Zuma signs Higher Education Amendment Act

2017-01-18 18:13
Blade Nzimande (Netwerk24)

Blade Nzimande (Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has signed the Higher Education Amendment Act, which gives Minister Blade Nzimande greater powers to intervene in university matters and furthers the government's higher education transformation plans.

"I am very excited," said MP Charles Kekana, whip of Parliament's committee on higher education, on Wednesday.

"We have been working very hard on it."

The central theme of the act, signed into law on Tuesday, was to make universities more inclusive, and to move away from old patterns of universities based on racial or language lines and to recognise African schools of thought and knowledge, explained Kekana.

Historically, universities were considered Afrikaans (like University of Pretoria), liberal (like Rhodes University) or black (like University of Fort Hare), and the act was expected to help change that.

It was also to make sure that the thread of transformation ran through all sectors of university life - from administrative staff, to students, to lecturers - to make sure that universities were representative of the population and were sensitive to gender and disability needs.

Greater powers for minister 'overdue'

The act would help monitor how institutions spent their money and avoid conflicts of interest.

"Universities receive subsidies and they must account for it. They can't simply use institutional autonomy," said Kekana.

The act comes as students and universities prepare for the new academic year, following two years of robust Fees Must Fall protests which have challenged the way higher education is funded, as well as the language policies of some universities.

Kekana said that giving the minister of higher education greater powers was overdue because it was no longer enough to expect the institutions' councils to fix problems.

"When something goes wrong, people don't turn to the [university] council, they turn to the government," said Kekana.

It would also make institutions more Afrocentric in their curriculum, without rejecting international academic work and discoveries.

The amendments also allow the minister to declare new public institutions, and to confer higher learning status on institutions that are not necessarily classified as universities, but are providing more expanded studies.

It also allows the minister to issue ministerial directives.

Read more on:    blade nzimande  |  jacob zuma  |  education

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
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 24.com 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.