Jonathan Jansen: Lowering university entry requirements 'a move to mediocrity'

The Minister of Higher Education Naledi Pandor has relaxed the minimum admission entry requirements for a bachelors degree at university.

Students would need a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching at the institution they want to enter, together with an achievement of between 50-59% in four 20-credit National Senior Certificate subjects.

However, Stellenbosch University's Professor Jonathan Jansen disagrees with this new move.

Read: WCED: No learner should be discriminated against due to non-payment of fees

This is a continuation of the mediocrity seen in the lower grades now being applied to universities.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University

I'm quite stressed about it because Minister Pandor is one of the competent ministers in the Cabinet and knows what it is to build a world-class qualification system.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University

We have data now that shows that in Grade 4 - 8 almost eight out of ten learners cannot read for understanding - and now you take through that horrible finding to universities.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University

Professor Jansen says it is documented that half of the students who enroll in universities drop out in their first year.

He is concerned the admission policy change will increase standards of mediocrity.

This means that the universities that are disadvantaged have to pick up the slack. Now, will be taking even more students who are less prepared with an even greater failure rate and this is bad.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University

To hear the conversation with Prof Jonathan Jansen, listen below:


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