Minister confident of taking on higher education challenges

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pretoria - Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande is confident his new ministry will zone in and sort out the challenges facing tertiary institutions.

Dr Nzimande took his oath of affirmation in front of Chief Justice Pius Langa on Monday, officially becoming a member of Cabinet and Minister.

Speaking to BuaNews after the swearing-in ceremony, the Minister said he believed his new ministry's interventions will resolve the challenges facing higher institutions.

He said financial challenges and access to institutions of higher learning remained among the critical challenges which needed swift intervention from government, and his department would be paying attention to this, among other priorities, over the next five years.

"It is time to transform our higher education system to ensure that everyone is part of skills development programmes."

He said the department would also try and intervene on issues of racism at some higher education institutions and would place a premium on access by every citizen, particularly the marginalised.

"At the moment I will be consulting with every stakeholder in this sector including staff, students and management to find out their issues of concern and identifying the way forward," he said.

He said he was committed to working with various departments, stakeholders and the public to overcome these challenges.