Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Blade: FET colleges must become students’ top choice

Blade Nzimande says the focus of higher education in SA will shift from universities to FET colleges, which must be overhauled and linked to workplace demands.

In a green paper released in Pretoria on Thursday, Nzimande, the minister of higher education and training, envisages that more than 4.5-million students a year will be enrolled in universities, colleges and other post-school institutions.

According to the green paper university enrolment needs to be increased from annual enrolment of almost 900 000 at 23 universities in 2011 to 1.5-million in 2030, but the focus of higher education will henceforth be on Further Education and Training (FET) colleges.

The government aimed to have four million people enrolled at colleges or other tertiary institutions by 2030.

“The key area of focus for expansion must be the public further education and training college sector. Strengthening and then expanding the colleges will play a central role in building a larger and more vibrant college sector.”

Technical colleges merged
There are 50 multi-campus FET colleges around the country, which were formed by the merger of 152 technical colleges.

According to the green paper, the FET colleges had to become the institution of choice for school-leavers.

The problem with these institutions at the moment was that they lacked any real connection to the workplace.

“They must develop close ties to workplaces in the public and private sectors, becoming responsive to the needs of the employers in their surrounding communities, and offering tailor-made programmes where possible, in addition to their core programmes.”

According to the paper, “one factor which has played a role in preventing the strengthening of the college sector has been regular changes in their mandate”.

Universities ‘unable to fulfil expectations’
In terms of quality, the universities were the strongest and most stable component of the tertiary education sector, but some of the universities were still beset “by serious problems and are unable to fulfil our peoples’ expectations”.

Among the issues highlighted were racism and transformation, which Nzimande planned to tackle by forming “a permanent oversight committee” that would submit an annual report to him.

The public has until April 30 to comment on the green paper. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and receive a 40% discount on our annual rate.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Seven years’ radio silence for taxpayer-funded Rhythm FM

Almost R50-million of taxpayers’ money has been invested but the station is yet to broadcast a single show

Q&A Sessions: Zanele Mbuyisa — For the love of people-centred...

She’s worked on one of the biggest class-action cases in South Africa and she’s taken on Uber: Zanele Mbuyisa speaks to Athandiwe Saba about advocating for the underrepresented, getting ‘old’ and transformation in the law fraternity

More top stories

Finding an HIV vaccine: Five lessons from the search for...

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that vaccine development and testing timelines can be shrunk from decades to months, but not without shortcomings

Pandemic leaves 1.4 billion learners worldwide behind on education

Human Rights Watch warns that learners may take years to recover from the damage caused by school closures

Israel-Palestine: It’s a myth that there are two equal sides...

BDS South Africa calls for the world to listen to what Israel’s actions are saying and apply full sanctions against that apartheid state

Tekkie Town’s Steinhoff fight: ‘We will get our business back’

Bernard Mostert on the ordeal of losing a business he helped build and the fight to get it back
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×