Nzimande wants 1 million college students 10

The number of students at FET Colleges will more than double to 1 million over the next few years if plans set out by Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande come to fruition.

He has also set the bold goal of ensuring that no poor youth with potential to succeed at higher education are excluded because of costs. Minister Nzimande also wants to improve standards at universities to ensure that students of all backgrounds can reach the required level.

With skilled graduates of universities and colleges in demand the world over, there is no denying that South Africa has to increase the number of young people who study further after school.

But can we afford to grow our training and education sector by such a large degree? And do we have the correct policies in place at our universities to ensure that our graduates have the skills that the business sector needs?

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10 thoughts on “Nzimande wants 1 million college students

  • Chris Reay

    It all depends on what Blade regards as a success measure with his new million student FET deal. With the current depletion rate in teaching capacity and teaching competence INCLUDING the essential post academic experiential skills training and mentoring, he may just produce another million “educated” but unemployable “graduates”. When will the DHET get the message that real skills are developed by experiential learning ie some structured on the job mentoring?

  • Amod Latiff

    Me again
    Dear Minister Blade Nzimande
    Your “1 million Fet Students over the next few years'” is a bold step and said like a true politician, but achievable
    Learn It On Demand A Private FET college accredited by the Services Seta Decision Number2234 has 12 colleges mainly in the rural areas of South Africa were most students are poor dont have taxi fares to come to the centre, Leave alone the Fees for studing, Has Embarked on a “The Equity-uKujuluka Project”(Sweat-Equity) Where by the college enters into an agreeemet with the prospective student to grow a fibre Producing plant called Kenaf where the student is thought how to grow harvest and production of the plant in exchange for a course in Computers and Business studies. Dear Minister if u adopt this project country wide we can get people to get back to the land and get back their self esteem and diginity together with their freedom. More information on tghis project please contact me on

  • Amod Latiff

    I agree with the minister , good idea but how is it going to be rolled out, similar problem with all the goverment fet’s, leadership, he should look at private FET students to get busary

  • Leon Pillay

    Private, public (FET’s) partnerships. Come on people remember the days when Iscor, Escom, Telkom, Denel, Sasol, would advertise full pages in the workplace supplements for Trainees, Apprenticeships, Junior Technicians. Infact these pages would be application forms to potential candidates who would make the 3000 Apprenticeship intake at Iscor, the end of each application one would find the designated race or gender group that should apply.

    Lets concentrate our efforts with making our countries capital responsible for creating if not developing our skills base. These large institutions reap billions in profits year in year out, yet are reactive to develop their skills base. They would lay claim to millions of white artisans who are emigrating though make no inroads into diversifying their skills base with regards race,gender… and the development of South Africa’s younger people.

    Which takes me back in the day when I served an apprenticeship in photolithogarphy (pre-press graphics), I had no alternative but start earning money while I trained, my share was needed at home. After qualifying
    as an artisan a docter friend of mine in a state hospital complained bitterley that I earned the same amount of money as he did. In real fact I did, and down to the p/hr per rand, I just beat him to it.

    Trades are needed, also more specialised jobs, to think if a large drive by Dept of Higher education to step up trade skills in the country gets by, we could market these opportunities to our youth as, earn same or even more as a docter in SA….(joking). I simply mean that these occupations, blue collared is what we all should be pushing for, I hope I find some agreement.. FET’s go for it, lets work on partnerships with business. We can start with the likes of BUSA, BMF, PIFSA…

    Lets look at Escom’s large infrastructure investment, with this huge project surely one would budget training and development, that budget togeteher with FET’s should form training programes. Would it not me nice to see, an FET in Soweto, which has a board that reads, Powered by Eskom, no pun but simply an Eskom Soweto FET joint initiative.

  • Kobus Verreynne

    The Minister stated that scholars with potecial should grant the opportunity to further their education via an university. Once a scholar is identified, why should this scholar not be tranfered to a ” high erformance school” to enable such a scholar to sucessfully complete his/her tertiary training? Then it will not be necessary to lower the tertiary standards. As SA is part ofg the globe, our specialist, including academics, should be able to compete within the globe with international accepted qualifications.

