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About 51% of SA’s youth can’t pay tuition fees

More than half of SA’s youth is unable to pay for tuition fees

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We have seen a rise in student protests, with issues relating to tuition fees being at the forefront.

Recently, almost a billion Rand was allocated to NSFAS to assist students to settle historic debt owed to tertiary institutions.

If we are to look at the severity of the issues that Higher education institutions are confronted with in numbers, this is what Stats SA revealed:

About 51% of South Africa’s youth – between ages 18 – 24 do not have the financial means to pay for their tertiary tuition, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) announced.

Furthermore, 18% of those who were not attending educational institutions attributed it to poor academic performance.

This is according to Stats SA’s thematic report titled – Education Series Volume V Higher Education and Skills in South Africa.

The report, which uses data from the General Household Survey (GHS) 2017, indicates that only 33.8% of youth aged 18 – 24 were attending educational institutions.

Among those, 22.2% were attending school while 11.6% were attending post-school educational institutions.

Furthermore, the report shows that the general trend in participation in all institutions of post-school learning was upward, with total enrolment in higher education institutions in 2016 amounted to 49.9% of all enrolments within the sector.

The TVET colleges amounted to 30.8% of all enrolments; CET colleges 11.9% of all enrolments and private colleges 7.4% of all enrolments within the sector.

Despite gains in higher education participation rates, the report noted that gender disparity was still a challenge, as was participation equity for students from low-income backgrounds.

Female participation in 2016 at public universities was 58%, and 57% at TVET colleges.

Most students were enrolled in undergraduate NQF Level 7 programmes at universities, mostly studying for qualifications in the fields of business, commerce and management sciences, education or engineering.

Most students enrolled at TVET colleges in 2016 were studying for Report 191 qualifications.

Report 191 programmes also known as NATED are delivered under the auspices of the Department of Higher Education and Training and quality assured by Umalusi.

The programmes consist of 18 months of theoretical studies at colleges and 18 months of relevant practical application in workplaces.

Engineering studies range from N1 – N6 while Business and Utility Studies range from N4 – N6.

According to the report, the number of graduates from public higher universities more than doubled from 92 874 in 2000 to 203 076 in 2016.

In 2016, the number of graduates from TVET and private colleges stood at 135 492.

The time taken by students to complete their undergraduate qualifications has also improved over time.

However, the higher education system still has challenges in terms of their success rates and poor completion rates.

Many students drop out without completing a qualification, or they take up to six years to complete a three-year qualification.

Very few students progress to advanced NQF levels of study (NQF levels 8–10).

Honours students stood at 19.8%, masters 6.3% and doctoral studies 1.4% of the overall tertiary qualifications awarded in 2016.

According to the report, close to 47% of youth aged 20–24 years who held bachelor degrees or qualifications equivalent to NQF Level 7 came from the highest household income quintile.

In comparison, only 7.4% of youth who held qualifications equivalent to NQF Level 7 came from the lowest household income quintile.

Furthermore, close to 36% of youth holding postgraduate degrees or qualifications equivalent to NQF Levels 8–10 came from the highest household income quintile.

Source– SAnews.gov.za

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Universities

First accredited Automated Weather Station unveiled at TUT campus

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History was made yesterday when the Tshwane University of Technology launched the first accredited Automated Weather Station in the country.

The SA Weather Services (SAWS) partnered with the university to showcase the world-class station that is expected to provide hazardous weather warnings, alerts and site-specific forecasts to people on campus and to the SAWS.

The readings can be seen on a screen set up on campus.

The university expects the innovation to enable knowledge-sharing and research in climate and technical services, as well as forecasting and training.

Management already expects the station to help in decision-making for sporting events, saying lives could be saved from early warning of imminent lightning storms.

The launch was celebrated by all professionals who worked on the project and students who came to witness history unfold right before their eyes.

Acting SAWS chief executive Mnikeli Ndabambi said: “Severe thunderstorms produce damaging hail, stormy winds, and flash flooding. With a radar network, we can give you the exact time when it will hit this institution so you can at least park your cars under shelter.

“I am told this weather station is already contributing to the SA Weather Services network.”

SOURCE- TUT News

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NMU academic activities disrupted by protest

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Nelson Mandela University has been working to restore normal academic and other operations following disruptions on Wednesday. A group of students barricaded entrances to the campuses, which was deemed to be in contravention of the standing interdict.

This resulted in a standoff with the SA Police Service, who set off stun grenades after protesting students failed to disperse once the terms of a standing interdict were read out shortly before 1 pm. The students subsequently retreated from the entrances.

The main issue relates to some senior students who did not receive NSFAS funding as a result of not meeting nationally-determined academic performance criteria. These students were subsequently requested to vacate off-campus accommodation.

A total of 1756 students, including 309 whose individual cases were assessed and dealt with by the Clearing House established then, were allowed registration through the various concessions. In light of today’s disruptions, members of the SA Police Service and Protection Service will continue to monitor the situation and secure all campus entrances and facilities.

SOURCE– Nelson Mandela University News

   

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Universities

Higher Education Minister officially Dr. Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor

Higher education minister Naledi Pandor has graduated with a doctorate from the University of Pretoria.

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Image source : Twitter @UPTuks

Minister Naledi Pandor has lived up to her portfolio as a higher education minister by graduating with a doctorate from the University of Pretoria, in the latest of a string of qualifications behind her name.

The official announcement is expected at 3 pm but her wellwishers have already taken to social media to congratulate her over her Ph.D. in Education, which saw her delve into transformation in higher education.

* After donning her graduation robes on Tuesday afternoon, Pandor, who is in her 70s, said in a statement the decision to study again was nerve-wracking.

“But I knew I had to try. I was nervous and slightly embarrassed, as I am an older student, but once I started, I did not want to stop. There were several really bright young students and they seemed so confident and relaxed; I sometimes felt I could not catch up to their confidence levels, but I wanted to do this, so I persevered.”

Professor Chika Sehoole, Dean of the Faculty of Education at UP, said it was an honour to supervise the minister for her PhD. He previously worked with her before the old Department of Education was split. “After I agreed to supervise her, she set the rules for the relationship. She said to me, ‘Now you are my Professor, I am your student. You call me Naledi, and I will call you Professor.’ That was a shocker! I could not believe it, especially given our previous relationship in the Department of Education.”

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