Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font


It is evident that graduands are gradually finding it harder to grind their way through local tertiary institutions as inadequate funding of the institutions continues to compromise the quality of the programmes on offer. The Minister of Education and Training should be a very worried woman when key institutions under her watch seem to be crumbling brick- by-brick, day-by-day. These are institutions responsible for ensuring we have a better educated citizenry tomorrow.


The number of universities in the country has increased and at one stage some colleges were in the process of transforming into universities. However, this increase is hardly being matched by the desired scholarships needed to make it sustainable for them. For instance, we now have a medical university that is an essential institution for a country that has to produce medical practitioners in ways that could drastically reduce the high cost of overseas scholarships for such programmes and ensure we have enough doctors and specialists. Government had great appetite for this project initially having calculated the benefits. Agreements were signed and this made the project viable. However, there suddenly appears to be a total lack of commitment by government to take full advantage of this initiative as financial support for this institution has dwindled sharply. One could expect that the minister would wish to see this dream become a reality under her tenure.


Government stands accused of not sufficiently funding the transformation of colleges. Limkokwing students continue to have running battles with their administration over the funding issues that have seen experienced lecturers depart and programmes not sufficiently funded. The Southern Africa Nazarene University has also endured financial troubles in recent times, all related to underfunding. All this flied in the face of government’s talk of meeting First World targets of building more universities and increasing access for students. But by the look of things, it would appear government is driving all these institutions to privatise.


This wouldn’t be such a bad idea as government has too many parastatals to subvent anyway and has to find ways to cut this number down because it can hardly keep up with payments.
What will most likely follow with our tertiary institutions is the commercialisation of the scholarship fund. In fact, this has been suggested in the past. Maybe it’s time that universities in the country adopted a business model and stopped relying on government subventions.

Comments (0 posted):

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image: