Question NW3207 to the Minister of Higher Education and Training

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22 September 2015 - NW3207

Profile picture: Bozzoli, Prof B

Bozzoli, Prof B to ask the Minister of Higher Education and Training

(1) What is the failure rate in each subject constituting the Emergency Medical Care and Rescue Diploma at the Central University of Technology in the Free State; (2) have there been student protests concerning aspects of the specified failure rate, if so, what are the relevant details of these protests; (3) is the University aware that the life of one of the lecturers (name furnished), who is in charge of one or more of these courses has been threatened; (4) (a) has the University received and taken cognisance of (i) a petition requesting the specified person to be removed from the course and (ii) numerous affidavits from signatories to that petition stating that it was signed under false pretences and (b) is the specified person continuing to teach the course; (5) Has the University intervened at any stage in the programme or any of its component courses in order to alter the pass rate after these protests; if so, what are the relevant details?


The Department does not manage the affairs of any university and the following responses to the above questions have been obtained from the Central University of Technology (CUT):

  1. The success rate of the Emergency Medical Care (EMC) programme is currently below 50% compared to the university average of 76%. Ten students graduated on 4 September 2015 with the Diploma in EMC with 87 students at years two and three levels in the programme.
  2. No student protests have occurred, however some of the students reported the challenges experienced in the programme to the media. The Deputy Vice Chancellor: Academic and Research, Acting Dean and Head of Department (HOD) engaged with the students and staff to discuss and put strategies in place to address the concerns raised by students and staff.
  3. Yes, the university is aware that the life of Mr RG Campbell, one of the lecturers in charge of one or more of these courses, has been threatened. The University has put processes in place to deal with the matter according to its internal policies.
  4. Yes, the university took cognisance of this petition and alleged false pretences. The Dean, HOD and Director of Human Resources have had several engagements with the particular staff member and students. This matter has been resolved and the lecturer has continued lecturing from July 2015.
  5. The following interventions were implemented by the university during 2014/15:
  • A task team was established to monitor the EMC programme at a strategic level for the period January to June 2015;
  • Accreditation by the Professional Board for Emergency Care;
  • Appointment of an Internal Review Panel;
  • Improvement of the staffing situation in the EMC programme;
  • Strengthening of student academic support;
  • Increase in the effectiveness and efficiency of the Work-Integrated Learning programme to ensure that sufficient placement opportunities for students are secured;
  • Improvement in communication structures;
  • Regular meetings between CUT and the Professional Board;
  • Interventions by Senate; and
  • Regular interventions by university management.


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