Higher Education and Training: Minister's Budget Vote Speech & Responses by ANC and IFP
08 May 2013
Minister of Higher Education and Training , Mr Blade Nzimande , gave his Budget Vote Speech on the 08 May 2013
Honourable Speaker / House Chairperson,
Cabinet Colleagues and Deputy Ministers,
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
Director-General and Staff of the department,
Heads and Executives of all our Post-School Organisations and Institutions,
My special guests
Ladies and gentlemen and comrades.
This year 2013 marks the 60th Anniversary of the Bantu Education Act which introduced and systematised a racist system of education aimed at severely restricting the educational opportunities of blacks in this country. Most of our government’s efforts with regard to education since 1994 have been aimed at overcoming this burdensome legacy together with the entire oppressive inheritance of colonialism and apartheid.
Great progress has been made over the past 19 years in expanding access and success in post school education and training, but much still needs to be done. We must not forget the past, not because we want to use it as an excuse for our weaknesses or failures, but because it keeps at the forefront of our thoughts the redress that is still necessary in order to overcome the legacy.
Education at all levels remains a top priority of the South African government. The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is responsible for post school education and training in universities, colleges and adult education centres. We have been steadily building a single, coherent, differentiated and highly articulated post-school education and training system.
This will contribute to overcoming the structural challenges facing our society by expanding access to education and training opportunities and increasing equity, as well as achieving high levels of excellence and innovation.
For the 2013 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) the department’s budget (excluding direct charges) increases at an annual average rate of 7.8 per cent over the 3 years, from R31.6 billion in 2012/13 to R39.5 billion in 2015/16. The amount of R34.3 billion for 2013/14 is an increase of R2.7 billion (or 8.6 per cent) on the 2012/13 allocation, excluding funds from the skills levy.
The skills levy, which is channelled through the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) and the National Skills Fund (NSF), is expected to increase at an annual average rate of 9.1 per cent over the 3 years from R11.4 billion in 2012/13 to R14.8 billion in 2015/16.
Approximately a million young people leave school every year, and should be absorbed into post school education or directly into the workforce if they are not to be unemployed. As you know, 3.5 million between the ages of 15 and 24 in the 1st quarter of 2013, were not absorbed into employment, education or training and many adults also find themselves in a similar predicament.
One of the highest priorities of my department is to ensure that the large numbers of these youth are given post-school education and training opportunities that will improve their employability. Policies to achieve our objectives will be set out in a White Paper on Post-School Education and Training which I expect to be ready in the next few months.
Our top priority is to expand and improve the quality of further education and training colleges, soon to be renamed Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. Our message to South Africans that Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges should be institutions of choice is starting to bear fruit.
For the 2012 academic year we set a target of 550 000 student headcount enrolments. However, a total of 657 690 was achieved representing an increase of 54% over the preceding year (2011). Over the 2013 MTEF period, we have allocated R17.4 billion to ensure that FET College enrolments continue on this expansion trajectory. This includes investment in FET College infrastructure in order to turn college campuses into learning, ICT, sports, entertainment and business incubation centres.
In 2012 we provided financial assistance through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to 187 497 FET College students, exceeding our projection of 180 826 students for that year. To cater for the expansion in student enrolments in FET Colleges, we have set aside R6.3 billion over the 2013 MTEF period, beginning with R1.988 billion in 2013 and culminating in R2.2 billion in 2015. This will enable us to ensure greater access to education and training opportunities for 702 430 poor and academically capable young people over the MTEF period.
Currently, post-school education and training institutions are unevenly distributed across the country, with rural areas being particularly poorly served. In order to correct this spatial distribution, the President last year announced the availability of R2.5 billion for infrastructure expansion and refurbishment. Last year I committed to establishing 12 new campuses.
I am now pleased to report that construction of these campuses will start this year and the first student intake in the new campuses will be in 2014. In addition we are significantly upgrading two existing campuses. This represents the first phase of our FET College infrastructure expansion and should cater for up to 28 000 additional students next year. We have to progressively invest in building more FET College campuses and satellites.
The R2.5 billion for capacity building and programme expansion has been allocated to FET Colleges to focus on expansion of enrolments (R2 billion), building institutional capacity (R365.5 million), and upgrading of equipment (R192 million). The strategic significance of this investment cannot be overemphasised, as it will assist the colleges to better respond to their expanded mandate.
Building the institutional capacity of the colleges is essential and we are drawing on the expertise in professional councils to assist us. During 2012, we developed an FET College Turnaround Strategy which focused on building college capacity in management, governance and leadership, financial management, human resource management, teaching and learning, as well as student support services.
With the assistance of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), we have appointed 48 Chartered Accountants as Chief Financial Officers at FET Colleges with the remaining two colleges to receive their appointments shortly.
Also in partnership with SAICA, the department has appointed 20 Human Resources Specialists to support clusters of colleges to set up Human Resource systems, procedures and policies to ensure smooth and effective human resource management and development in each college.
We have also agreed to a partnership with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) to improve the FET curriculum, make it more relevant to the world of work and facilitate articulation into higher education.
In addition, the DHET is developing an FET College-based Mathematics and Science Foundation Programmes that will enable young people to take up university studies in the engineering, science and technology fields. We expect this programme to be piloted from next year.
During the 2013/14 financial year we will ensure that each college has structures that enable a learning institution to function optimally. This includes the filling of all vacant senior management posts, appointment of college councils and election of student leadership. These measures aim to create management, governance and leadership stability in FET Colleges.
An analysis of the current funding framework for FET Colleges and Public Adult Learning Centres has brought me to the conclusion that the framework is inconsistent with the vision of an integrated yet differentiated post-school education and training system. To remedy this anomaly, I shall set up a Ministerial Committee to advise me on how best to fund the TVET System (FET Colleges) and envisaged Community Colleges, both from the fiscus and levy funds.
At the beginning of this year, I published a notice in the Government Gazette which effectively transfers authority over FET College management staff from the Provincial Departments of Education to the Department of Higher Education and Training with effect from 1 April 2013.
To finalise the migration process, during the course of 2013/14 parties in the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council (GPSSBC) and Further Education and Training Colleges Bargaining Unit (FETCBU) will negotiate to finalise the Collective Agreements that will guide and manage the transfer of lecturers and support staff from the employ of the Colleges to the DHET.
Adult education and training
Census 2011 provides a sobering reminder of the need to pay attention to Adult Education and Training. The Census indicates that there are potentially 18 million adult learners that the education system should address. 8.6% of these are the target of the KhaRi Gude literacy campaign, while the rest is the focus of the post-school system. The current Public Adult Learning Centres are woefully inadequate, reaching only 300 000 learners.
The Further Education and Training Colleges Amendment Act, No. 1 of 2013 provides for the creation of a new institutional type, to be known as Community Education and Training (CET) Colleges. The present Public Adult Learning Centres will in time be absorbed into the CET Colleges, additional facilities and staff will be provided and the offerings will be extended to provide vocational or community oriented programmes.
I have published for public comment the report of a task team which made recommendations for the community colleges. During the course of this financial year, the DHET will identify selected centres to pilot the first Community Colleges in 2015.
I am pleased to report that there has been a 12% growth in the university enrolments from 837 779 in 2009 to 938 200 in 2011 which is in line with the aim to increase the total enrolments to 1.62 million by 2030 as envisaged by the National Development Plan. Overall the number of university graduates for this period has also increased by 11%.
The numbers of post graduates increased at a higher rate than the overall graduation rate which is important because it is on post-graduates that we depend for our future academics, researchers and other leaders in knowledge-intensive professions. Research Masters graduates increased by 26% and Doctoral graduates increased by 15% from 1 373 in 2009 to 1 576 in 2011.
In my view though, this is quite insufficient to meet our needs and it is not really comparable to other leading developing countries, let alone developed ones. We need to aim at making it the norm for academics to have doctorates and we need to make a special effort to significantly expand the number of South Africans with higher degrees.
To this end, my department is exploring ways to accomplish this, including sending students to study at overseas universities where appropriate. Parenthetically, I should mention here my irritation at seeing universities awarding professorships to individuals who have virtually no previous academic experience and sometimes no higher degrees. I really wish that they would stop this, unless we want to lower standards.
Linked to the expansion of the university system is the establishment of the two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape. Much preparatory work has been done and I now expect to establish the two institutions as legal entities in the next month. R2.1 billion has been earmarked for the development of the universities over the next three years.
Both universities will open their doors in 2014 in selected academic programmes, using existing buildings. We will be having architectural competitions for the design of the main facilities and launching these sites for construction from September this year.
Progress has also been made in separating the Medunsa campus from the University of Limpopo and establishing a new university incorporating that campus. This will be a comprehensive university of health and allied sciences, including veterinarian science and dentistry. In the next few weeks I will publish my intention to establish this new university and invite public comments.
At the beginning of this year I successfully established a Central Application Clearing House (CACH) mechanism as a first phase towards the establishment of the Central Application System (CAS). The Deputy Minister will further elaborate on this in the closing address.
Last November I received a report from the Working Group on fee-free university education and I am studying its recommendations. I am preparing a submission to Cabinet to implement the African National Congress (ANC) Manguang Conference resolution to phase in fee-free education.
With regard to funding more broadly, I have received a comprehensive report from the Ministerial Committee on the Review of Funding of Universities which will be published soon. We will model the various recommendations and develop a revised funding framework before the end of this financial year.
The framework must ensure an effectively funded and strengthened university sector. Our aim is to ensure that all institutions, particularly those that service the poor, are able to offer quality higher education.
Teaching and learning are at the heart of our university system. An amount of R575 million has been allocated to all universities for teaching development grants to assist in improving graduate outputs and R205 million for foundation programmes to improve the success rates of students from disadvantaged educational backgrounds.
A teaching development policy framework will be implemented. In the coming financial year, programmes will also be initiated to support the academic and professional development of lecturers in universities. In addition, R177 million for research development has been allocated to all 23 universities to develop the research capabilities of university staff, especially for those institutions with low numbers of staff with Masters and Doctorate degrees.
I am concerned about the allegations of “sex for marks” practices at our higher institutions which mainly affects our female students. I will be asking the Oversight Committee on the Transformation of South African Universities to investigate these allegations and provide me with recommendations.
My department has continued to prioritise the expansion and strengthening of teacher education for all education sub-sectors, including pre-schooling, schooling and post-schooling. Additional resources have resulted in an increase from just under 6 000 new teacher graduates in 2008 to 10 361 in 2011, an increase of 73% in the number of new teachers that graduate annually.
We expect to exceed 14 000 new teacher graduates by 2015.
Plans are progressing to open new teacher education college campuses under the jurisdiction of existing universities. The Siyabuswa Teacher Education campus was launched earlier this year. It is being managed as part of the University of Johannesburg but will later be transferred to the new university in Mpumalanga.
Processes to establish new teacher education campuses in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo province are continuing. A Policy on the Professional Qualifications for Lecturers in Technical and Vocational Education and Training has been finalised and will be gazetted within the next month. This policy will for the first time establish a coherent set of qualifications for college lecturers.
I have extended the infrastructure grant to universities from two to three years, increasing the R3.8 billion to R6 billion over the period 2012/13 to 2014/15, including amounts aimed at overcoming backlogs in historically disadvantaged institutions. Through co-funding, institutions will contribute a further R2 billion over this period to bring the total investment in university infrastructure to R8 billion.
I have gazetted for comment a draft Policy on Student Housing in Public Universities. This Policy will require universities to improve student housing in many areas such as governance, maintenance, admission for first years and also set minimum standards for a proper living and learning environment for students across the sector.
For the period 2012/13 to 2014/15 I have allocated R1.652 billion for universities to build and refurbish student residences, with 86% of this funding allocated to historically disadvantaged institutions and campuses. While this funding is significant, it is insufficient to cover the need for student housing in the system. We have engaged with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to make available additional funding for student accommodation.
Work on the establishment of a National Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences is progressing well and I expect it to be up and running by the end of this year. The work of my Advisory Panel on African languages is at an advanced stage. The panel is expected to submit its report on strengthening the study of African languages and developing them as languages of scholarship in line with the Constitutional requirement that their status be elevated and their use promoted.
Although our public university system as a whole is relatively stable I have been compelled to take action in some institutions to ensure their integrity and proper functioning in the face of corruption or maladministration. This has included putting universities under Administration. I refuse to be intimidated by those who say this violates university autonomy but ignore the need for universities to be publicly accountable.
National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS)
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is our primary tool to ensure access for poor students to post-school education. Since 1991, It has assisted 1.4 million students and many NSFAS alumni now play important roles in our economy and society.
The Board and staff of NSFAS continue to implement the recommendations of the Ministerial Review Committee report of 2010 and have made significant progress in the turnaround process to enable the entity to deliver on its mandate.
The Department’s allocation to NSFAS for 2013/14 amounts to R5.769 billion. This includes R3.693 billion for loans and bursaries to universities and R1.988 billion for bursaries for Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges.
Linking education and the labour market
One of our priorities is linking the education and training institutions and the labour market. This is because workplace training is generally more effective if on-the-job training is combined with theoretical study and also because practical experience during training (or in some cased immediately afterwards) increases a student’s chances of finding employment.
The DHET has now established a dedicated Unit on “Work Integrated Learning Partnerships and Innovation”.
The Unit engages with employers in both the private and public sector as well as with SETAs in order to promote and institutionalize work integrated learning. Government departments and agencies at national, provincial and local levels are now starting to step up their intake of young people for apprenticeships, learnerships and internships as are state owned companies which have a pivotal role to play in this regard.
The private sector has great potential to step up training opportunities and some companies are already doing excellent work in this regard. We have declared this year as The Year of the Artisan.
