"2015 has seen unprecedented student revolt at universities countrywide. This week’s protests were about fee increases and the rising cost of a university education." continues News24.
Students at Wits University in Johannesburg brought the institution to a standstill this week. But 2015 has seen unprecedented student revolt at universities countrywide. This week’s protests were about fee increases and the rising cost of a university education. Scenes such as these are likely to continue into next year, as enrolments and fees inevitably rise. How can the National Development Plan guide us on this issue?
|Wits University was brought to a standstill this week following the announcement of a possible 10.5% increase to tuition fees for the 2016 study year. Students at the university protested by boycotting classes.Picture: Picture: Elizabeth Sejake|
In 2030, according to the National Development Plan, South Africa is projected to have more than 10 million university graduates with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. This will be a 300% increase over a 30-year period. There will be roughly 400 000 new university graduates each year.
In 2001, South Africa had 2.6 million graduates, or one in 17 people, according to Stats SA. In 2030, one in six people will be a university graduate. This is one of the strongest indicators of South Africa expanding access to university education.
But for the increase in the number of graduates to be meaningful, the quality of the education needs to improve. Many of the new graduates between now and 2030 must be in critical skills categories such as engineering, actuarial science, medicine, financial management and chartered accountancy.
The downward trend in the number of pupils who pass matric with mathematics must be reversed...
Academia requires renewal if South African universities are to expand, compete and drive the knowledge society and economy we desperately need. There is a shortage of academics, especially in the human, natural, engineering and actuarial sciences.