Minister Naledi Pandor: 2019/18 Higher Education and Training pre budget vote media briefing

Media Statement by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, ahead of the Department of Higher Education and Training budget vote debate in Parliament, Thursday, 17 May 2018

Members of the media.

The Theme: Human Resource Development and 4th Industrial Revolution

In 2017 my colleague, Minister Nzimande, referred to the challenges and opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution. More recently Professor Marwala, the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, has written of the transformative potential of the various elements that are identified as part of the technological revolution that is happening right before our eyes!

It is vital for DHET to devote dedicated attention to these changes and their implications for our universities, colleges and community education and training.

I intend to set up a multi-sectoral task team to investigate what is being done in research, teaching and outreach and how emerging technologies are being used to enhance our capabilities in our sector. I am aware that several universities have invested in research areas that explore boundaries beyond our current understanding of a range of processes and technologies.

Significant investments have been made in nanotechnology, new approaches to agricultural technology, bioinformatics, and other fields. We must ensure we build on these early developments and provide the necessary support in terms of skills and research funding.

The Budget

Government introduced fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South Africans for first-year students in 2018.

The DHET expects 84,000 first-time entry university students to be fully funded, and 190,000 students in all other years of study to be funded at ‘average full cost of study’.

This massive injection of student funding support under the new DHET bursary scheme is also combined with a government commitment to increase the core funding for universities and TVET colleges to 1% of GDP over a 5-year period.

Over the medium term expenditure framework the combined total of additional funding for the post-school system amounts to R67 billion of which R33 billion is the additional allocation to NSFAS for the introduction of the new DHET bursary scheme for first-time students in universities and R10,3 billion for TVET bursaries.

The 2018 budget is R89, 9 billion.

It’s major components are: university transfers R38,6 billion, NSFAS R20,5 billion; skills development R16, 9 billion; TVET colleges R10,7 billion and CET colleges R2,3 billion.

Highlights of the 2018 budget:

The Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education programme has been piloted and is now being scaled up in 2018/19. Universities South Africa is partnering with the DHET to enable large-scale implementation of the programme in all universities across the country and a three-year implementation plan has been finalised.

The Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant is approximately R8.5 billion over the 2018/19 � 2020/21 cycle.

The student housing infrastructure programme (SHIP) is a long-term plan to provide 300,000 new beds for students at institutions in the post-school education and training sector over 10 years.

TVET colleges receive an additional subsidy of R1,4 billion for 2018/19, and R6.6 billion over the MTEF and for the first time TVET colleges receive R1,3 billion in 2018 and R4,4 billion over the MTEF for infrastructure.

Community colleges will focus on the development of a national policy for lecturer development. The National Skills Fund will provide fund to train personnel at CET Colleges in terms of IT infrastructure, governance and financial management. The project led by SAICA is expected to run over 3 years and has a budget of R149 million.

The National Artisan Development Strategy underpins closer cooperation between TVET colleges, private training providers, employers and SETAs.

The Department was an integral part of the planning processes leading towards the launch in March 2018 of the Youth Employment Service that aims to empower a million young people over the next three years.

The R934 million University Capacity Development Programme for all 26 universities focuses on three key development areas: student development towards enhancing student success, staff development particularly in regards to teaching, research and leadership and management, and curriculum development.

Our Exhibition

Our Budget Vote Exhibition for this year has been planned as a platform to showcase the post school education and training sector’s human resource and skills development support for South Africa’s readiness and transition into the knowledge economy phase of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Through this exhibition, we seek to demonstrate the role our sector plays in harnessing these revolutionary technological research and development solutions (system automation, robotics, space programme, mechatronics etc.) to address some of the country’s challenges in biomedicine, food security, energy efficiency, workplace safety, agro-processing, climate change and anti-poaching, among others.

You are invited to join us at 13h00, during our tour of the exhibition to see for yourselves some of the wonderful work our institutions are doing in the service of South Africa, Africa and the World.

Source: Government of South Africa