Pretoria: Cabinet has welcomed the launch of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU), saying it provides an excellent opportunity for the development of health professionals.
Briefing reporters at a post Cabinet briefing on Friday, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, said the university – which incorporates the former Medunsa campus of the University of Limpopo -started its first academic year in 2015 with 5 000 students.
“The establishment of Sefako Makgatho University provides an excellent opportunity for the development and training of a generation of health professionals who will make a positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of the many South Africans still marginalised by poverty and lack of access to health services,” said the Minister.
SMU is the first stand-alone health sciences university to be established in the country.
“Government will continue to invest in education and skills development as a key driver to economic growth and development,” said Minister Radebe.
The university was launched on Tuesday by President Jacob Zuma in Ga-Rankuwa.
President Zuma said the university supplements current initiatives to increase and expand the capacity of higher education institutions and to substantially increase access to higher learning over the next 15 to 20 years to reach the expected participation rate of 25% by 2030.
He said the university will recruit students from communities with the greatest health care needs and provide innovative training programmes, including distance programmes, which will provide students from all over the country with access to quality health care education.
SOURCE: South African Official News