The second editon of South Africa’s Higher Education Summit is holding at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Icc, Durban.
Speaking at the summit, the country’s Minister of Education, Minister Blade Nzimade acknowledged the challenges bemoaning the educational industry and expressed his delight at the coming together of all stakeholders at the summit.
He said, “This Summit aims to give space to a wide range of voices, to build, where possible, consensus, or at least better understanding on where we disagree and how to disagree, and what the priority areas are which we collectively need to address,”
He highlighted the challenges and essence of funding in the development of the sector, “The issue of funding remains probably the most important one for all of you in this hall. I am well aware that it looks like we have a lot of money in the DHET because of surpluses in the National Skills Fund.”
He also added, “The fact remains that we don’t have the money to fund systemically at the levels at which we want. We are competing for funds with a whole range of very serious and pressing priorities–health, basic education, housing, infrastructure,”
Finally, he concluded by saying “I would like us all to remember that higher education is a public good, and its value and importance is cultural, scientific, and intellectual ultimately higher education is about extending human understanding of our natural and social world, expanding humankind’s great intellectual and cultural achievements. It is also about questioning authority and unsettling common sense, and imagining and building a better world. I urge each and every participant to do their utmost best in contributing to the improvement of the higher education sphere in South Africa, which has a very important role in contributing to the building of our young democracy”.
This Summit is the second, following the 2010 Higher Education Summit that took place at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The summit comes a close tomorrow