The Big Stakes Game : The Domino-Effect of Losing an Academic Year!

2016-09-30 06:16

The implications of our universities losing an academic year only dawned on me this morning … in fact, it hit me like the proverbial “brick wall”!

I realised that losing an academic year will have a catastrophic “domino-effect” on our country and it will be felt by our universities, and our economy, for many years to come!

Consider that the first-year intake, at SA’s universities, is in the region of some 200 000 – 230 000 students.

If all of these students “stall” in their first academic year, what is going to happen to the next 200 000 – 230 000 students-to-be, who are currently in matric, and who will be in the 2017 first-year (university) intake?

Will first-year university classes simply double in size? That would seem logical enough!

Will lecture theatres be able to accommodate such large numbers or will the universities have to double-up on the number of lectures and/or lecturers?

Will universities have the financial means to deal with a double-intake in first-year, given that their financial resources are already strained?

Will the universities be in a position to cope with so many students? There will be a need for additional security, lecturers, administration, car parks etc

Will the country’s academic standards suffer as a result?

Will the economy be able to adapt to having “zero” graduates being fed into the labour market in 2017, given that we already have a skills shortage in this country?

What will happen when the first-year “bubble” of students graduates in 3 to 4 years’ time – will there be too many graduates for too few jobs!

These are just a few of the questions that occurred to me – I’m sure that there are many more!

As I’ve said before, where’s the country’s leadership?? – this is a very HIGH STAKES GAME that SA cannot afford to lose!!

Discipline on our campuses must be URGENTLY restored for the academic year to be successfully completed – the end surely justifies the means!!

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