Thank you very much, hon Chairperson. Hon Deputy President, Cabinet colleagues, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, as well as hon members of the committee, all Members of Parliament, Director-General and staff of the department, heads and executives of all our postschool institutions, and my family, I would like to quickly introduce the following persons. All my guests are very important today, but there are two that I would like to highlight. The first one is Samkelo Radebe, a 24-year-old South African who was a paralympic gold medallist in London. [Applause.] He burnt both his hands at a young age, but is now doing LLB fourth year. It is his birthday today - happy birthday, Samkelo! [Applause.] We plan to make him our career guidance ambassador.
The second special guest is Mrs Corlia Olivier, foster mother to Anene Booysen, who was sexually assaulted and brutally murdered in Bredasdorp. Together with the Construction Education and Training Authority, Ceta, we have established the Anene Booysen Skills Development Centre to give hope especially to coloured youth in Bredasdorp and the Western Cape in general. [Applause.]
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Bantu Education Act, which introduced and systematised the racist system of education aimed at severely restricting the educational opportunities of black people. Most of our government's efforts with regard to education since 1994 have been aimed at overcoming this burdensome legacy together with the entire oppressive inheritance of colonialism and apartheid.
Great progress has been made over the past 19 years in expanding access to and gaining success in postschool education and training, but much still needs to be done. We must not forget the past - not because we want to use it as an excuse, but because it keeps at the forefront of our thoughts the transformation that is still necessary in order to overcome this legacy.
Education at all levels remains a top priority of the South African government. The Department of Higher Education and Training, responsible for postschool education and training, has been steadily building a single, coherent, differentiated and highly articulated postschool education and training system.
For the 2013 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, the department's budget, excluding direct charges, increases at an annual average rate of 7,8% over the three years, from R31,6 billion in 2012-13 to R39,5 billion in 2015-16. The amount of R34,3 billion for 2013-14 is an increase of R2,7 billion, or 8,6%, on the 2012-13 allocation, excluding funds from the skills levy. The skills levy, which is channelled through the Sector Education and Training Authorities and the National Skills Fund, NSF, is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 9,1% over the three years, from R11,4 billion in 2012-13 to R14,8 billion in 2015-16.
Approximately a million young people leave school every year and should be absorbed into postschool education or directly into the workforce if they are not to be unemployed. In the first quarter of 2013, as you know, 3,5 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 were not absorbed into employment, education or training and many adults also find themselves in a similar predicament. One of the highest priorities of my department is to ensure that this large number of young people are given postschool education and training opportunities that will improve their employability. Policies to achieve our objectives will be set out in a White Paper on Post-School Education and Training, which I expect to be ready in the next few months.
Our top priority is to expand and improve the quality of further education and training colleges, soon to be renamed technical and vocational education and training, TVET, colleges. Our message to South Africans that FET colleges should be institutions of choice is starting to bear fruit. For the 2012 academic year we set a target of 550 000 student headcount enrolments. However, a total of 657 690 was achieved, representing an increase of 54% over the preceding year. Over the 2013 MTEF period, we have allocated R17,4 billion to ensure that FET college enrolments continue on this expansion trajectory.
This includes investment in FET college infrastructure in order to turn college campuses into learning, information and communications technology, sports, entertainment and business incubation centres. Though, Deputy President, no one is allowed to mention Maluti FET College today! [Laughter.]
In 2012 we provided financial assistance through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, to 187 497 FET college students, exceeding our projection of 180 000 students for the year. To cater for the expansion in student enrolments in FET colleges, we have set aside R6,3 billion over the 2013 MTEF period, beginning with R1,98 billion in 2013 and culminating in R2,2 billion in 2015. This will enable us to ensure greater access to education and training opportunities for 702 000 poor and academically capable young people over the three-year period.
Currently postschool education and training institutions are unevenly distributed across the country, with rural areas being particularly poorly served. In order to correct this spatial distribution, the President last year announced the availability of R2,5 billion for infrastructure expansion and refurbishment. Last year I also committed to establishing 12 new campuses. I am now pleased to report that construction of these campuses will start this year and the first student intake in the new campuses will be in 2014. [Applause.] In addition we are upgrading two existing campuses. This represents the first phase of our FET college infrastructure expansion and should cater for up to 28 000 additional students next year.
The R2,5 billion - this is an additional R2,5 billion - that we have set aside for capacity building and programmes has been allocated to FET colleges to focus on expansion of enrolment, on which we are going to spend R2 billion, building institutional capacity, which will need just under R400 million, and upgrading of equipment which will need just under R200 million.
Building the institutional capacity of the colleges is essential and we are drawing on the expertise in professional councils to assist us. During 2012 we developed the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges Turnaround Strategy, which focused on building college capacity in management, governance and leadership, and financial management, amongst other things.