Our new SETA Grant Regulations came into operation on 1 April 2013 and require SETAs to target funding towards structured workplace learning and experience, promoting partnerships between education and training institutions and employers. This will assist to institutionalise this very important work within the post school education and training system.
For the first time in its history, the NSF has reached a stage where its annual disbursements are on par with annual income. In addition, all of the Fund’s R7 billion historic reserves have been earmarked for specific skills development projects of national priority.
Most of the expenditure has been for improving infrastructure and programmes for expanding capacity and improving quality in the production of skills in engineering, medical and veterinary sciences, renewable energy, various trades and rural development.
My sincere gratitude goes to the President and Cabinet colleagues for their support, our Director-General, my Special Advisor, senior staff in the department and all of Team DHET including our institutions and public entities for their efforts to ensure that we realise our vision of a South Africa in which we have a differentiated and fully inclusive post-school system that allows all South Africans to access and succeed in relevant post-school education and training.
Higher Education and Training Budget Vote Speech 2013/14 by Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana
8 May 2013
Honourable Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers present
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee Adv Malale and Honourable Members of Parliament...
Director-General and the entire staff component of the department
SETA Chairpersons and CEOs
Heads and Executives of all our Portfolio Organisations and Institutions
National Coordinator of the ANCYL National Task Team, Cde Magasela Mzobe
My family in the public gallery
Ladies, gentlemen and comrades.
Honourable Speaker, over the past year we have been on a journey of discovery- discovery of our nation's capacity to rise to many challenges of our times. The road we have travelled is full of pitfalls that not only evidence where we come from but also how we have carried out our mandate as elected servants of the people. On each stone there is a small acknowledgement next to each achievement which reads "only those who know where we come from, and where we are going, can know how much we have achieved.
This acknowledgement comes from the people whose dream of access to quality higher education was always deferred in pre-1994 South Africa.
Honourable Speaker, This is the fourth budget speech of the Ministry of Higher Education and Training to the fourth Democratic Parliament of post-1994 South Africa. It is indeed an honour and privilege for me to deliver my first budget speech as the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training wherein I will share some insight on some of the key areas that form part of my delegations.
We fully agree with the National Development Plan to “accelerate efforts in integrating issues of disability into all facets of society and ensure equitable service provision for persons with disabilities” and to eradicate the physical, information and communication barriers, which may prevent persons with disabilities from participating fully in the learning experience.
This year, I took the initiative of visiting selected high schools for persons with special needs to encourage them to enter the post-school education and training system under the theme "disability is no barrier to learning", guided by the understanding that inclusivity is one of the underpinning principles of the South African education system.
Honourable Speaker, I am happy to report that we have since set aside or ring-fenced funding for building capacity within our institutions to accommodate the needs of all persons with disabilities. We have also set aside student financial aid to fully support disabled learners to overcome the barriers facing them.
To get our Sectoral Education and Training Authority’s (SETA) involved, a partnership between the Wholesale and Retail SETA and the South African Disability Development Trust ensued which saw 404 disabled people being trained in five provinces namely the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. The purpose of this intervention was to introduce disabled people to the wholesale and retail environment, equip them with workplace skills and increase their employability.
I am happy to report that several host employers have since opened up their workplaces for the 404 disabled people to acquire workplace skills... One of the beneficiaries of this programme is my special guest today, Mr Sizakele Mdladla, who is wheelchair bound and hails from Khayelitsha, who gave a testimony during one of the graduation ceremonies of how this programme have since changed his life.
Appreciating that our higher education and training institutions are not exempt from the risk of HIV, we felt that there is a definite responsibility and role for us to fulfil in the mitigation of HIV and AIDS and TB in order to improve access and build a strong skilled human resource for national development. The Higher Education HIV/AIDS Programme (HEAIDS) is a dedicated national facility to develop and support the HIV mitigation programmes at South Africa’s public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
We applaud HEAIDS for driving the "First Things First" programme and the tremendous work that they have been doing in our universities and universities of technology in the past few years. In 2013 I directed HEAIDS under the leadership of its Director Dr Ramneek Ahluwalia (who is in the public gallery) to extend the HIV/AIDS testing and TB screening programme to FET colleges as the students in this sector are more susceptible to the pandemic.
This was to further align the Programme to the 2012 to 2016 National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB which emphasises on the effective practical implementation of a comprehensive response at all our institutions. I'm happy to inform the people of South Africa that in February this year, I launched the First Things First programme in the FET sector at the Mnambithi FET college in Ladysmith.
Just last week, we visited the Gert Sibande FET college as part of our First Things First HIV/AIDS and TB Counselling and testing roll out plan. We will also be visiting the Goldfields FET College in the Free State in August this year on a similar mission.
The Minister of Higher Education and Training launched 2013 as the Year of the Artisan at an auspicious event at the Tembisa Campus of the Ekurhuleni West FET College in Gauteng. The launch signalled the beginning of an artisan development advocacy programme that is being rolled out across the country led by my office as mandated by the Minister.
The advocacy programme is being rolled out under the theme “It’s cool to be an Artisan” and is already finding considerable resonance among many South Africans and is being supported by large numbers of persons mainly our high school learners. Each event also links a local secondary school to a local FET College and in this regard we are working very closely with our SETAs so that they facilitate workplace training for our students. We have further directed our FET colleges to host Open Days for high schools in order to promote their programme offerings.
We call on all South Africans to heed to our call and join us as we promote artisan development in our country. This, Honourable Members, is really to elevate the status of artisans and further build a strong skills base in South Africa in our final attempt to improve the employment prospects of our young people.
Honourable Speaker, honourable members,
This year I launched World Skills South Africa or what we refer to as the South African chapter of the world Olympics on skills. The Minister of Higher Education and Training strongly felt that for a developmental state like South Africa, it makes more sense to organise sessions of this nature where international perspectives specifically on skills development are shared given the need for the country to thrive as a global partner and competitor. International best practices and benchmarks are the critical elements for a progressive economic system.
Two of my special guests in the public gallery today are Mr Thulani Mzayidume (a past participant in mechatronics at the 41st World Skills Competition in London, United Kingdom in 2011) and Mr Marvin Lottering (who will be participating in dry walling and plastering at the 42nd World Skills Competition in Leipzig, Germany next month. I must commend both SETA and Services SETA for the good work as we see these skills competitions as a great way of harnessing our energy for the Year of the Artisan.
When we launched the “Apply Now!” campaign last year the aim was to create awareness of career options and application procedures to be followed for Post-School Education and Training. The intention was to reduce the long queues and some of the chaos that generally take place at most of our universities at the beginning of each academic year. I am pleased to report that we reached out to Grade 9 to 12 learners in all of the 6000 public high schools and distributed 600,000 booklets throughout South Africa in 2012.
I also visited selected universities at the beginning of the year, namely: the University of Venda, the University of Johannesburg, the University of Fort Hare and the University of Zululand to monitor the impact of the Apply Now campaign and I am pleased to report that the registration and late application processes ran smoothly. During this academic year, we had minimal walk-ins, less long queues, no reported student protest linked to the registration process and no stampedes whatsoever.
