University transformation will take 43 years, says study

It will take 43 years to transform the overall staff profile of South Africa's 23 universities to represent national demographics, a study by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), released on Wednesday, found.

"The study shows that the previously advantaged institutions in South Africa, like Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town have poor equity indices, however, these universities score well as high-level knowledge producers. On the other hand, the universities of technology and some formerly disadvantaged institutions produce little research but have a good equity profile," a statement by the university and the transformation oversight committee for public universities said.

UKZN created this equity index to measure the "distance between organisational demographics and national demographics and the period, unique to each institution, to attain ideal and complete transformation".

The Central University of Technology ranked first as having the most transformed student body with a 10.2 equity index and Stellenbosch University ranked last with an equity index of 93.1.

According to the statement, the findings show that no university in South Africa has reached the ideal overall equity index of zero or falls within a 5% tolerance of the national demographic data.


Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande launched the transformation committee in January, which he said would "monitor progress on transformation in public universities and advise the minister on policy to combat racism, sexism and other forms of unfair discrimination".

Nzimande appointed UKZN's vice-chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba as the committee head.

The study shows that it is "difficult to transform 'privilege', especially entrenched white privilege voluntarily" and suggests that "extraordinary measures are needed".

It said the statistics painted a dismal picture of the "painfully" and unacceptable "slow rate of transformation".

Recommendations in the study include universities setting "realistic targets for high-level knowledge production linked to equity" and that "20% of each institution's block grant must be reprioritised to address equity transformatiom [because] there is no cheap or mahala [free] transformation".

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Victoria John
Victoria studied journalism, specialising in photojournalism, at Rhodes University from 2004 to 2007. After traveling around the US and a brief stint in the UK she did a year's internship at The Independent on Saturday in Durban. She then worked as a reporter for the South African Press Association for a year before joining the Mail & Guardian as an education reporter in August 2011.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Marcia Mayaba —Driven to open doors for women

Marcia Mayaba has been in the motor industry for 24 years, donning hats that include receptionist, driver, fuel attendant, dealer principal and now chief...

The war on women in video game culture

Women and girls make up almost half of the gaming community but are hardly represented and face abuse in the industry

More top stories

Ace tries to widen net to catch all with revised...

Ace Magashule tells provinces to add those accused, but not charged, to step-aside list

South Africa temporarily halts J&J vaccine rollout plan

South Africa opts to voluntarily suspend its vaccination programme following advice from US health authorities after a rare blood clot development.

Judge Pillay tells JSC court-defying politicians threaten constitution

The judge, who has been singled out by former president Jacob Zuma for attack, faced scrutiny over her friendship with Pravin Gordhan

ConCourt interviews tackle transformation

Acting Constitutional Court Justice Rammaka Mathopo told the JSC it was ‘remiss’ that female and black lawyers were still underrepresented
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…