Black students’ enrolment drops as funding is increased

Figures released in October by StatsSA have shown that funding for the country’s 23 universities increased by ZAR5bn, from ZAR58bn to ZAR63bn between 2013 and 2014.

Of this figure, roughly half came from the taxpayer on the understanding that providing tertiary education is a public service which all South Africans should benefit from.

In a truly rainbow nation, you’d therefore expect the students in our universities to roughly reflect the racial makeup of the country.

But in reality, black South Africans are underrepresented by 10%, whilst whites are overrepresented by a staggering 100%.

‘Ah, but isn’t black representation in South Africa’s universities slowly improving?’, I hear you ask. Well, actually no. As the government increased its funding, StatsSA also found the number of black students in universities fell by an astonishing 10,000.

That’s more than the entire student population of Rhodes University!

This, coupled with the fact that more than half of the black students who do make it to university drop out due to a lack of funding, and you can begin to understand why there is a revolution brewing on our campuses.


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