Humanities students could lose out on government funding

The government’s oversight committee on higher education has endorsed a funding plan for students which would focus on technological skills and reduce state funding for humanities students, the City Press reports.

Following a recent fact-finding mission to Russia, the committee recommended that the higher education and training department focus on increasing the number of graduates in science and technology fields.

The government plans to accomplish this by partnering with the private sector to secure funding for students in various technology and science-related fields, funding spaces at universities across South Africa.

While this would improve funding for those wishing to study technology-related subjects, it could mean a major decrease in government funding for students wishing to study humanities subjects.

The committee also recommended that a “patriotic culture” be instilled in graduates in an effort to retain skilled labour in local markets.

The committee’s report will now go to the National Assembly for ratification, after which it it will be forwarded to the higher education and training department for implementation.

Easy pass

The move follows the government recently deciding to make it easier for high school students to obtain an NSC Bachelor’s pass.

This decision was criticised by experts, who said it would result in an increased number of university applications and would mislead students into thinking they could complete a degree course.

Stellenbosch University professor Jonathan Jansen has labelled the matric results a “disgraceful freak show”, arguing that most students who obtained this reviewed Bachelor’s pass would drop out of university due to the weak demands of the NSC examination.

Now read: Major hi-tech overhaul planned for South Africa’s education system

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Humanities students could lose out on government funding