[lg policy] South Africa Nzimande promises to tackle university transformation

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Sep 24 16:57:18 UTC 2015

Nzimande promises to tackle university transformation2015-09-22 16:56

Ahmed Areff, News24
[image: Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande (Nelius Rademan, Beeld)]

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande (Nelius Rademan, Beeld)

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Pretoria - Student movements like the Rhodes Must Fall or Open Stellenbosch
campaigns will be able to argue their cases at a Higher Education summit
next month, Minister Blade Nzimande
<http://whoswho.co.za/blade-nzimande-4324>said on Tuesday.

He said that while the decision to hold the summit was taken last year, the
recent upheaval in universities over problems of transformation made the
summit urgent.

"No one can deny that your Rhodes Must Fall and Open Stellenbosch and so on
have provided further impetus to the summit, and for the urgency of

He said there should be clear actions on how to deal with transformation
coming out of the conference, and this was why student organisations were
invited to the summit, to be held between October 15 and 17 in Durban, and
a prior dialogue session on October 5 in Johannesburg.

"As much as demographics are important, they are not the only aspect of
transformation. We need to change institutional cultures - and it is given
further urgency by the recent student protests," Nzimande said.

"Our universities are very uneven. We do need to improve quality... We hope
that this summit will provide a platform to raise all these issues that are
being raised by Open Stellenbosch, Rhodes Must Fall, and so on."

*Language policy adopted in 2001/ 2002*

He said these problems illustrated that transformation was still not

"For example, in 2001/2002, the then department of education adopted a
language policy for higher education.

"But there is still a vast differences between those language policies and
reality... including the issue of promoting multilingualism."

At least one student was injured in a protest that turned violent at the
Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute last month, as people who tried
to enter lecture halls were sjambokked.

The protest concerned the college's language policy.

At Stellenbosch University, the institution's language and transformation
plans came under criticism following the release of a documentary called
*Luister* (Listen), in which students and lecturers tell of discrimination
on and off campus.

Last month the Black Student Movement staged a sit-in at Rhodes
University's council chambers in Grahamstown, reportedly over the failure
of transformation at the university.

Earlier this year a statue of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes was removed
from the University of Cape Town following protests, headed by the Rhodes
Must Fall campaign.


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