HIGHER LEARNING: Acting Premier Griezelda Cjiekella. Picture: ZANDISILE LUPHAHLA
The dream of Northern Cape having its own university is close to becoming a reality.
A total of R4,2m has been allocated to the construction of the Northern Cape University and significant progress has been made towards making it a reality, acting premier Griezelda Cjiekella announced during her state of the province address recently.
The province and Mpumalanga are the only two in the country without a regional university.
This development came after a call by political parties, civic and religious organisations that there should be a university which will accommodate high school graduates and those individuals who want to pursue postgraduate studies.
The National Institute for Higher Learning (Nihe) which houses students from the Central University of Technology (from the Free State), University of Free State, Unisa and North West University through distance learning has been the only hope for the province.
After completing matric, most pupils leave the province for greener pastures. The provincial government said it was a worrying factor that most of them after completing their studies elsewhere didn’t come back home.
The new university seat is in Kimberley and according to Cjiekella the commencement of the university programme is envisaged to register at least 5000 students by 2014.
“The university will provide critical skills to the key sectors locally,” she said.
Wits University has been appointed to provide technical project management service towards the establishment and she said land and space had been identified.