With the assistance of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants, Saica, we are pleased to say that we have now appointed 48 chartered accountants as chief financial officers at FET colleges, with the remaining two colleges to receive their appointments shortly. [Applause.] Also in partnership with Saica, the department has appointed 20 human resources specialists to support clusters of colleges in setting up proper systems in human resource management.
We have also agreed to a partnership with the Engineering Council of South Africa, partly using the structures of the Human Resource Development Council, led by our Deputy President, in order to improve the FET curriculum, make it more relevant to the world of work, and facilitate articulation into higher education. In addition, our department is developing an FET college-based maths and science foundation programme that will enable young people to take up university studies or continue in college in the engineering, science and technology fields. We expect this programme to be piloted as from next year. [Applause.]
During the 2013-14 financial year we will ensure that each college has structures that enable the learning institution to function optimally. This includes the filling of all vacant senior management posts, the appointment of college councils and the election of student leadership.
An analysis of the current funding framework for FET colleges and public adult learning centres has brought me to the conclusion that the framework is inconsistent with the vision of an integrated yet differentiated postschool education and training system. To remedy this anomaly I will soon be setting up a ministerial committee to advise me on how best to fund the TVET system and the envisaged community colleges, both from the fiscus and levy funds. For that, cheers! Nilalele nina enihlezi ngapha. [You who are seated this side must listen.] [Applause.]
At the beginning of this year I published a notice in the Government Gazette that effectively transfers authority over FET college management staff from the provincial departments of education to the Department of Higher Education and Training with effect from 1 April 2013. To finalise the migration process, in the course of 2013-14 parties in the Education Labour Relations Council, the General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council, and the Further Education and Training Colleges Bargaining Unit will negotiate to finalise the necessary collective agreements.
Census 2011 provides a sobering reminder of the need to pay attention to adult education and training. The census indicates that there are potentially 18 million adult learners that the education system should address. The Further Education and Training Colleges Amendment Act provides for the creation of a new institutional type, to be known as community education and training colleges, or CET colleges. The present public adult learning centres will in time be absorbed into these community colleges, with additional staff and facilities provided, so that they have offerings that respond to community needs. I have published for public comment the report of a task team that made recommendations for the community colleges. In 2015 we will pilot the establishment of these community colleges in selected sectors.
On universities, I am pleased to report that there was a 12% growth rate in university enrolment from 2009 up to 2011, from 837 779 students to 938 200 in 2011. Chairperson, Deputy President and hon members, we are chasing the million mark, which will help us to reach a total enrolment of 1,62 million by 2030, as envisaged in the National Development Plan, NDP.
Overall, the number of university graduates for this period has also increased by 11%. The number of postgraduates increased at a higher rate than the overall graduation rate. This is important because it is on postgraduates that we depend for our future academics, researchers and other leaders in knowledge-intensive professions. Research master's graduates increased by 26% and doctoral graduates increased by 15% between 2009 and 2011.
In my view, though, this is quite insufficient to meet our needs, and is not really comparable with other leading developing countries, let alone developed ones. Deputy President, in line with your request, our department, together with the Department of Science and Technology, will soon be presenting a comprehensive programme for significantly increasing the number of master's and doctoral graduates in South Africa. We hope we are going to get more doctorates from that side of the House as well, because we have quite a number on this side! [Applause.]
Linked to the expansion of the university system is the establishment of the two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape. Much preparatory work has been done, and I now expect to establish the two institutions as legal entities next month.
An amount of R2,1 billion has been earmarked for the development of the universities over the next three years. Both universities will open their doors in 2014 in selected academic programmes, using existing buildings. We will be holding architectural competitions for the design of the main facilities, and we will be launching these sites for construction in September this year.
Progress has also been made in separating the campus of the Medical University of Southern Africa, Medunsa, from the University of Limpopo, and in establishing a new university incorporating the Medunsa campus. This new university will be a comprehensive university of health and allied sciences, including veterinary science and dentistry. In the next few weeks I will publish my intention to establish this university and invite public comment. [Applause.]
At the beginning of this year I successfully established a Central Application Clearing House as the first phase towards the central application system. The Deputy Minister will elaborate on this matter.
Last November I received a report from the working group on fee-free university education and I am studying its recommendations. I am preparing a submission to Cabinet to implement the ANC Mangaung Conference resolution to phase in fee-free education. [Applause.]
Sesikhuluma njengeqembu elibusayo manje elikhethwe ngabantu. [We are now speaking as the ruling party, which was voted for by the people.] [Applause.]
With regard to funding more broadly, I have received a comprehensive report from the Ministerial Committee on the Review of the Funding of Universities, which will be published soon. We will model the various recommendations and develop a revised funding framework before the end of this financial year. The framework must ensure an effectively funded and strengthened university sector. Our aim is to ensure that all institutions, particularly those that service the poor, are able to offer quality higher education.
