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  1. 1. Access, success and equity in higher education, for societal development: a South African case study IAU Conference, 16 - 18 November 2011 Nairobi by Thandwa Mthembu*, Antoni Szubarga, Laurika van Straaten, Nosisa Mayaba*presenting 1
  2. 2. Map of South Africa 2
  3. 3. Coordinates: 29°720"S 26°1254"EWe are in central South Africa, where CUT makes a 3 difference.
  4. 4. CUT’s Vision 2020To become an engaged university that produces quality social and technological innovations forsocio-economic development, particularly in the central region of South Africa 4
  5. 5. Strategic Design To Vision 2020 • Focusing on innovation for industrial and socio-economic development Partnerships • Incubation platforms for SMMEs in the manufacturing, mining and the agricultural sector • Strong links with business and industry through Public Private Partnerships and other mechanisms • International links to access and develop new technologies Academic Project • Academic research and innovation programmes aligned with the 2020 Vision • Relevant niche areas and supporting centres • Student-centred methodologies and supporting facilities • Emancipating, empowering and supportive engagements and transactions between students and staff and amongst all staff New values, ethos, attitudes, behaviors and relationstransformation • Foundation/ • New organizational design, function and structure aligned with Vision 2020 • State-of-the-art facilities • Developing high level skills and competencies amongst staff, especially younger members and designated groups • Pre-University programmes for learners in SET 5
  6. 6. Key points of learner progression This paper provides a closer look at the key points of learner progression through the education system:  Matriculation or high school pass rates;  University admission;  Participation at undergraduate to doctoral levels;  Success and graduation rates  Availability of quality academic workforce to make the system work efficiently 6
  7. 7. Overview PART 1: Access, success and equity: the South African scenario  Inputs into university: Grade 12 pass rates, first-time entries into the higher education system, including STEM enrolments  Access to university: The point score system most universities use  Outputs: Success rates at Grade 12 and graduation rates  Process requirements: Engagement in research and innovation PART II: Conclusion  CUT’s strategic response  Intervention initiatives  Conclusion 7
  8. 8. South Africa’s investment in education 8
  9. 9. SA’s public investment in education• At 5.3% of GDP and 20% of total state expenditure, SA has one of the highest rates of public investment in education in Africa and the world, but with very little to show for it as will be presented later. Table 1. Percentage GDP spend on education (http://data.worldbank.org/SE.XPD.TOTL.GD.ZS ) Country name 2006 2007 2008 2009 Botswana 8 7.8 7.8 7.9 Tanzania 6.9 6.7 6.7 Namibia 6.6 6.8 6.4 Norway 6.6 6.8 6.4 United States 5.6 5.5 5.5 South Africa 5.3 5.3 5.1 5.4 Brazil 5 5.1 Russia 3.9 4.1 Niger 3.3 4.1 3.7 4.5 Cameroon 3 3.3 2.9 3.6 India 3.1 9
  10. 10. Inputs and access to universities from high school 10
  11. 11. The pre-university education system Education bands:  Grade 0-9 : General Education & Training (GET) band, and  Grade 10-12 : Further Education & training (FET), which includes a vocational training section Phases through the grades: 3x4  Foundation phase: Grade 1-3,  Intermediate phase: Grade 4-6 and GET  Senior phase: Grade 7-9  FET phase: 10-12 FET 11
  12. 12. SA’s National Grade 12 results• The number of candidates who passed Mathematics and Physical Science is significantly lower than the number of learners who had been enrolled for those subjects and who had written the Grade 12 examinations. Source: HEMIS 12
  13. 13. Population and gender distribution: candidates who wrote Grade 12 examinations in 2010 in the Free State• From the total number of 23 916 African learners in the Free State who wrote the final Grade 12 examinations, only 588 (2.5%) passed Mathematics, English & Physical Science and achieved the minimum admission requirements for CUT.• On the other hand, of the 2 957 white candidates in those subjects, 639 passed, which is approximately 21.6%. Note the proportion of females surpassing 13 that of males!
