MPs endorse proposals to clip universities’ wings

Parliament’s portfolio committee on higher education and training last week adopted the bill that critics say will give the state sweeping powers over universities and colleges, writes Bekezela Phakathi for Times Live.

The committee earlier this year hosted public hearings on the contentious bill amid fear that the proposed changes to laws governing tertiary institutions would put the autonomy of universities at risk. The bill proposes the minister have the power to determine transformation objectives and put appropriate mechanisms in place to ensure the objectives are met. It allows the minister to change processes‚ procedures and mandates of universities and other higher education institutions. It also empowers the minister to withhold funding under specific circumstances.

Democratic Alliance MP Belinda Bozzoli‚ the opposition party’s higher education spokesperson‚ said last Wednesday the DA would oppose the bill when it is considered by the National Assembly in two weeks’ time.
Full report on the Times Live site