The second session of the National Higher Education Summit kicked off with a panel discussion where issues affecting higher education as well as the failures and successes of the first Summit (held in 2010) were discussed.
DUt Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Ahmed Bawa, addressed delegates at the summit where he also expressed his gratitude for DUT being given the opportunity to co-host the event.
“It’s time for us to take our education system. Some of the issues I would like the summit to focus on are challenges of producing academic communities as well as funding issues,” he said.
Adding to the panel discussion, Higher Education and Training Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, said the summit aims to give space to a diversity of voices and build, consensus (where possible) or at least a better understanding on where delegates disagree on issues as well as priority areas that delegates collectively need to address.
“There is a wide range of higher education stakeholders present. University representation includes representatives from the governance and management structures as well as a significant student and staff components. This is your opportunity to engage on the accelerated transformation of higher education,” said Dr Nzimande.
He said following the 2010 Summit, his Department had recently adopted a policy for the revitalisation of the academic profession. “A number of programmes have been developed to improve opportunities for young African academics and women. Many universities continue to make progress towards developing curriculum in a socially relevant direction and some universities have made progress in affirming the African languages and African language departments,” he said.
During its three day period, the Summit will highlight challenges needing to be addressed such as funding, poor academic performance of poor black students as well as racism.
– Mxolisi Ntanzi and Sihle Ndebele
Pictured: Dr Blade Nzimande, Higher Education and Training Minister while addressing delegates at the three-day Summit.