Minister calls for review of academic retirement age

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said last week that the retirement age of academics needed to be reviewed as part of a broader plan to attract experienced scholars to two new universities, to be built in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape provinces, writes Bekezela Phakathi for Business Day.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his budget speech last month that R300 million would be allocated for the establishment of the two new universities, which are likely to open their doors in the 2014 academic year. However, concern was raised about whether the government would be able to attract academics to the new institutions.

Speaking at a briefing by government ministers in the economics cluster, Nzimande said Higher Education South Africa, the vice-chancellors’ association, was reviewing the retirement age of academics at his department’s instigation. "In some universities in South Africa, academics retire at 60...In many parts of the world, academics do not have a retirement age…some professors at 80 are as sharp as anything," Nzimande said.
Full report on the Business Day site