Teaching and learning are at the heart of our university system. An amount of R575 million has been allocated to all universities for teaching development grants to assist in improving graduate outputs and R205 million for foundation programmes to improve the success rate of students from disadvantaged educational backgrounds. A teaching development policy framework will be implemented and we will be initiating some programmes in the coming year.
In addition, R177 million for research development has been allocated to all 23 universities to develop the research capabilities of university staff, including the production of master's degrees and PhDs.
I must say I am extremely concerned about the allegations of "sex for marks" practices at our higher education institutions, which mainly affect our female students. This happens where male lecturers demand sex in order to pass some of the female students. This must be strongly condemned, and in dealing with this I will be asking the Oversight Committee on Transformation in the South African Public Universities to investigate these allegations and provide me with recommendations. [Applause.]
My department has continued to prioritise the expansion and strengthening of teacher education for all education subsectors, including preschooling, schooling and postschooling. Additional resources have resulted in an increase from just under 6 000 new teacher graduates in 2008 to 10 361 in 2011, an increase of 73% in the number of new teachers that graduate annually. We expect to exceed 14 000 new teacher graduates by 2015.
Plans are progressing to open new teacher education college campuses under the jurisdiction of existing universities. The Siyabuswa Teacher Education Campus was opened in Mpumalanga this year. It is being managed as part of the University of Johannesburg, but will later be transferred to the new university in Mpumalanga. [Applause.] Processes to establish new teacher education campuses are in place, and we will open one each in KwaZulu- Natal, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo this year.
I have extended the period of the infrastructure grant to universities from two to three years, increasing the R3,8 billion to R6 billion over the period 2012-13 to 2014-15. This includes amounts aimed at overcoming backlogs in historically disadvantaged institutions. Through co-funding, institutions will contribute a further R2 billion over this period to bring the total investment in university infrastructure to R8 billion. [Applause.] This is concrete proof that President Zuma is serious about investment in infrastructure in our country. [Applause.]
I have gazetted for comment a draft Policy on Student Housing at Public Universities. Minister Sexwale, this policy will require universities to improve student housing in many areas, such as governance, maintenance and admission for first years. It will also set minimum standards for a proper living and learning environment for students across the sector. For the period 2012-13 to 2014-15 I have allocated R1,6 billion for universities to build and refurbish student residences. What is more important about this is that 86% of this funding is going to historically disadvantaged institutions. [Applause.] We are also negotiating with the Public Investment Corporation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa to get additional funding for student accommodation.
Although our public university system as a whole is relatively stable, I have been compelled to take action in some institutions to ensure their integrity and proper functioning in the face of corruption or maladministration. This has included putting universities under administration. I refuse - I repeat, I refuse - to be intimidated by those who say this violates university autonomy but ignore the need for universities to be publicly accountable. Ngiyinsizwa yakwaDambuza mina ngifuna ukubazisa ... [Uhleko.] ukuthi ngeke ngithuswe ngabantu abangazifuni izinguquko kumanyuvesi akithi. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[I'm a young man from Dambuza and I want to tell them ... [Laughter.] ... that I will not be intimidated by people who don't want change at our universities.]
I saw some of my vice-chancellors, and I wish to express the irritation I feel. Here I am sure that hon Wilmot James will agree with me. I am uncomfortable with the ease with which universities give professorships - we must maintain standards. You cannot have someone with a junior degree, who has never done any serious scholarship work, being awarded a PhD just because he fundraised for a chair in a university! That is completely unacceptable. We cannot lower our standards in that way. [Applause.] I am asking the vice-chancellors to look into this matter closely. Let us open a debate. A professor must be a professor. Asibafuni osolwazimbumbulu! [We do not want fake professors!]
On the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, I am pleased to say that our National Student Financial Aid Scheme has really increased and the amount allocated for 2013-2014 amounts to R5,769 billion. This includes R3,6 billion for loans and bursaries to universities and R1,98 billion for bursaries for further education and training. Since its establishment NSFAS has reached 1,4 million students. The last thing that I would really like to talk about briefly is the fact that we as a department have established a dedicated unit to promote work- integrated learning, so that those of our students who require workplace experience are able to get it in order to complete their qualification, or to get the very necessary 12 months of experience in the workplace - 12 months at least. We have also changed the Seta regulations, partly to facilitate this, so that we release more money, amongst other things, to resource the recently signed Youth Employment Accord. Goodbye to the DA's reactionary notion of a youth wage subsidy! [Applause.] For the first time in our history, the NSF has reached a stage where it has been able to spend all its backlogs and all the resources in its hands.
In conclusion, my sincere gratitude goes to the President and my Cabinet colleagues for their support; our director-general; my special adviser, John Pampallis, who is being awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Fort Hare today; ... [Applause.] ... the presiding officers who take the Chair; the members of the portfolio committee; and, as I have said, my family.
Finally, what we want to say is that all these things would not have happened if it had not been for the ANC and its government. Thank you very much. [Applause.]