Nzimande launches first university since 1994

The new Sol Plaatjie university in Kimberley will represent a new order of African intellect, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has said.

“It is the first new university to be launched since 1994 and as such is a powerful symbol of the country’s democracy, inclusiveness, and growth,” he said yesterday at the launch in Kimberley.

“It represents a new order of African intellect, with a firm focus on innovation and excellence.”

Nzimande said the new university would join the rest of the country’s institutions of higher learning in serving the country’s growing socio-economic needs.

In the last decade university enrolments had grown by more than 50%, from 2001 to 2012. A total of R6.8 billion in infrastructure investments over the 2012 and 2014 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) had been dedicated to the expansion of institutions in order to handle bigger volumes.

“Sol Plaatje University will require a further investment of approximately R5 billion over the next 10 years,” Nzimande said.

The university’s 10-year plan would include the enrolment of 135 students and three academic programmes in 2014 and gradually increasing the target to 7 500 by 2024, he said.

The building would eventually have three campuses – central, northern and southern.

Diplomas in business management, information and communications technology and a Bachelor degree in education would be offered in 2014.

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