Varsity vice chancellors recognise need for transformation - Habib

2015-10-06 19:37
Professor Adam Habib (Picture: Supplied)

Professor Adam Habib (Picture: Supplied)

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Pretoria - Chairperson of the Universities of South Africa (USA) and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand Adam Habib says they recognise the call for transformation in universities.

"We recognise the legitimacy of the demand for transformation and we undertake to accelerate the programme at every one of our institutions," said Habib.

The statement followed a meeting at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday between President Jacob Zuma and the vice chancellors of higher education institutions around the country to discuss the situation at several campuses.

He said vice-chancellors were prepared to work towards achieving the goal of transforming the institutions of higher learning and he added that they would be making inputs during the upcoming Higher Education Summit that would take place in Durban from October 15-17.

"We undertake to participate fully and energetically in the transformation summit and work with stakeholders in finding solutions to the problems we have in universities regarding transformation," he said.

Transformation has been a burning issue in the country in recent months, with protests experienced at many of the previously white universities. Among the protests was the Rhodes Must Fall campaign at the University of Cape Town.

Students demanded the removal of Cecil John Rhodes’s statue. During the protests, students expressed frustration at the slow pace of transformation at the institution. The protest resulted in the removal of the statue on April 9.

University of Stellenbosch students also embarked on a march to protest against language policies. They called on the university to transform its language policy and promote inclusivity.

Zuma said it was agreed during the meeting that the protests required dialogue in order to find lasting solutions.

"We also discussed some of the real gains in transforming the higher education sector, while acknowledging that there is still much more to be done," he said.

He said the summit would open dialogue and come up with concrete steps to deal with challenges in the higher education system.

Zuma added that some of the violence and protests were also fuelled by political intolerance. He called on universities to support students and help them develop their leadership abilities.

Read more on:    adam habib  |  jacob zuma ­  |  pretoria  |  universities  |  university fees  |  protests

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