A recent survey has revealed that there is light at the end of the tunnel for SA universities in the midst of the mayhem and chaos that had bedeviled them.
Despite the disturbances brought about by university students protesting, rioting and burning buildings this year, South Africa still leads other African nations in new global higher education rankings.
Higher education analysts Quacquarelli Symonds’ (QS) 2016 Higher Education System Strength rankings‚ which measure the best national environments for higher education institutions made this finding during their analysis.
South Africa is the only African country to get a spot in the published rankings as it came in at 30th place out of the 50 countries ranked.
The best performing continent in the list was Europe with 22 of its countries providing a top-50 institution.
However, South Africa failed to make the top 10 In a publication by QS last year that ranked 404 universities in Brics countries.
QS said at the time: “Managers of these universities argue that their faculty-student ratio is essentially set by the government‚ which presses them to admit more students but does not fund them well enough to hire more staff.
This simply means that South Africa’s academics are not well-paid by world standards and as a result many do not get enough funding to get a PhD.
Nevertheless, this new rankings focus more on the quality and accessibility of the higher education system in a country instead of the number of top universities a country has.
Academic performance among other parameters are used in the rankings to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a country’s higher education environment.
Meanwhile, a lot of students in SA universities may disagree with the fact thatm South Africa’s higher education system is accessible.
Last year and early this year saw SA universities shut down as students across the country joined the #FeesMustFall protest which aimed at a 0% increase in fees.