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Govt, private sector increase research support at universities

by Edwin Tshivhidzo
on 20 Aug 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Government and the private sector are strengthening efforts directed at supporting research and innovation in higher education institutes, says Education Minister Naledi Pandor.

Speaking at the inauguration of Dr Max Price as Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town on Tuesday, Minister Pandor said: "Universities require more intensive and extensive interventions.

"Our research is still confined to traditional niche areas and we rely on a small core of internationally renowned scientists," she said.

Minister Pandor said they were working together with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and other private companies to create conditions for real partnerships.

"Our immediate priority is to make conditions at home more conducive to better research, innovation, and entrepreneurship," she said.

The DST and the science institutions were doing more and they are expanding the support provided to universities.

Minister Pandor expressed confidence in the newly elected Vice Chancellor saying she hope he would take the institution forward.

"Dr Price, I am sure that with your experience in higher education management, you will be able to innovate and think expansively."

She said UCT has been very successful in attracting and retaining top class scholars.

"The staff and students of UCT know that they are at one of the top universities in the world, an institution of great promise and impressive achievements," the minister said.

UCT is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions.

It was founded in 1829 as the South African College, a high school for boys.

The College had a small tertiary-education facility that grew substantially after 1880, when the discovery of gold and diamonds in the north - and the resulting demand for skills in mining - gave it the financial boost it needed to grow.

The College developed into a fully fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900, thanks to increased funding from private sources and the government. - BuaNews

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