Policy must limit Minister’s power to determine higher education institutional types

Issued by Chantel King MP – DA Shadow Minister for Higher Education
27 Sep 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Chantel King MP.

The DA has submitted comments on the draft policy on the recognition of higher education institutional types.

While we welcome that private higher educational institutions will be given the same recognition as public higher educational institutions, we are cautious of the fact that the Minister for Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, can abuse clause 12.4 of the policy and use his right to close private institutions without affording them the opportunity to appeal or improve as is the case for public higher educational institutions.

Private higher education institutions have proven that they meet the threshold to receive full university status. They play an important role in giving higher education access for the missing middle. The majority of students currently accepted at public tertiary institutions, especially those deemed historically disadvantaged, are National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursary holders.

The draft policy could also be the perfect opportunity to elevate technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges to the higher education domain, instead of keeping it in the continuous education and training sphere. This will give more credibility to TVET qualifications and attract more students.

All learners deserve an opportunity of quality further education in an institution that will best serve their needs, and without the uncertainty of undue interference from the Minister.