Tertiary Education, Higher Education, Universities South Africa (Usaf), Democracy, Class Division, Race Issues, Gender Issues, Vaal University Of Technology, Adam Habib, Wits University, Blade Nzimande, South Africa (Country)

Tertiary Education, Higher Education

“Excuses” hinder varsity transformation, academics say

Academics say that while a lot of ground has been covered when it comes to transformation in higher education, a lot more still needs to be done

8.10.2019

Academics believe that excuses and being comfortable with the current status quo are some of the reasons that have led to the higher education sector not being fully transformed.

Academics say that while a lot of ground has been covered when it comes to transformation in higher education , a lot more still needs to be done

Academics believe that excuses and being comfortable with the current status quo are some of the reasons that have led to the higher education sector not being fully transformed.

Speaking on the topic titled “the production of institutional culture in South African universities and the limits of transformation”, George Mvalo — director of social justice and transformation at the Vaal University of Technology — told the delegates that not much had changed in terms of the academic profile at universities.

The nGAP was established in 2015 to help transform universities. This is done by establishing permanent academic posts in areas of greatest need in the higher education system. Preference for these posts is given to people who are young, black and women who are South African citizens.

He said these are things that the sector needs to grapple with, and engage on the way forward.

“Really, do you think we have done no transformation for over 20 years?” he asked. “So take Wits. I know Wits well, but I could use other thousands examples. Wits was 70% white students in 1994, it is 82% black [now]. Wits in gender terms would have had 23 or 24% women academics in 1994, now it is 51%.”

Fundisile Nzimande, a member of the education department’s transformation oversight committee, said it is prudent to spend time looking at the limits and stumbling blocks of achieving transformation in the sector. “For example, we seem to be making excuses about why certain things are not happening… History will really judge us real harshly because we have squandered so much time and resources without showing fair results.”

“I am extremely concerned that despite the very significant progress we have made to change the demographics in our universities we, however, still have some way to go. The gender and profile of our senior and research personnel still require significant changes,” he said.

Read more: Mail & Guardian

We have a lot of serious problems facing our universities. High fees, the quality of education provided and inadequate research funding among them. That the demographic profile of academics doesn’t match the national demographic is not one of them, save in the minds of the Woke. Blade needs to learn that entitlement doesn't work in Academics. You may be able to hide a few morons at State Owned Enterprises, but they are swiftly shown up in Academia.

They must do a study on it.

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