For 2013, we have updated the “Apply Now!” booklet and will distribute it in June to all high schools in the country. We will continue to reach out to as many learners as possible during this current year. As the final phase of the Apply Now! campaign, we want to focus on raising awareness about the Central Applications Clearing House facility.
This facility was successfully implemented at the beginning of this year as a precursor of the Central Application System. The service managed to advise prospective students of the various educational opportunities within the post-school system and helped direct them to available spaces in the system.
I am happy to announce that the department will be developing and testing the IT system for the Central Applications Service during this financial year, and will pilot the system for phased implementation from 2015.
Honourable Members... We are on course.
Let me take this opportunity and extend my gratitude of thanks to the President of the Republic, His Excellency, JG Zuma for his continued guidance and support.
To the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Nzimande, ngibonga kakhulu ukungixhasa nokusekela kuwowonke umsebenzi engiwenzayo.
To my cabinet colleagues... Thank you very much for your support and teamwork.
To members of the portfolio committee, your constructive role in playing your oversight function is most commendable.
To the management and staff of the department under the stewardship of the Director-General, continue to be patriotic South Africans as you have demonstrated in the past year in our final quest to bring quality service to our people.
To my movement, the oldest liberation movement in Africa... I couldn't have served my people to the best of my ability under any other ticket than the African National Congress.
To my family and friends (my mother in particular, MEC Manana who is sitting in the gallery)... Thank you for affording me the space to execute my duties and the support you have given me since I heeded to the public call of service and duty.
My sincere gratitude to all the personnel in my office for their dedication, commitment and willingness to work beyond the call of duty.
Let me reiterate what I have said above, now that we have achieved so much, we must claim our rightful place among the achievers in terms of deliverables. The task at hand remains a daunting one but the prize is big. Forging change is not easy. We have to confront established ways of thinking and working. We must continue to gain the momentum to fight for a truly educated and skilled workforce in our country.
Speech by Hon Sheperd Mayathula during the National Assembly budget Vote Debate on Higher Education And Training
VOCATIONAL AND CONTINUING EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Thank you Chairperson
Honourable Minister and Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training
Honourable Members of the Portfolio Committee and the National Assembly
I feel very honoured today for being afforded the opportunity to address you on Vocational and Continuing Education and Training programme which is the main weapon of the ANC led government in addressing the learning needs of the young people ages 18-24 who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs). According to Sheppard (2009), "in 2007 there were over a million young people in this age group with primary school education and less than Grade 10 attainment, a further one million with Grade 10 but less than Senior Certificate, and nearly 700 000 young people with Senior Certificates – nearly three million not in employment, nor in education or training." (p. 20, para. 19).
To get a better understanding of this crisis, the Hon. Minister of HE&T established a Task Team on Community Education and Training Centres (CETCs). The Task Team provides a working definition of adult learners, "to include the age range of 15 to 55 years as most interested in still completing their education or in learning more generally. These adults in 2001 amounted to nearly 7 million with less than a Grade 7 and a further 11 million who completed a level lower than Grade 9" (pp 17-18, para 11).
"The Green Paper proposes a new vision for a post-school education and training system that should
Be a single, coherent, differentiated and highly articulated system.
Be equitable, accessible and affordable, including free education and training for the poor" (p.30. para. 47).
"To achieve this, the Green Paper (and the National Planning Commission`s proposed Vision 2030) both target increasing university headcount enrolment, but more significantly to have tripled provision in the colleges sector by 2030, including through Community Education and Training Centres". (p. 30. Para. 48).
TARGET FOR 2030 ENROLMENT IN THE POST-SCHOOL
SECTOR INSTITUTIONS 2011 H/COUNT DHET TARGET 2030 NPC TARGET 2030
Universities 950 000 1 500 000 1 600 000
FET Colleges 300 000 3 000 000 1 250 000
PALCs/CEATCs 300 000 1 000 000 1 000 000
Source: DHET, 2012:5 and NPC 2011: 277
EXPANSION OF THE POST-SCHOOL SYSTEM: "Massive expansion of the FET college system (to 4 million headcount enrolment) remains the key policy goal of the current administration articulated through the DHET target". (p. 32. Para. 52). "There are some positive signs from the funding of FET colleges that increased from R800 million per annum in 2000 to around R4 billion in 2011". (p. 32. Para 53).
Further Education and Training (FET) College system is central to the government`s programme of skilling and re-skilling the youth and adults. It plays a vital role in post school education system and it is key to the integration of education and training and responding to the skill needs of the country. We want FET Colleges to provide intermediate-level and artisanal skills to mitigate the shortage of skilled people to fill positions available in the technicians and associated professions and thereby massively alleviate unemployment.The Department of Higher Education and Training is assisting in building college capacity to ensure that it takes centre-stage in skills development. Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) also play a pivotal role in the FET College system. This is in line with National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS III) as it encourages a closer coordination and synergy between public FET Colleges and the SETAs. SETAs are to strengthen the FET Colleges and prioritise them when it comes to training provision.
FET College lecturers are critical to the human resource development strategy in general and to FET reform in particular. It is an undeniable fact that most FET College lecturers` qualifications are not adequate to deal appropriately with the National Curriculum Vocational (NCV).
This is so because in the past many lecturers were qualified in the trades and occupations. Although they were teaching, they did not have teaching qualification. However, now some teachers in the system have teaching qualification but lack occupational qualifications relevant to occupational work experiences. NCV programme emphasises theoretical understanding of particular vocations and this is a shift from the more ‘practical focus` of artisan training to which some lecturers are more accustomed. The NCV programme has marked a significant move in vocational education, such that FET College lecturers need to have the right combination of subject knowledge, pedagogy, workplace knowledge and experience. The new curriculum is making challenging cognitive demands on lecturers in terms of high-level knowledge and skills required. Thus, there is a need to upgrade FET College lecturers by improving their pedagogical, vocational and technical skills. They also need to be exposed to the latest developments and technology both in the colleges and in industry. This will be helpful as FET Colleges are being called upon to be responsive to the practical needs of industry and business so as to make learners employable and train for a growing South African economy.
Honourable Members, the National Development Plan (NDP) proposed an expansion of the FET sector in order to increase participation to 25 percent in 2030. Expanding the higher education sector will contribute towards rising incomes, higher productivity and the shift to a more knowledge economy. The Department of Higher Education & Training has moved swiftly to respond to the NDP`s proposal by planning to build six new FET Campuses in the 2013/14 financial year. These FET Campuses will be built in Umkhanyakude, Graaf Reinet, Lusikisiki, Giyani, Sisonke and Sterkspruit. A further six campuses will be built next year. Refurbishment will also be carried out at some FET Colleges with a particular focus at upgrading of teaching facilities as well as hostel accommodation. These projects will commence in the first quarter of 2014/15 financial year.