  • Sharanjeet Shan

    I want this to happen more than anything else in my professional life. However, it must not simply be a numbers game. It is absolutely crucial that Grade 9 students who are entering the FET sector perfoprm at a decent level in the basic subjects. Failing that cumulative gaps in knowldge and skills base will work against them. They will be playing catch up for ever. Much too often the teachers teaching Grade 9 learners are not clear about the consequences of non-coverage of the curriculum. I can suggest seven areas that must be the focus. Mathematics, English Language, Physical Science, Technology, IT, Economic and Management sciences so that at FET learners will get a look into Economics, Business studies and accounting. Would the likes of us small organisations get a chance to have a talk with the Minister.

  • Kevin Marlow

    It is important that quality is taken into consideration before quantity and the interventions are focussed at critical skills shortages anticipated going forward. If this is not treated as a priority then the system will be skilling/educating people who will be unemployable as is the case at present in many instances. In addition the higher education institutions need to be stricter on assessing potential students as many students currently at these institutions should not be there. A greater emphasis must be placed on career guidance, choice of studies and assessing for the potential to study further to avoid students training/studying for the wrong career. Many students are studying for the sake of a qualification thereby in the long term wasting there time, money and the tax payers money. Please could someone reply and indicate what Phd the new minister has and from which Insitution it was conferred/awarded.

  • Catherine Martin

    You didn’t report that Nzimande wants all those FET learners but is only prepared to spend R3.2 billion for the 50 colleges, whereas he wants to spend R17.5 on the 18 South African universities. Perhaps he’ll be using SETA money to further fund the FET Colleges? That would be a wise move, however there needs to be proof that the FET Colleges will partner with industry! Failure to do that will be perpetuating the defunct Technical College system. But all this talk about education: we’ve got it wrong! We should be giving billions to the DTI minister and ask him to expand the economy…adults only learn when they see a need. If there were jobs galore in this country Education would take off and never look back. Access, progression and all those other words we swirl around our mouths like bored camels, would become realities.

  • Xolani Notshe

    The renewed focus of FET is welcome. We need a nation of doers, manufecturers, etc. The Academic side of things is necessary, but we cannot focus on that alone. I would appreciate if small training colleges like Zwelethemba in rural Eastern Cape would be in the minds of policy makers as we attempt to move forward faster. The Minister’s plan could lead into the rescusitation of the now “Ghost factories” in Dimbaza and Gcuwa in the Eastern Cape. These small towns were once abuzz with manufecturing activities. We can do it again. And you know what, this plan can be linked “nicely” to rural development as well. The intention is good, I will leave the cost to those who know more about figures. This has to be done. Viva Minister Nzimande viva!

  • Peter David Joffe

    The problem is that the ANC thought that if you have a ruler, you can be a teacher. If you have a farm you can be a farmer. if you have badge you can be a policman and so on. The ANC fought for decades to have equaly opportunity but once they got that they destroyed everything in the name of Transformation. Hospitals, schools, roads, goverment both local and national and so on have been seriously damaged. teachers training colleges were done away with. Apprentiship was stopped and white skills were removed. Its never too late to fix the mess but Nzimande wants to start too high. Good student come from the grades and they need to know the three “R’s” – reading, righting and rithmatic. A 38 percent pass to matric give uis people who are totally unsuitable for university and its no use lowering the standars to suit the failures. 15 years have been wasted and money that could have been used for education has been squandered. Incompetant peole replace the competant ones and even the good schools have beenb attached because theywere ‘elitist’ . Well the elite are colurless and we need good schools and not schools that want passeds not matter how bad they are. We need to start at the bottom and work up and now we have to try to make up for 15 years of destruction that happend jsut because it was good and just because it was white. Education as with anything else should have no colour – quality from the bottom to the top is needed and excuses should be a thing of the past. Standars are what we all want – high standards and not pie in the sky promises that will never happen.