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THE ANC YOUTH LEAGUE`s SUBMISSION ON THE HIGHER
EDUCATION GREEN PAPER

13 March 1997

Introduction

1.0 The ANCYL welcomes the release of
the Green Paper by the Minister of Education for the following reasons:

  1. it breathes salvation to the very troubled higher
    education sector in SA; but most importantly it initiates a comprehensive process to
    transform our higher education and bring it in line with the broader national goals for
    reconstruction and development. It spells out the framework and parameters for a higher
    education discourse in this country, and puts to an end a situation whereby this discourse
    is dictated by emotional, passionate and angry responses to the actions of students in all
    institutions. In short, it seeks to address the roots, and not the symptoms, of the HE
    crisis.

  2. it acknowledges that the road to higher edudges that the road to higher education
    transformation is irreversible regardless of sinister forces who would want us to do
    otherwise;

  3. it brings with it new rights and responsibilities that
    have been bestowed upon the citizenry of this country and all stake-holders in education;

  4. it completes the process of realizing consistency at
    policy level: first through the Education White Paper, the further legislation of the SA
    Schools Act, and now the release of the HE Green Paper; and

  5. it draws on the philosophy of the new SA of
    consultation and central involvement of all stake-holders in the process, and has not lost
    the vision of a people-driven and people-centred vision in its approach.

1.2 The ANCYL sincerely believes that
it is the political task of this democratic and popular government to lead the
transformation of SA, and all its superstructures like higher education; but it is also a
shared responsibility of all sectors of civil society; the youth, students, staff,
management, labour, business and community organizations to do the same. Eventually, civil
society must take the most share of the responsibility and lead this process to its
logical consummation logical consummation.

1.3 Whilst the ANCYL generally agrees
with the thrust of the document, it, however, wishes to make some proposals.

CHAPTER 1: VISION, PRINCIPLES, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

1. Purposes of Higher Education

1.1 It is our view that HE is a
resource for national development and advancement of knowledge. Hence, its transformation
must be in line with the vision of reconstruction and development.

1.2 It must create an active,
responsible, independent, critical and productive citizenry that is able to fully
participate in the life of their communities and the nation as a whole.

1.3 It must seek to advance to new
levels the political, social, cultural and economic development and empowerment of all
citizens, especially the hitherto oppressed and disadvantaged peoples.

3 & 4 Vision and Principles

  1. The central principles that should guide HE in SA
    should be non-racialism, non-sexism, unity, and democracy.

  2. These two sections must make a vehese two sections must make a very concrete
    commitment towards an establishment of substantive policies on gender equities,
    affirmative action and institutional culture. Furthermore, they must cater for affirmative
    programs for rural and physically disabled students, especially at the level of equity and
    redress.

  3. We recommend a national framework of policy and
    incentives to ensure that employers observe their obligation regarding the education and
    training of their employees.

  4. We suggest that an increased role of the state be
    acknowledged as another principle, especially during this, the transitional period.

CHAPTER 2: NEEDS AND CHALLENGES

2. Inequalities in the system

  1. This section generally makes no serious
    suggestions on the redress of all the issues that it raises.

2.1 Access

2.1.1 We recommend that this section be
broadened and disaggregated to include access (to higher education) of women, workers, the
physically disabled, the rural students, adults and youth from Youth Colleges. An
instouth from Youth Colleges. An
institutional culture and mechanism to assist these students to development must be
created; for example through systems of mentorship and user-friendly technologies.

2.1.2 Furthermore, the question of
funding must be urgently attended to as it also precludes many students from the
disadvantaged communities (from accessing higher education).

2.1.3 We suggest the creation of a
comprehensive support services system for students, and even for staff.

2.1.4 As part of accessibility,
institutions must be made safe and secure areas for women in particular.

2.2 Outputs and Throughputs

2.2.1 We aknowledge and agree with the
GP that access and student outputs are uneven across the HE system. We, however, recommend
that a strategic vision be established by the stake-holders, led by the Ministry, that
stipulates a concrete time-frame and program to achieve an increase in outputs and
throughputs of black and women students in particular.

2.2.2 We, further, recommend that this
data neeend that this
data needs further disaggregation by ensuring that an institutional culture that
encourages high throughput rates for blacks and women is achieved within that given
time-frame, and obstacles precluding women from graduating (due to socio-economic
conditions) be addressed in an urgent and systematic way.

3. The Policy Challenges of Transition and
Globalization

3.1 Whilst we agree with 3.1, we just
emphasize that this transformation must contain the same vision of the broader SA`s
political, social and economic transition.

3.2 HE transformation in SA must also
consider another crucial concept and world trend: regionalization

3.3 However, SA`s national
interests, vision and program must be paramount.

4. Transition and Transformation

4.1 The ANCYL contends that the
perspective that should guide our transformation agenda should be that of creating a
non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous SA.

