Where on earth are the black academics?

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) expects local universities to employ at least 125 new academics by the end of the year, 80% of whom must be black and/or female.

The department initially announced its plans when it introduced its New Generation of Academics Programme, as part of the department’s transformation strategy, in May.

Only a handful of academics have applied for the relevant posts, since the announcement.

According to the DHET, a portion of the academics’ salaries will be subsidised by the state. The government will also fund their academic development over a period of six years.

CapeTalk’s Africa Melane standing in for John Maytham spoke to Prof. Xolela Mangcu, Associate Professor of Sociology at UCT:

There’s institutional cultural problem in South Africa with our universities. They operate like families, almost like a feudal system so they make it very difficult especially if you are a black person

Prof. Xolela Mangcu, Associate Professor of Sociology at UCT

Mangcu says the department should start at a second year level to get young people interested in the work of the academy.

Listen to the full conversation on The John Maytham Show with Africa Melane standing in:

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