South Africa will have a university or other further learning institution in each of its 44 municipal districts, the minister responsible for higher education has promised.
“Within the next 10 years there will be no district municipality that would not have at least one post-school education and training institution,” Blade Nzimande, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology said this week.
Nzimande was responding in Parliament to president Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2019 State of the Nation Address.
He added that his department will realign all its programmes to focus on the government’s economic priorities, as outlined in Ramaphosa’s speech. This includes an aim to be on the forefront of big data analytics.
He said that development of student housing would also be a government priority, with details to be set out in the budget vote in the National Assembly on 12 July.
Nzimande also defended the merging of the higher education and science departments under one ministry.
“By putting together [the departments] we have opened huge opportunities to place our country onto a much higher plane in terms of better coordination between what higher education institutions are doing as well as the science councils,” he said.