  14. 14. South African university admission system: CUT’s example 14
  15. 15. CUT threshold / point scoring system• For candidates who completed Grade 12 in 2008 and thereafter, CUT awards academic weights for achievement according to the following scoring scale:Table 2. % obtained 0-29% 30-39% 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70-79% 80-89% 90-100% in NSCPoint rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 % value• Even if a higher mark is achieved in a Grade 12 subject called Life Orientation, the value will still only be calculated as 1. A candidate who scores less than 27 points on the CUT scoring scale in the Grade 12 examination is considered to be a candidate who does not possess the necessary skills to successfully pursue a course of study at CUT under the prevailing circumstances. Such a candidate will not be admitted to CUT.
  16. 16. First-time entry students at CUT In 2010, only 1 272 learners out of 27 770 Grade 12 learners in the Free State who passed Grade 12 achieved results that enabled them to enroll for programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at universities in 2011. Of the 1 272 that qualified for enrolment in STEM, only 580 (i.e. less than 50%) were from the African population group. In 2010, only 4 003 out of 27 770 Grade 12 in the Free State reached CUT’s 27 point threshold level. From the total number of the 4 003 cohort, only 979 (just shy of 25%) qualified for enrolment at CUT for the 2011 academic year. This group consisted of 838 African, 109 white, 29 coloured and 2 Indian students. 16
  17. 17. Availability of qualifying students & access to university in the Free State• Access into higher education is unfortunately also hindered by other factors such as learners making wrong subject choices at school level, the quality of education provided and financial constraints.• Should admission criteria be upgraded (modified “upwards”), it will result in a reduction in the number of students qualifying for admission into higher education. Furthermore, the availability of potential students in the FS should be taken into consideration when modifying admission criteria.• Thus, there is a difficulty of having a sustainable and adequate supply of well-qualifying high school graduates into higher education in South Africa.• This creates a domino effect right up to university graduation rates, graduate competences, employment absorption, innovation and socio-economic development. 17
  18. 18. Enrolments in universities - national 18
  19. 19. Population distribution among first-time student enrolment• The table above shows a steady increase among African and coloured groups entering higher education for the first time, whilst first-time entries among white and Indian groups remain more or less constant. Source: HEMIS 19
  20. 20. Post-graduate enrolments• The 2005 to 2009 statistics indicate a slow increase in the number of African and coloured post-graduates, whilst white and Indian post-graduate enrolments remained stable. Source: HEMIS 20
  21. 21. Post-graduate enrolments: analysis Thus, the percentage of African, coloured and Indian graduates enrolling for post-graduate studies for the first time is 65%, and for whites 79%. As can be seen from these percentages, the number of graduates with post-graduate qualifications from the white population group is still 14% percentage points higher than that of African, coloured and Indians groups combined. Thus, post-graduate enrolments do not reflect the South African population proportions. A national, regional or continental project is required to solve these problems! 21
  22. 22. Population composition of doctoral enrolments per population group• The statistics indicate no significant increase in doctoral enrolments for any of the population groups, and therefore a stagnant output. 22
  23. 23. Population composition of doctoral graduates per population group• There is stagnant output in the total number of doctoral graduates across the population groups.• The number of doctoral graduates from the white population group is double that of Africans, thus affecting the composition of the lecturing staff in the foreseeable future and those who could be involved in research and innovation 23
  24. 24. Analysis: doctoral enrolments Proportions of doctoral enrolments for different population groups do not reflect the general population proportions. For instance, the number of graduates from the white population group is double that of Africans - again perpetuating the inequalities of the past. In turn, this results in the same inequalities with regard to those becoming lecturers and teachers, major participants in the economy and so forth. A number of universities including CUT have M and D programmes. But, all these will always be sub-optimal. Again, a national or even a regional or continental approach is required. 24
  25. 25. RSA nationals vs SADC nationals at PhD level• “..so few South Africans were qualifying for doctoral degrees that a third of all doctoral degrees awarded in SA were going to foreign students, most from elsewhere in Africa”• “Although 400 of the roughly 1300 PhDs awarded in 2007 are described as “black African” … more than half of those were from other African countries revealing the “illusion of transformation” and a chronic lack of black South African academic achievers.”• “South Africa’s cutting-edge African Institute for Mathematical Sciences reported that only 10% of its graduates were South African, compared to a target of at least 30%” Rowan Philp, Sunday Times. August 8, 2010• Where will South Africa’s Master’s and PhD graduate growth in the short- to-medium term come from?
