Nzimande wants probe into shortage of black professors

accreditation
Higher Education Minister Blade Nizimande. (Lisa Hnatowicz)
Higher Education Minister Blade Nizimande. (Lisa Hnatowicz)

Cape Town - Black professors are so scarce in South Africa that Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande will set up a ministerial task team to find out what is holding black academics back.

Of the country’s university professors, 83% were white, he told reporters at Parliament on Tuesday, ahead of his department’s budget vote for 2017/18.

“This worries me very deeply. Some say this is because black South Africans start work straight after their first degree to help their families; others say that's not true - that gatekeeping is the problem.”

He had asked Prof David Mosome to chair the ministerial task team. Mosome is a former learner support and student affairs vice principal at the University of South Africa.

Nzimande said until these skewed demographics were fixed, there would be no decolonisation in higher education.

Meanwhile, the outcome of the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (Fees Commission) should be available at the end of June.

President Jacob Zuma established it to investigate the feasibility of free tertiary education, as university students protested countrywide to demand that university fee increases, and ultimately all fees, be scrapped.

Nzimande compromised by not raising fees for 2016, but capped fee increases for 2017 at 8%.

He expressed relief over the “relatively stable” start to 2017 after the turbulence of the past 18 months, but warned that the job of transforming post-school education was far from over.

One of the department's projects was the historically disadvantaged institutions' development grant of R2.5bn over five years, to help universities realise their full potential.

The conundrum of what to do about unemployed graduates continued, but Nzimande said the solution lay in companies offering internships, and for universities and colleges becoming more entrepreneurial.

Nzimande said the National Student Financial Aid Scheme had awarded R72bn in loans and bursaries since its inception as the Tertiary Education Fund of SA in 1991.

In 2017, the NSFAS helped 194 353 students: 78 413 first-time entrants and 115 940 returning students.

At least 123 332 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students received support from NSFAS. He said the scheme would not be privatised by banks, as rumoured, under his watch.

He was worried about the shortage of student accommodation and planned to find out which landlords had cornered this market.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, I believed it was authentic
7% - 147 votes
Yes, I didn't want to spend that much money on the original item
20% - 451 votes
No, I always shop at reputable stores
15% - 321 votes
No, I don't wear designer clothing
58% - 1286 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.88
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.39
-0.7%
Rand - Euro
17.46
-0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.83
-0.7%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.6%
Gold
1,753.44
+0.6%
Silver
22.70
+0.8%
Palladium
2,013.39
+1.4%
Platinum
988.00
-0.5%
Brent Crude
77.25
+1.4%
Top 40
57,643
0.0%
All Share
64,049
0.0%
Resource 10
57,254
0.0%
Industrial 25
82,879
0.0%
Financial 15
14,316
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE