Frustrated at the pace of transformation of universities, the government is planning to spend R140 million a year to speed up the process.
The Department of Higher Education intends to fund 400 academic posts, which translates to an average of 16 at each university annually, in a drive to increase the number of black academics.
Justifying the initiative, the Department’s Director General, Gwebinkundla Qonde, said: “We are looking at identifying academic talent an early stage and providing scholarships to support specifically to support young, black potential academics for post graduate studies.”
Under the plan, doctoral students will be selected to take part in a six-year programme to become fully fledged lecturers. Described as “the next generation of academic scholars”, they will be obliged to assume some academic responsibilities while pursuing their PhDs. In their fourth year of study they will be inducted as junior lecturers.