  26. 26. Capacity to teach, research and innovate at University 26
  27. 27. Qualification distribution of instructional/research professionals: masters degree per University Type• The number of instructional/research professionals with a Master’s degree is higher by a large margin in traditional universities than other university types and are mainly from the white population group. 27
  28. 28. Qualification distribution of instructional/research professionals: Doctoral degree per university type• Likewise, the number of instructional/research professionals with doctoral degrees is significantly higher at universities compared to the other types of tertiary institutions, and they are mainly from the white population group. 28
  29. 29. Total headcount of RSA nationals: instructional/research staff16000 0.3%140001200010000 CoU UoT 8000 TU 6000 DU Total 4000 2000 0 2006 2007 2008
  30. 30. Proportions of RSA nationals: instructional/research staff1210 8 CoU 6 UoT TU 4 DU 2 0 2006 2007 2008
  31. 31. Total Headcount of non-RSA instructional/research staff14001200 35%1000 CoU 800 UoT TU 600 DU 400 Total 200 0 2006 2007 2008
  32. 32. Growth in RSA vs non-RSA instructional/research staff• Growth of RSA instructional/research staff was only 0.3% between 2006 and 2008.• Meanwhile, growth of non-RSA staff has been a whopping 35%. This coupled with less and less numbers of RSA nationals and increasing numbers of non- RSA nationals getting RSA M/D degrees.• Considering how bad our performance in Maths and Science is, and how much slower the growth is of RSA nationals enrolled in SET, BCM and Humanities, the future of RSA academe is in non-RSA nationals!• At about 10% in 2008, TU’s are the best internationalised in terms of instructional/research staff; followed by DU at just under 6%; then CoUs at just over 4%; and UoTs at just under 4%
  33. 33. Conclusion 33
  34. 34. Revelations about education in South Africa• Continuing historical disparities along racial and now lately class lines.• The difficulty of having a sustainable and adequate supply of well- qualified high school graduates into higher education in the Free State and South Africa in general.• The integrity of the whole educational system is greatly compromised on various fronts, including its ability to produce a critical mass of graduates who could engage in research and innovation, and thereby contributing towards socio-economic development in South Africa.• These things place SA in a vicious orbit of under-development, poverty and general social strife. 34
  35. 35. What is wrong? (1) South Africa has a relatively well-funded but inefficient education system. Inefficiencies appear to result from a plethora of problems, amongst others:  Frequent policy changes - more especially curricular changes;  A lack of political will and a shared vision;  A dearth of top-class human capacity (e.g. highly motivated and qualified teachers) to provide quality education;  A lack of a coordinated effort to implement changes doggedly. 35
  36. 36. What is wrong? (2) Amongst many other studies and reviews, most notably, the OECD conducted a review of South African education policies and identified areas of intervention and change [Reviews of National Policies for Education, South Africa, 2008]. However, there is no clear implementation plan as yet. The areas to be improved as identified by the OECD are the following: – Governance and financing of the system; – Curriculum, learning materials and assessment; – Early childhood education and adult education; – Vocational educational training and human resource development; – Inclusive education and equity; – The teaching career and teacher education – Higher education (amongst others, as a result of all of the above) 36
  37. 37. What is to be done? South Africa must stop all new policy changes and endless experiments and concentrate on implementing approaches that are most natural to its environment; Based on the 2008 OECD report and other recent studies, South Africa must produce a Marshall plan of action to overhaul its inefficient education system; Such a plan must be devised through an open and transparent process that involves all major stakeholders including teacher unions, in order to allow for the plan’s organic growth and to ensure that a shared vision is arrived at; There must be strong political will to implement the plan doggedly, 37 brooking no dissent from whatever quarter.
