Botman committed himself to Africanising Stellenbosch - ANC MPs

But Marius Fransman describes university's target of 34% black students by 2015 as mediocre

Stellenbosch University Tells MPs of Commitment to Transformation, October 14 2009

The Portfolio Committee on Higher Education was yesterday briefed by the University of Stellenbosch's Management, Council and student leaders about progress on transformation, particularly on language and admission policies, at the university.

Expressing the concern of the Portfolio Committee on the challenge of the shortage of skills required by the economy and student dropouts at the South African universities, the Committee's Chairperson Mr Marius Fransman attributed the blame among others to lack of transformation at some universities.

"We are within fifteen years of democracy but the through-put in terms of graduates our universities deliver is unsatisfactory" Mr Fransman said.

He also expressed the dissatisfaction of the committee on the 44% failure rate at the universities.

He further said that government contributes a lot of money through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to ensure that the historically marginalised children also get access to universities, but the country is still faced with shortage of skills.

However, Mr Fransman praised the university for its research work. "Notwithstanding challenges which the university is still facing, let me congratulate it for the best research" said Mr Fransman.

Briefing the committee, the university Rector and Vice Chancellor Professor Russel Botman assured members of the committee about the commitment of the university Management and Council to South Africanising the University of Stellenbosch.

He presented the university's 2015 vision which, according to him is already in full implementation. He said, in terms of 2015 vision, students are taught in English and Afrikaans and are exposed to other languages.

"We want to ensure that we don't have a monolingual institution by 2015" said Professor Botman.

Professor Botman said the university hopes to increase the number of black students which is currently at 24% to 34% by 2015. However, Mr Fransman described 34% growth objective as mediocre.

Members of the University Council praised Professor Botman for his commitment to the transformation of the university and the fact that he consults all the university stakeholders.

Mr Fransman said the committee will again visit the university after six months.

Statement issued by Parliament, October 15 2009

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