SOUTH AFRICA: University divided on affirmative action

The University of Cape Town was once a citadel of white privilege on the majestic slopes of Devil's Peak. At the height of apartheid, it admitted few black or mixed-race students, and they were barred from campus dormitories, even forbidden to attend medical school postmortems on white corpses, writes Celia W Dugger for The New York Times.

South Africa's finest university is now resplendently multi-racial. But it is also engaged in a searching debate about just how far affirmative action should go to heal the wounds of an oppressive history, echoing similar conflicts in the United States, where half a dozen states have banned the use of racial preferences in admissions to public universities.

The university was supposed to have settled this debate last year when its professors, 70% of them white men, supported a policy that gave admissions preferences based on apartheid racial categories to black, mixed-race and Indian students. Instead, unease with the current approach has spilled out over the past year in fierce exchanges on newspaper editorial pages and formal debating platforms.
Full report on The New York Times site