PRETORIA, South African Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande says the latest statistics showing that two-thirds of students studying at the country’s institutions of higher learning are black Africans is a cause for celebration.
“It is very pleasing that despite our country’s difficult past, as well as the many challenges that continue to affect South Africa’s higher education sector, commendable transformation is taking place at our institutions of higher learning, with ever more students from disadvantaged backgrounds now accessing higher education,” he said Tuesday.
Although, the 2016 General Household Survey report released by Statistics South Africa showed that only about 3.3 per cent of black Africans aged 18 to 29 years were studying, as opposed to 18.8 per cent of students of Asian descent and 17.5 per cent of whites in this age group, more black people were enrolling and graduating from the country’s tertiary institutions.
According to Stats SA, a total of 766,812 students were enrolled at higher educational institutions during 2016 and two-thirds (66.4 per cent) of them were black Africans. There was also an improvement of individuals with tertiary qualifications from 9.3 per cent to 14 per cent, a 4.7 percentage point increase over a period of 14 years to last year.
Meanwhile, Nzimande again called on students to pursue other opportunities within the Post-School Education and Training (PSET) system other than just university study.
“The mandate of the Department of Higher Education and Training is to develop a skilled and capable workforce that can contribute to an inclusive growth path. Central to achieving this mandate is ensuring student access to, and success in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, leading to intermediate and high-level skills,” he said.
Indeed, TVET colleges play a very pivotal role in addressing South Africa’s skills needs and cater for a wide spectrum and growing numbers of students. They offer flexible and diverse courses ranging from full qualifications to short courses and learnerships.”
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK