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Developments on Higher Education Amendment Bill (HEAB), on whichThe dissatisfaction with rising tuition fees, exorbitant costs of higher education for the average citizen, racial injustice and economic inequalities have ignited a national movement for transforming South Africa’s universities and widening access, towards inclusion of historically disadvantaged groups. Calls for government to intervene in universities’ transformation agendas, backed by student bodies and The Higher Education Transformation Network, paired with a national uprising and general concerns with the slow pace of change in institutional culture and curricula, had marked the submission of a draft of the bill back in November last year.
The topics on which stakeholders raised concerns in the recent hearing centred around issues of institutional independence, accountability, ministerial directives, transformation goals and fraudulent qualifications. The The HEAB, having received significant input of various stakeholders, has now gained momentum, surfacing a dilemma of institutional autonomy and its clause for ministerial powers to ‘set transformative goals’, where urgency to formulate concrete impacts for South African university transformation is determined by prevailing public unrest.
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