South Africa has adopted recognition of prior learning (RPL) as a means to support transformation of the education and training system of the country. South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) has been at the fore-front of the RPL policy development since 2002. The main purpose of RPL is to facilitate access to and mobility and progression within education, training and career path. It also seeks to accelerate redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities. SETAs do play a huge role in implementing RPL as they have awarded various part-qualifications and qualifications to their candidates. The majority of these candidates followed RPL process measuring knowledge and skills against National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 4 and 5 part qualifications and qualifications. The RPL system needs to be developed in a sustainable manner including infrastructure and capacity building of RPL advisors and RPL practitioners.
Systemic blockages do exist in the higher education sector, such as lack of synergy between various post-school sub-systems, i.e. Universities and FET Colleges. This leads to lack of articulation across the sub-systems. Universities offer FET Colleges little recognition in the domain of knowledge production. To make things work, there should be good understanding between universities and FET Colleges in order to generate and facilitate good form of collaboration. Be as it may, there are pockets of successes as some institutions have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between them about articulation.
However, this needs to be widespread and be a policy that applies across the spectrum of higher education. Both universities and FET Colleges should work towards a system of recognised, quality, articulated learning and career paths, which removes systemic barriers to access and progress. The system should enable easy navigation.
CERTIFICATION OF FET COLLEGE GRADUATES
As the ANC we acknowledge the challenges currently being experienced with the certification of FET College graduates. We especially appreciate the progress that has been made with respect to NATED N1 to N6 graduates who are now being certificated per examination cycle. We also note that certification for NC (V) graduates has commenced. We are confident that the backlog for NC (V) certificates dating back to 2007 will be addressed in a similar manner and with the urgency it deserves.
We would like to commend the Department on its efforts in ensuring that the youth of this country finally get practical recognition of their efforts and can now access opportunities in higher education and the workplace. In the main, we have taken note of the following interventions:
Plans that are under way to put in place a comprehensive IT system that will meet the demands of the national examinations function.
Issuing of letters to higher education institutions and employers confirming the legitimacy of the statement of results issued by the Department. The endorsement of Umalusi in this regard gives more credence to this intervention.
Honorable Minister, the Portfolio Committee will expect regular updates on the progress being made on this matter.
As of this current financial year, FET Colleges received subsidy transferred directly to Colleges. Their allocation will no longer go through Provinces as schedule 4 grants. Colleges will now be in control of their funds. This will give Colleges the autonomy they deserve however, better financial management and proper planning is required so that Colleges could deliver quality education.
SOME OF THE STEPS TAKEN BYTHE DHET
The Department aims to train in this current year, 3 600 Adult Education & Training and FET College lecturers for National Senior Certificate for Adults and GETC.
Artisan candidates found competent increased by 60% from 8 238 to 13 168
All public FET College functions transferred to the DHET by 2013/14
9 public institutions declared as community colleges by 2014/15
12 new FET College campuses built by 2014/15
Introduced a draft Framework for lecturer qualification for FET Colleges for public comment
The DHET has Established the Quality Council for Trades and Occupation (QCTO) and National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB). The QCTO works together with NAMB to strengthen the role of vocational colleges in artisan development. The QCTO will bring the needs of industry closer to the education and training system, so as to meet the aspirations of the youth and adults, while ensuring that education, training and skills development initiatives respond adequately to our social and economic needs.
DHET intends to: "Improve participation in vocational education for poor students by increasing the number of national curriculum (vocational) bursary recipients in colleges from 18 826 in 2012/13 to 245 655 in 2015/16" (p. 387)
It is the Department`s objective to provide College bursaries to 100% of eligible college students. The number of bursaries awarded this year is 222 817 and the target is to award 702 430 FET College bursaries over the MTEF period. To be eligible for this College bursary, the household income should be R127 000 per year (R10 583 per month) or less and perform well academically. The Department is challenging the FET Colleges to bring forward any student who meet these requirements who has not been assisted.
VANDALISM: Head line on the Daily Dispatch of Saturday 4th May 2013:
"WSU shuts down after protests". Caption on burning debris,"DESTROYED: The dining hall at WSU`s Zamukulungisa Campus was completely burnt down".
The ANC supports the budget.
I thank you all.
Speech by Hon Ishmael Malale during the National Assembly budget Vote Debate on Higher Education and Training
It is momentous that this budget debate takes place on the 17th anniversary of the adoption of the final Constitution by the Constituent Assembly, thus heralding our nascent democracy. Last year we processed three pieces of legislation, including the Higher Education and Training Laws Amendment Act by this August house.
Some few academics and respected legal experts such as Jeremy Gaunlett have since expressed their disenchantment with this Act threatening legal action. They postulate that this Act is unlawful and unconstitutional for eroding Academic freedom and institutional autonomy. In a nutshell, this Act gives an independent assessor investigative powers and the Minister to give directives to University councils to deal with any incidents of financial impropriety, institutional mismanagement and unlawful discriminatory practices. In the event the council deliberately refuses, the Act enjoins the Minister to dissolve the recalcitrant council.
It would seem this assertion was jotted down during an intellectual holiday. Institutional autonomy is not a fundamental constitutional human right in our legal regime.
It is only a right affirmed by the Higher education Act as amended. Our Constitution enshrines Academic freedom and scientific research, which right is largely neglected by academics given the negligible groundbreaking research in some if not many of our institutions.
Ominously, some professors are vociferous in asserting institutional autonomy in effort to avert scrutiny in the affairs of our public universities, especially in instances of malpractices, mismanagement and other illicit discriminatory practices. We are only determined to ensure more transparency, openness and accountability which are normative values of our sacrosanct Constitution.
Whilst we remain exponents of academic freedom and institutional autonomy we respectfully differ with those that seek to employ the concept of institutional autonomy to protect ineptitude and conceal corrupt practices especially in the light of serious allegations of camouflaged transactions with discredited personalities in some of our institutions.
We cannot allow our institutions to be enclaves of privileged social classes and strata which continue to be unresponsive the strategic imperatives of our progressive democratic government. The resources which this votes seeks to have approved ought to be utilised to ensure that expanded access to quality education by our disenfranchised masses of our people. We applaud Stellenbosch University for moving towards a non racial residential policy and seeking to improve intake of African students. These are efforts required to transform higher education.
We urge North West University to emulate his wonderful example. 95% of Potchefstroom Campus it lilly white, Vaal and Mafikeng campuses are meant for Blacks and not offering comparatively qualitative educational programmes. In this sad reality the IF chairperson at NWU strangely remarked they boosted 38 years of remarkable and progressive transformation. He had the audacity of making this claim when 63% of their staff complement in that academic institution is white.
Wits and Blankets. We cannot be silent when there are allegations of sex for courses. We must get to the bottom of this. The Institution of SRC is under threat.
