Economic growth in Africa has accelerated substantially over the past few years. But commentators point out it rarely translates to poverty alleviation and job creation. Although mechanisms exist to protect countries in crisis from severe economic fluctuations, this may not translate as direct benefits to the overall gross domestic product.
Notwithstanding signs of increasing commitment by the state, many worries continue over the future of South Africa's higher education system. The elephant in the room remains the fact that the system is not reproducing itself. Many whispers in the corners suggest that the system may now border on being unsustainable.
A former vice-chancellor of Stellenbosch University and a vastly experienced academic and administrator who has held senior positions in Australia, Chris Brink leaves our shores soon to take up the vice-chancellorship of Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. In this interview, he is provoked him into some plain speaking by six wide-ranging questions about the local tertiary scene.
Despite the recent teachers' strike, things have gone well for Naledi Pandor, the Minister of Education. But surely her predecessors will have told Pandor that dragons, far more fierce than some vice-chancellors, lurk in the gloomy waters around South Africa's universities. After 10 years of "torrid government interference" in universities, Peter Vale offers six of the best to the new Minister of Education.
With the end of apartheid, many hoped that life for the people of Southern Africa would begin to yield something entirely different from the unhappy past. Unfortunately things have not turned out this way and the daily news from the hole in the region we still call Zimbabwe underlines this. So, what did happen to Southern Africa's post-apartheid moment?