A feasibility study is underway to make way for the new University of Science and Innovation in Ekurhuleni as well as a new crime Detection University in Hammanskraal.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande said his department’s plans to build the two new universities are underway following approval from Cabinet.

He said the process of developing a new university is preceded by a feasibility study to ascertain the demand for new institutions in identified areas or areas of interest.

“A feasibility study, funded through the Infrastructure and Efficiency Grant (IEG) to the value of R6 million, is underway to advise on the size and shape of these two institutions,” he said.

The new University of Science and Innovation is expected to focus specifically on science and innovation subjects, including STEM subjects such as:

  • Data Science;
  • Machine-learning;
  • Artificial intelligence;
  • Blockchain;
  • Robotics;
  • Hydrogen-powered technologies such as smart transportation and logistics systems.

The new crime Detection University in Hammanskraal is aimed at crime detection and fighting. It is hoped to improve the quality of general and specialised SAPS investigations.

Earlier this year (April 2022), a steering committee to conduct a feasibility study was established. The department said that the committee consists of representatives from city officials, the South African Police Service (SAPS), The National Research Foundation and major universities.

More colleges and renovations

Nzimande said that with respect to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges, the department is in the process of establishing new colleges or college campuses – similar to that set out for universities.

Nzimande went on to list 16 TVET developments and infrastructure renovations being implemented across the country.

  • Msinga Campus of UMgungundlovu TVET College at Cwaka
  • Greytown Campus of Umgungundlovu TVET College at Greytown
  • Umzimkhulu Campus of Esayidi TVET College at Umzimkhulu
  • Bhambanana Campus of Umfolozi TVET College at Bhambanana
  • Nkandla A Campus of Umfolozi TVET College at Nkandla Town
  • Nkandla B Campus of Umfolozi TVET College at Nkumgamathe
  • Vryheid Engineering Campus of Mthashana TVET College at Vryheid
  • Nongoma Campus of Mthashana TVET College at Nongoma
  • Kwagqikasi Campus of Mthashana TVET College at Nongoma
  • Giyani Campus of Letaba TVET College at Giyani
  • Balfour Campus of Gert Sibande TVET College at Balfour
  • Aliwal North Campus of Ikhala TVET College at Aliwal North
  • Sterkspruit Campus TVET College of Ikhala at Sterkspruit
  • Ngqungqushe Campus of Ingwe TVET College at Lusikisiki
  • Graaff Reneitt Campus of East Cape Midlands at Graaff Reneit

He added that there are also plans to renovate existing facilities in Limpopo which will be annexed to the Tshwane University of Technology should the feasibility studies support the usage of these facilities.

Lack of confidence

Major infrastructure developments for the education sector in South Africa come off the back of low confidence in the country’s tertiary education system.

A recent survey conducted by Professional Provident Society (PPS) found that the majority of students have no confidence in the standard of higher education offered by South African universities when compared internationally.

The survey also found that 25% of studying professionals felt that they were insufficiently prepared for higher education, while 43% of students said that they had been moderately prepared.

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