The Department of Higher Education and Training has confirmed that it will begin planning two new universities for South Africa this year.
According to the department’s annual performance plan for 2021/2022, the first university will be constructed in Johannesburg’s East Rand in the City of Ekurhuleni and will specialize in the fields of science and innovation.
The second university planned for South Africa will be constructed in northern Gauteng in Hammanskraal. This institution will focus on the field of crime. The department hopes that it will also improve the quality of general and specialised South African Police Services and investigations.
Higher Education minister Blade Nzimande said that the Johannesburg-based university (that will specialize in the fields of science and innovation) will include the following subjects.
- Data Science
- Artificial intelligence
- Hydrogen-powered technologies including smart transportation and logistics systems
Nzimande said that the department will kick start the process by conducting a comprehensive feasibility study in the coming year, to “determine the nature and scope, as well as the location of the new universities.”
The recently introduced economic reconstruction and recovery plan stresses skills development. Science and innovation as not only critical in driving South Africa’s economic reconstruction and recovery but also key in sustaining it.” Blade Nzimande
The department is aiming to present the feasibility plan for ministerial approval by 31 March 2022 while a formal plan for the establishment of the new institution is expected to be implemented within the 2023/2024 financial year. Nzimande said the department has also recognised that expanding South Africa’s university system will need to be done with limited resources. “The expansion of the public university system requires a careful and systematic enrolment planning process that is in line with available resources, capacity and funding,” he said.
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The department said its core focus for the next decade is ensuring appropriate skills development for South Africans with a strategy that aims to create a balance between the short- and long-term skills needs of the country and ensure that the skills system is ‘strengthened’. Find more trending news, right here.