• Identify best practices and challenges in the area of equity, for both academic and professional staff, to promote fairness and openness.

Nzimande said he was encouraged to note that UKZN was setting an example by drawing up a transformation charter, but added that the charter did not address the issue of transforming the university to become an agent for community development.

“I would hope that this principle of community development could be explored by the universities.”


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.