The African National Congress, has adopted a resolution on free education at Polokwane National Conference, further amplified by the recent Mangaung National Conference with urges our government to urgency pursue free education. The first President of SASCO, Robinson Ramaite, is a speech delivered in Norway 20 years ago approvingly quoted the profound seminal assertion of Amilcar Cabral which reads ““Always bear in mind that people are not fighting for ideas, for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children”.
It is in this connection that over 400 000 in our public FET students are enrolled and studying free of any charge; Successful final year students in Universities have their loans converted to full year cost of Study;
An allocation for loan scheme was made for indebted graduates to facilitate receipt of their certificates and academic transcripts.
These are solid practical steps that give expression to our commitment to the progressive realisation of free education for the indigent masses to the extent that our scarce resources allow. The student populace must embrace this commitment through ensuring stability, conducive for learning and teaching; striving for academic excellence.
There are notable improvements such as 12% student headcount enrolment in our universities and 24 % in our FET colleges [ 345 566 -427 423 in 2011], research masters graduates increased by 26% from 4 179 to 5 281 doctral graduates increased by 15% from 1 373 to 1 576.
Whilst we deeply appreciate these improvements, the magnitude of the challenges is much greater in the context of vision 2030 imperatives.
2.1 billion has been allotted for construction of two universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape against the wishes of Van Coller cited in Mouton, Low and Strydom argued that I quote “South Africa does not need more tertiary institutions” stating a decline in the quality of school education, graduates unemployment and poor research output. We are concerned that the critics want to continue entrenching the unequal distribution of educational facilities which perpetuates inequalities inherited by the democratic government. We agree with the Council for Higher Education for correctly observing that the Apartheid government “generated a historical geography of higher education that resulted in an excessive concentration of institutions and provision in certain areas of the country and an absence of readily accessible contact provision in other areas”
We will monitor the efforts to ensure a success of this commitment.
The upper band of this improving throughput rates are dominated by students from privileged social backgrounds. We need to find ways to encourage and support indigenous African doctoral and post- doctoral students, in order to position South Africa for a fiercely competitive and complex high knowledge economy.
Two weeks ago Woolworths in the Western Cape launched a project to familiarise lecturers in the Public FET colleges in the Western Cape with the retail industry in partnership with the Wholesale and Retail SETA. We applaud these efforts and urge other sectors to follow suit.
It will be remiss of me if I do not reflect on concerns about the SETA Grant Regulations.
SETA Grant Regulations are intended to direct the spending of levy resources to resolve challenges around the NEET, that not in education, employment, or training and aims to ensure the effective and efficient utilisation of skills development funding and surpluses or reserves thereof. The regulations are also aimed at ensuring that the bulk of the funding goes to critical and scarce skills required to improve the skills base of our country and ultimately improve the growth of our economy.
The ANC is aware that there are those who disagree with us on this matter. Some of the criticisms are from those who have made millions from positioning themselves as very expensive intermediaries between SETAs and employers.
The situation where over 95% of skills funds were spent on private providers was wrong. There has to be a better balance with FET colleges and universities playing a significant role. The Department must ensure that the SETAs are no longer treated as ATMs or predictable lottery. There is no going back from the National Skills Development Strategy III and its supporting regulations. This is a long term process of reform that is in the interest of employers, industry and the economy and the ANC is determined to see these reforms through in order to achieve the impact that can be measured for all to see.
Certification of FET Graduates
The Department must give a response that generates clarity on this matter and increase pace to bring finality to the certification of FET graduates.
Speech by Hon Nomalungelo Gina during the National Assembly debate on Higher Education and Training
Topic: University Education
Honourable Deputy Minister
Honourable Members of Parliament
Distinguished guests in the Gallery
Ladies and Gentlemen
Chairperson the future of our country is our collective future. Making it work is our collective responsibility. All South Africans seek a better future for themselves and their children. The National Development Plan is a plan for the country to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality. When we educate people we fit them out with the intellectual and cognitive tools and mean not only to understand their world, their social experience, but also to change it. University education is costly. Academically capable students from poor families should not be expected to pay up-front fees in order to access higher education. The principle of increased access to higher education is a core transformation goal. Significant strides have been made in finalizing the policy on free higher education to all undergraduate level students from the poor and working class communities for phased implementation from 2014.
Chairperson, the strategic objectives of Programme three (University Education) is to expand the Higher education sector in order to increase equitable access with success by 2014. The targeted gross enrolment rate is 18.1% by 2014/15. As the ANC led government we are pleased that we had already reached gross participation rate of 18% in 2010, which means that by 2014/15 we will exceed the target. Enrolments in higher education reflect the demographics of the country. The 2010 audited higher education statistics revealed that enrolments of African students have increased from 61% in 2005 to 79% in 2010. The headcount enrolment of women is 51 per cent higher than men; however graduation rate is still sitting at 17% since 2006. More work still needs to be done to improve graduation rate across races.
Our institutions of higher learning are still undergoing transformation. In some institutions the staff profile still do not reflect the demographics of the country especially the ration of female to male academic staff, infrastructure as well as curriculum. The allocated budget will help the Department to increase graduation output in undergraduate and post-graduate programmes. We have already seen progress however it is still not satisfactory.
Our country has been grappling with high number of unemployed youths and graduates. Studies have shown that there is a mismatch between the qualification and what the labour market wants. This discord was because of lack of career advise services in the country. The Department of Higher Education and Training in Partnership with South African Qualifications Authority SAQA has established a career advise services which provided information to school learners about options in the post-school education and training sector. OECD Education Policy Analysis says comprehensive career guidance tries to teach people to plan and make decisions about work and learning. Career guidance makes information about the labour market and about educational opportunities more accessible by organising it, systematising it, and making it available when and where people need it.
It is through this service that enrolment in Further Education and Training Colleges have increased as the Chairperson has already alluded.
School learners, teachers and parents are better informed and they can now make informed decision about what to learn at school and for what careers. However, we are seriously concerned that the programme will be discontinued at the end of August this year owing to lack of funding.
Our country need a career advise service and Honourable Members, alternative ways should be explored in ensuring that this programme becomes permanent and it is funded by the National Treasury.
While we celebrate the increased headcount enrolment of women in higher education, we should also be worried about the stagnated graduation rates of women which have been sitting at 18% since 2005 while graduation rate of men is from 15% in 2008 to 16% in 2010. Honourable Members, the Chairperson alluded to incidents of sexual harassment against women in institutions of higher learning. Recent WITS sexual harassment media reports, the findings of the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) Audit Report on some of the universities found that the Universities do not provide a welcoming supportive environment that empowers female students and staff. The HEQC panel was informed of a wide spread sex for marks incidents where lecturers victimise women students who refuse to provide sexual favours. It is the HEQC that recommended that the University urgently develop and monitor the implementation of a strategy to counter sexism and sexual harassment across all its campuses, and to urgently take active steps against offenders.
