The university sector in South Africa is in crisis. In a CDE Roundtable discussion on the role of business in universities, participants were asked to identify major issues affecting the university sector.
From 1994 to 1997, the matric cohort grew by over 5% per annum, but university entrance passes dropped from 88 000 to 69 000.
There are too many ‘universities’ but not enough institutions to respond to the country’s development needs.
Universities lack resources to institute new programmes because only existing student enrolments are subsidy-earning and when a new programme is launched it takes two years for the subsidy to come through.
Business is unlikely to commit additional intellectual and financial resources without clarity of purpose and a sense of forward movement in higher education.