Despite the budget for education increasing every year, the Minister of Higher Education reported to the South African Parliament in February 2015 that the department’s budget of R9.5bn, which equates to only 1.4% of GDP, is wholly inadequate. The current budget will provide funding for 425,095 new entrants, 28,646 more than 2014, but certainly not enough to cater for all new applications. To do so, a budget of R51bn is required.
Despite the difficulty in gaining access to higher education institutions, the Council on Higher Education reports that 58% of students drop out during their first year of study. The reasons are many and include a lack of educational and financial support as well as a lack of academic preparedness. The low literacy and numeracy levels of students leaving secondary schools play a role and this is compounded by the shortage of suitably qualified lecturers especially in areas of scarce skills. The quality of graduates entering the workplace, and the mismatch between the graduates produced and the skills required to grow South Africa’s economy all impact negatively on the country’s competitiveness.
This report focuses on the current state of South Africa’s tertiary education sector, the challenges it faces and the factors influencing its success. The report profiles 30 state and private universities, including the South African campus of Australian university, Monash, and 17 private college groups where student enrolments have increased to approximately 100,000. Profiled are the Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA), a unique private, not-for-profit business school that gives emerging leaders an opportunity to study high quality, accredited academic courses, as well as the Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd , which incorporates the tertiary segment of AdvTech, already a leading private provider in the primary and secondary education sector.