4.2.1 Increased Participation

4.2.1.1 The ANCYL agrees that increased
participation is not only about accessing more students to higher education institutions.
It is also about greater participation in decision-making structures. It means more black
and women students and staff studying at post-graduate level, and more black and women
staff employed at management level of institutions.

4.2.1.2 It should also mean the use of
new technological ways to expand the sector; a more effective and efficient use of
existing resources especially in areas where more than one institutions using the same
language are found.

4.2.1.3 We further suggest that more
caution must be exercised in this regards as resources may be an impediment towards
realizing this goal. Resources must be mobilized for this goal so that
"massification" does not affect other education sectors and needs of this
country negatively.

4.2.2 Greater Responsiveness

4.2.2.1 We suggest that a comprehensive
"compulsory community service" or a system equivalent to it, with
necessary rewards and incentives, be developed as a package of greater community
responsiveness.

4.2.3 Increased cooperation and partnerships

4.2.3.1 We suggest that the nature of
this cooperation and partnerships be elaborated and clarified.

4.2.3.2 Furthermore, capacity building
for other partners, especially the students, must be attended to in order to adddress
power relations among partners and stake-holders. Other partners may be privileged by
their access to resources and by their capacity to drive their agendas at the expense of
the less t the expense of
the less advantaged.

CHAPTER 3: STRUCTURE AND GROWTH

  1. We endorse the idea of a single-coordinated system to
    govern and fund HE. However, the GP must establish an audit of currently existing
    institutions and programs, and determine whether diversification or specialization is
    going to be the route for the coordination of the system.

  2. It must address the relevance of having a number of
    institutions on one geographical area using the same language with no diversification of
    programs. It must explore the idea of a single multiple campus that will be cost-effective
    and yet not displace students from their residential areas.

  3. The GP must clarify the shape and size of the system
    during transition.

2. A single coordinated system

2.1 The GP must make provisions for the
diversified nature of our student constituencies and their backgrounds.

2.2 It must comprehensively address the
anomaly of still having historically black and historically white institutions. The GP
must look into an institutionalized plan of nto an institutionalized plan of deracialization in institutions of higher
learning.

7. Distance Education and Resource-based Learning

7.1 The GP needs to address the role of
existing institutions, especially in areas where distance learning institutions are
located and the role these institutions should play in enhancing programs offered by
distance learning institutions.

7.2 A system of learner assistance must
be developed to ensure that a `revolving door` approach through which students enter
the system and leave with nothing in their hands is not perpetuated.

7.3 Distance education should be funded
as part of the National Students Financial Aid Scheme.

7.4 This sector should be accessed by
both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

7.5 The ANCYL endorses the creation of
a single distance education institution which, of course, shall be integrated into our
broader HE system.

8. The College Sector in a Single Coordinated System

We endorse the idea of a further examination of the
role, location and structure of thi location and structure of this sector by the Ministry, but still wish to suggest
that:

  1. this sector be part of the broader HE system. This
    shall apply at the level of governance, funding and other areas.

  2. cooperative governance must apply here as well:
    particularly between the various responsible Ministries (education, safety and security,
    health, agriculture).

8.5 Further Education

8.5.1 This section must also cater for
the currently out-of-school youth, youth in Community or Youth Colleges and should create
access for them into the HE system.

14. Research and Postgraduate Study

14.1 The ANCYL contends that research
should not be privatized and made a commodity; but it should be treated asa national
resource for the benefit of society.

14.2 Research should also be encouraged
in the undergraduate sector and should not only become an exclusive domain for
postgraduate study especially in view of the fact that there are few blacks and women who
go on to study Masters and Doctoral levels.

14.3 A mechanism must be established to
ensure that there are more blacks and women in the postgraduate studies.

14.4 There should be established a
subsidy formula for postgraduate studies within the NSFAS. (A significant number of
disadvantaged students enrol for postgraduate studies not out of choice but due to failure
to get employment, hence do not have funds for postgraduate study).

14.5 The increase in "the
proportion of SA`s private and public funding of research and development that is
spent in higher education" (14.5.1; p. 35) should favour black students and women,
especially those in fields historically inaccessible to them.

CHAPTER 4: GOVERNANCE

1. A model of cooperative governance

1.1 Whilst this is a welcome proposal,
in line with the dynamic model being pursued in government, capacity building, especially
for students and non-academic staff, is requisite in order to deal with a power balance
and empower those sectors (which may be generally disadvantaged) to effectively
participate in cooperative governance structures.

1.2 The Code of Conduct must be based
on shared and common goals, broad objectives, a concrete program of action, framework,
time-frames and commitment to transformation. Otherwise, it will be meaningless and will
always be undermined. A code of conduct should guide conduct in the pursuit of something
known by all and not be used to block transformation.