  38. 38. What is to be done? (2) Given the challenges in the quantity and quality of high school graduates, universities have to find innovative ways of infusing remedial work into programmes and perhaps extend diploma and degree programmes by at least 6 months. Given the paucity of well qualified instructional and research staff, a national, regional of continental programme for producing more doctorates is urgently needed. Partnerships with other countries of the world is needed in this area. South Africa in particular may have to consider opening the floodgates of the best doctorates around the world, without our Home Affairs department putting hurdles on the way. 38
  39. 39. Part Two: CUT’s Strategic Response 39
  40. 40. CUT’s Strategic Response & intervention initiatives• In life there are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who ask: What happened?• CUT believes that we can make a contribution and a difference that will, by means of the synergy created, positively impact on access and equity.• We must not be so overwhelmed by our current situation that it paralyses us and makes us believe that we are unable to make a significant contribution and to bring about the desired change. 40
  41. 41. CUT’s Educator Development and Mentorship Programme as an intervention To this effect, an Educator Development and Mentorship Programme was developed by CUT as an intervention and mentorship programme starting at the foundation phase of learning (primary school level). This programme is generously funded by Telkom, the South African telecommunications company. Three schools have been identified by the Department of Education in the Free State, and CUT will be offering mentors to teachers teaching English, Mathematics, Science & Technology at these schools. This programme commenced on the 1st of October 2011, and we believe that, by means of this programme, we will be making an investment in the mentorship and education of the youth of our country – right from the start when they enter primary school. 41
  42. 42. CUT’s Saturday School Project For the past 8 years, CUT has conducted a Saturday School to Grade 11 and 12 learners in the Free State with the purpose of assisting them in Science, Mathematics and English. This project has historically been funded by Engen (a petroleum company) and now lately Old Mutual (an insurance company) Of the 270 attendees at Grade 12 level in 2010 who come from selected schools around the city, 194 went on to pass Grade 12; By means of this project we are making a significant contribution towards increasing Grade 12 pass pass rates in our Province. We are also cultivating an interest in learners in science, engineering and technology, and contributing significantly towards removing the fear of pursuing these areas as study fields. 42
  43. 43. CUT’s Winter and Spring School Project For two weeks in July and a week in September/October, we bring about 2500 Grade 12 learners from various schools in the Free State and give them remedial classes in Mathematics, Science, English and Accounting. This project is generously funded by Standard Bank Of the 270 attendees in 2010, 194 went on to pass Grade 12; By means of this project we are making a significant contribution towards increasing Grade 12 pass pass rates in our Province. We are also cultivating an interest in learners in science, engineering and technology, and contributing significantly towards removing the fear of pursuing these areas as study fields. 43
  44. 44. Research and Innovation-related strategic interventions (1) Research and innovation interventions: Our Centre for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing and the Science Park (modelled after Steinbeiss in Germany) places technological expertise and skills at the disposal of the community so that business/industry can use this knowledge in practice. As from 2006, CUT also boasts the Free State’s first Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab), which provides a thriving incubator for local micro-businesses. The FabLab helps entrepreneurs and other members of the community including students to conceptualize, design, develop, fabricate and test almost anything. 44
  45. 45. Research and Innovation-related strategic interventions (2) FS Regional Innovation Centre: This was established in 2010 and is geared towards the following: The production of the region’s innovation strategy (a foresight study); implementing some provincial government innovation projects; the establishment of the region’s FS IT Hub, which has proceeded well; and implementation of some of the recommendations from the OECD study of 2010. 45
  46. 46. Research and Innovation-related strategic interventions (3)• In 2009, the SEDA Agriculture and Mining Tooling Incubator was established through generous funding from the Department of Trade and Industry’s Small Enterprise Development Agency.• Since 2010, CUT has been a node for the Medical Research Council’s National Medical Device Innovation Platform. CUT is the only UoT involved in this national project alongside the University of Cape Town, the University of Stellenbosch, the University of Pretoria & Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. 46
  47. 47. CUT’s proposition At CUT, we are focused on stretching and expanding the boundaries of our knowledge, innovation and technologies to support socio-economic development in our region by means of various interventions, programmes and services. This is not necessarily about high level technologies exclusively, but lo level technologies too that are appropriate for the solutions we seek. We are interested in building long-term strategic partnerships with universities, business and industry and communities that share our vision and are committed to go beyond the conventional; partners who are always thinking beyond! 47
  48. 48. Thank You www.cut.ac.za 48
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