Acts like these perpetuate gender inequalities in our institutions and in the society in general and undermine transformation agenda of the country. Universities should ensure that sexual harassment policies are well known by the entire university community and systems should be put in place to ensure effective implementation. Supportive environment must be created where female students and women administrative and academic staff would feel safe and are protected during and after reporting of sexual harassment cases. We should commend the Management of WITS University for taking a stand against sexual harassment by investigating the reported cases.
Chairperson, our interaction with institutions of higher learning during oversight visits have revealed some disturbing concerns around funding of merged institutions with multi-campuses. Universities like Fort hare and Walter Sisulu do not benefit from the multi-campus subsidy while North West University benefitted. As a Committee we wondered what were the criteria used to award this type of funding only to one university. Weâ€™ve also learnt that the Department is planning to phase out the subsidy. We request the Department to relook into this matter and ensure that other funding sources are explored to sustain these institutions which experience challenges caused by campuses which are far apart.
Chairperson, critics continue to lament on the under preparedness of students from under-privileged schools. Though language is not the only cause of low throughput it is a major contributory factor. Research studies found that language is a barrier for success in tertiary institutions. The Higher Education 2010 statistics have shown that African enrolment in higher education institutions is higher than all other racial groups. However, English and Afrikaans continue to be used as formal academic languages of tuition. The speakers of these languages have a better chance of succeeding while to many Africans the required level of proficiency to succeed in higher education is unattainable. The question is â€œwho benefit from the status quo? Definitely not the majority of our African people
It is Neville Alexander who said I quote â€œuniversities have a role to play in the intellectualisation of African languages. Honourable Members, let me take this opportunity to commend the North West University for offering a Bachelor of Education Degree Foundation Phase qualification entirely in Setswana and 8 students graduated from the programme. It is the same institution that published a first full-length natural science scholarly article in Setswana.
I would like to challenge the Ministers of Higher Education and Training and Arts and Culture to consider a special funding for institutions which are promoting multilingualism. The current funding model that relies on the number of Full Time Entering students is not helping as these types of programmes have not yet attracted a high number of enrolments.
Chairperson, the ANC government has shown a political will towards developing African Languages. The Minister of Higher Education and Training has established African Language Advisory Committee which its task is to develop an action plan for the Minister on African Languages.
We do not want to pre-empt the recommendations of the Advisory Committee, but we hope it will help us to prevent language genocide in South Africa.
We also need to applaud the collaborative efforts of the Minister of Higher Education and Training and Basic Education in ensuring that our country has qualified and competent foundation phase teachers who are able to teach in their own indigenous languages. The reopening of Siyabuswa Teacher Training College is a step in the right direction and we also hope that more universities will come on board and offer foundation phase programmes.
South Africa has a triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Two days ago there was a release of household survey statistics which revealed alarming statistics of youth unemployment. The stats showed higher unemployment rate for rural youth which is caused low levels of education among youth. Chairperson, for our country to be placed on a better growth path there should be improvement in quality of post-school education and training. This year, 2013 has been declared the year of artisan. Thus, further education and skills development should be a top priority. The President announced in his 2012 State of the Nation Address that close to 14 000 learners were placed in workplace learning opportunities in 2011 and over 11 000 artisans had completed their trade tests. Nonetheless, these artisans are still far below the National Development Plan (NDP) projections of delivering 30 000 artisans per year.
In conclusion ANC acknowledges the role our SETAs are playing in the skilling of the unemployed youths and re-skilling of those who are employment. We have also seen some progressive leadership by some SETAs in implementing Recognition of Prior Learning. To be specific, BANKSETA has appointed 25 RPL advisors to implement RPL in the banking sector and already employees in this sector have benefitted a lot.
We also welcome targets set by SETAs in addressing a challenge of work placement for youths doing learnerships and those in FET Colleges. These partnerships will facilitate synergy between our sectors towards working to a common goal. Honourable Members, the ANC approves the budget. ANC supports the budget.
Speech by Hon Silence Makhubele during the National Assembly debate on Higher Education and Training
Topic: Supporting, Access to Higher Education and Training
Honourable Deputy Minister
Honourable Members of Parliament
Ladies and Gentlemen
Chairperson education is fundamental to the achievement of the society envisaged in the Freedom Charter. When our people faced the oppressive impact of Bantu Education, it was teachers who stood up and ensure that we confounded the architects of apartheid by producing doctors, lawyers and engineers. Now that we are free we need a similar resolute commitment. Education must be elevated from being a departmental issue or even a government issue, to a societal issue, one that occupies the attention and energy of all our people. In 2030 according to the National Development Plan South Africa will have over 10 million university graduates with a minimum of a Bachelor`s degree.
The Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) with regards to higher education provides for the strengthening of the skills and human resources base which is the strategic priority No. 4. This speaks to the issues of broadening access to post-secondary education and improving higher education throughput rate by 20% by 2014. Within this broader objective more emphasis is on ensuring that financial need is not a barrier to access to and success in higher education and training.
Chairperson, Education White Paper 3 alluded that there is an inequitable distribution of access and opportunities for students and staff along lines of race, gender, class and geography. There are gross discrepancies in the participation rates of students from different population groups. It further indicated that the principle of equity requires fair opportunities both to enter higher education programmes and to succeed in them.
We congratulate the ANC Government for notable change in the lives of the poor since the advent of NSFAS. This is further evidenced by the debt recovery base that NSFAS has achieved. The recovery of loans show that the previous beneficiaries which were poor have now moved into a new class and are earning better salaries.
In 2006 the Scheme‘s loan recovery exceeded R26 million per month with total recoveries of loans per financial year totalling R329 million in that year. The loan recovery from the previous beneficiaries has increased tremendously in 2011 with monthly recovery base of R45 million per month and over R700 million in that year. These recoveries are injected back into NSFAS to complement government`s allocation.
It should also be acknowledged that the demand for access and financial assistance far exceed the NSFAS voted funds and there is a need to rethink of other sources of funding to ensure that every NSFAS beneficiary gets funded for a full cost of study and potential beneficiaries who could be covered if the funds were to be increased. In February 2013, the University NSFAS shortfall was reported to be at R700 million while by end of April it was R2 billion. This shows that top-slicing policy is not going to go away any soon. This policy greatly reduces financial packages of students and has a potential of reducing students` ability to graduate.
Let me take this opportunity to commend the work done by some national and Provincial Departments in providing financial assistance in the form of bursaries to indigent students. In addressing skills shortages in the provinces, provincial departments are increasingly offering financial assistance to students in the form of bursaries. I should also commend the contribution that the Sector Education and Training Authorities and Corporate sector in partnering with NSFAS made to provide more financial assistance.
In as much as we are increasing access through financial assistance we acknowledge that our current infrastructure is inadequate to absorb these numbers. We are pleased upon the knowledge that in September 2013 the construction of the two new universities will commence as indicated in the State of the Nation Address. This will go a long way in broadening access to higher education by the previously disadvantaged communities. What should be addressed though is the uncertainty that apparently is facing the national institutes of Higher Education.