2. Academic Freedom, Institutional Autonomy and
Accountability

2.1 The ANCYL agrees that these three
concepts are intertwined. Whilst we do not wish to see the first two concepts undermined
in the short-term as that would have long-term effects, we, however, believe that in the
manner that the liberal paradigm is modelling them actuallydigm is modelling them actually compromises them. The ANCYL
fails to accept that a democratic government, popularly elected to lead, guide and oversee
the transformation of all sectors and facets of our society would now be told to stay out
of the academic orientation of institutions of HE, and out of these institutions. Yet, we
have already witnessed many, if not most, institutions waging life-and-death struggles to
resist transformation.

When it suits the conservative and liberal managers and
administrations, they cherish these ideals; and when it does not they forget them. Most
often, in the recent periods, these concepts have been used to block government from
intervening on the side of transformation; and yet also to call government to intervene
when these managements and administrations are under pressure from students, workers and
staff.

2.2 We contend strongly that government
must be able to, in the transitional period in particular, increase its regulatory and
steering powers for a definitive period until various institutional organs are able to
pursue transformation on their own, and in good faith. A concrete transformation program
should become the content of academic freedom and institutional autonomy. In the least,
institutions must be accountable to their own constitue to their own constituencies, and of course to the public
at large. Accountability also applies in the domain of academic production.

3. Governance at system level

3.1 A dynamic form of system level
governance is also required to lead to the transcendance of adversarial relations among
civil society itself (at institutional level) which also needs to re-prioritize its
concerns and direct its behavior for the common good.

3.2 We endorse 3.2, but also add the
political context of a democratizing society.

4. Council on Higher Education

4.1 The CHE must have a definitive
duration, probably of five years. This would, of course, have an impact on the students
constituency which changes constantly.

4.2 Ministerial appointees should also
have a definitive number of not more than five (5). The GP must clearly stipulate that all
sectors and stake-holders must send balanced representations, especially in terms of race,
gender, and others.

4.3 The relationship between the CHE,
institutions and stake-holders must be clarified:ake-holders must be clarified: it can either be regulated or lose.

4.4 We further that YOUTH, probably
through the non-statutory National Youth Council, should also be invited to the CHE.

4.5 The GP should also clarify the
nature of the relationship between the CHE and parliament as it alludes in 4.8.

6. Institutional Governance

6.1 The formation of BTFs must be
pursued as an urgent task by the Ministry, all institutions and all stake-holders.
However, their role, powers and composition must be clarified. BTFs must be seen as
`sunset structures` of unity that should lead towards transformation and should not
seek to be sustained beyond their mandate.

6.2 We, however, wish to quickly point
out that successful institutional governance of a cooperative nature will depend on the
good will of all parties acting in good faith despite and in spite of all their
differencies.

CHAPTER 5: FUNDING

  1. A definitive vision, a five to ten year plan,
    should be created to guide earmarked funding for redress. There cand funding for redress. There cannot be an earmarked
    redress funding forever. This would be an indication of a lack of transformation plan.

  2. We endorse the `goal-oriented funding incentives`
    provided the capacity of HBIs is built.

  3. We endorse 1.6, especially the last paragraph.

2. Needs and Cost Implications

2.1 There is an urgent need to harness
the attention and resources of the private sector towards HBIs as they may all be drawn
towards HWIs. The government must intervene and set a mechanism of realizing this.

4. Goal-oriented public funding

4.1 As a point of emphasis, capacity
building is requisite for HBIs.

6. Earmarked funding

6.3 Earmarked funding for students financial aid

6.3.1 The government should set up
mechanisms to oversee TEFSA management at institutional level in order to avoid:

  • patronage and corruption- patronage and corruption
  • with-holding of aid information from students by
    institutions
  • inefficiency leading to roll-overs worth millions of
    rands.

6.3.2 TEFSA funding must be made
accessible to first-entry students as well. Currently, these students are disadvantaged in
regards to funding as returning students are preferred to them, hence making their
accessibility to higher education difficult.

6.5 Accountability

6.5.1 The GP must suggest a mechanism
through which institutions shall account for their funding.

FOR CONSIDERATION

  • There has to be a compulsory community servicpulsory community service scheme
    for students and academic staff linked to public funding. This should ensure that people
    pay back to communities that which is owed to them through their sacrifices subsidising HE
    and research, and put an end to freight of skills produced in our country through our
    people`s taxes.
  • There are no proposals dealing with students`
    arrears in the NOW TERM.
  • There needs to be a phased program of multi-lingualism
    to addressthe problem of language in Afrikaans medium institutions. This should be done in
    line with cost implications.