We applaud the Central Application Clearing House piloted from January 2013 to assist prospective students who passed but did not apply. South African Qualifications Authority reported that 90 000 calls were received and 15 % of the learners who applied got accepted into institutions. We are also pleased that Apply Now Campaign has helped in getting messages to prospective students about post-school education and training to apply in time. This Campaign reduced walk-ins in universities. We are interested in finding to what extent has this system assisted the rural poor who need the system the most.
Comparative research studies found that South Africa` spending on education is internationally comparable, though proportion spending on higher education is still low. We are concerned that graduation and throughput rate is not reflecting the spending. Honourable Chairperson and Members, in this current financial year our Department is targeting 83% of our universities with good governance and management. We are still having institutions that are under administration and we must ensure this number does not increase. The Ministry should stabilize that environment.
Quality of higher education, increased graduation and throughput rates also depend on good cooperative governance of our universities. Council and management of our institutions should be committed to adhering to institutional policies and regulations. There is a growing concern that in some institutions Councils are not carrying out their fiduciary role of exercising their oversight role through providing support and guidance to the executive management.
There are claims that they just rubber stamp decisions taken by the management while in some institutions there are continuous conflicts between Council Members and Management.
We further heard during our Committee oversight visits to institutions of higher learning that there is lack of commitment of Ministerial Appointees. Apparently they do not attend meetings regularly and their contribution in supporting the management is often missed. Honourable Minister, we urge the Department to look into this matter and ensure that all Council Members participate as required. Chairperson we are pleased that the Auditor-General reported that universities financial management has improved over the past three years. In 2011/12 financial year, 87% of the universities got unqualified audit reports opinion.
This is encouraging and we hope that other universities will work hard towards moving out of financial qualification.
The AG also found that there were still some challenges in some institutions regarding supply chain management, internal control deficiencies, and procurements which were not competitive. Let me remind the University Vice-Chancellors and Councils Members present here, that the Department has allocated funds for student accommodation and we trust that these projects are not going to increase a number of "tenderpreneurs" in our universities. We are hoping that fair and competitive bidding processes will be followed when procuring services for student accommodation projects.
While on student accommodation, we also welcome and applaud the Minister`s ground-breaking investigation into student housing. The Ministerial Task Team Report on Student Housing has found that only 5% of the first time entering students are housed in university student residences. The report has revealed a dire need of student accommodation in our institutions especially historically disadvantaged. The conditions in which our students are staying under are appalling to say the least. This shortage of student accommodation has created a situation where these students are academically and socially vulnerable.
Honourable Chairperson, our Country`s higher education is unequally distributed geographically. It is obvious that shortage of student accommodation hinders access to and success in higher education especially for migrant students from provinces where higher education is not easily accessible, and contributes to dropout. We have heard of media reports where women students are raped on their way to and from campus libraries, in the private rented shacks. Some were murdered by thugs who wanted to steal their cell phones and laptops. Our children have to endure these hard conditions because they are desperate for education.
We have also learnt of student hunger in our institutions. Most of the universities have privatised or outsourced their in-house catering services (dining hall system) while in some institutions` dining halls are white elephants and some are turned into store rooms. The private catering companies have increased the prices of food and many poor students are not able to afford hence their NSFAS meal vouchers get depleted within a short time. As the Portfolio Committee we urge universities to reconsider taking back catering services and to also reopen the dining halls.
Minister, we thank you for the dedication in ensuring that funds are allocated towards building new residences and minimum norms and standards for student residences were gazetted for public comments. These minimum standards will ensure that institutions of higher learning have comparable infrastructure as proposed by the National Development Plan.
The PHD study conducted by Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF) in 2010 revealed that our country needs to produce 6 000 PhDs per annum of which 3 000 needs to be in science, engineering and technology.
However as South Africa we are still far from reaching these targets.
The National Development Plan alluded that only 34% of academic staff in higher education have PhDs. We need to be realistic if we want to produce the required number of PhDs as proposed by the NDP. Current promoters and supervisors are overworked with teaching, administration and supervision hence they provide inadequate support to students. It is worrying that we are currently sitting with 41% of PhD dropout. I know it is not only academic support that causes dropout; financial need is also a challenge for many aspiring students. Some countries are investing in their students by providing better scholarships which encourage student retention.
Let me take this opportunity to recognise women academic` solidarity groups in Rhodes University, University of Limpopo and Fort Hare University. These groups I have learnt, they were formed by women to provide academic support, mentorship to women post-graduate students and academic staff. The associations have helped in increasing research output of women academic staff and also accelerated success rate of women post-graduate.
It is efforts like these that we need to recognise and encourage in transforming our universities. We hope other institutions will emulate these good examples. As the ANC we are concerned about the allegations that some political organisations generally and DA in particular are creating an impression that assistance given to NSFAS beneficiaries during registration comes from those parties. We therefore call upon the Ministry to investigate whether the allegations are true.
Muhlonipheki Mutshami wa xitulu, mfumo wa ANC wu tirhile swinene ku antswisa vutomi bya vanhu va tiko ra hina ngopfu-ngopfu vadyondzi lava humaka vuswetini na le matiko-xikaya. Hi ku endla leswaku nkwama wa mali yo lomba na mpfuno(bursaries) wu engeteleriwile leswaku vadyondzi lava pfumalaka va pfuniwa hi xitalo.
Ha swi tiva leswaku hambi nkwama wu engeteriwile awu angarheli vanhu hinkwavo; na leswaku miako ya tiUniversity ayi swi koti ku teka tinhlayo letikulu xileswi.
Hikwalaho ku ta sungula ku akiwa tiUniversity tintshwa hi nhweti ya Ndzhati lembe leri eMpumalanga na le Northern Cape ku ndlandlamuxa tindhawu to dyondzela, to etlela na swilaveko swo dyondza no dyondzisa hiswona.
Swichudeni swa tidyondzo ta le henhla swi fanele ku dyondza hi ku tiyimisela swinene ku kota ku humelela loko va kumile nkateko lowu. Va fanele ku pasa leswaku na tintsongwana ta vona kumbe lava landzelaka va ta kuma nkateko va nga pfaleriwanga tindlela.
Hi ri vandala ra ANC hi vilerisiwa hi mavandla ya swa tipolotiki lava nyikaka xiyimo xo hoxeka- va endla ingaku hi vona va pfunaka vadyondzi ku amukeriwa e ti University.
Holobye Dr Blade Nzimande u fanele ku lavisisa mhaka leyi hikuva i mfumo wa ANC lowu wu nyikaka mali ya mpfuneto leswaku dyondzo yi kumiwa na hi vana va swisiwana laha tikweni- Hikuva ndlela yaku lwisa vusweti; ku pfumaleka ka mintitho na ku ka kungaringani ka swiyimo swa vanhu etikweni hi ku hetiseka- Ku nyika vanhu dyondzo leyinene yaxiyimo xa le henhla ku fana na van`wana.
ANC support budget vote 17
Budget Vote 17 - Higher Education And Training
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