A university, as defined by the New Collins Concise English Dictionary, can be defined as an institution of higher education having the authority to award bachelors’ and higher degrees, usually having research facilities.
A private tertiary institution would be one that is under the financial and managerial control of a private body, accepting mostly fee-paying learners (Adapted from private school in the New Collins Concise English Dictionary). An example of a private tertiary institution is Damelin or Varsity College.
A public tertiary institution can be described as an institution of higher education maintained at the expense of, serving for or for the use of a community (Adapted from the New Collins Concise English Dictionary). Furthermore, public universities are subsidised by the government and are therefore under the scrutiny of the Department of Education. An example of a public university is the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University or the University of Cape Town.
Tertiary education was dominated by racial segregation
Up to the current government to attempt massification of education by opening doors to all
TERTIARY EDUCATION IN SA
Better-educated, more productive workers seem a remote prospect given the recent trend of deteriorating matriculation results, along with the government’s failure to improve the quality of public education
Data presented as inclusive statistics – no differentiation at this point in time regarding the different gender, race and age groups
THE NEED FOR A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN THE NMM
Uncertainty regarding the need for a new private tertiary institution
Confusion regarding the difference between public and private
Figure 1: Does the NMM need a private university?
Quality education and high standards refers to excellence in educating learners, so that by the time they graduate these individuals are well-rounded and thoroughly grounded, skilled and competent, creative, flexible and adaptive to new challenges.
The perception from the sample is that education is of a higher quality at private tertiary institutions
QUALITY EDUCATION cont…
n = 512
Figure 2: Perceptions of quality education
STANDARD OF EDUCATION
There is the perception by scholars that private tertiary institutions have higher standards than public tertiary institutions
n = 512
Figure 3: Perceptions of the standard of education
Qualified lecturers are those individuals teaching in tertiary education, that are committed to their vocation by constantly advancing their skills, knowledge and expertise, through research and community service in their particular field.
Focussing on how the expertise of lecturers is viewed by scholars
An up-to-date library, consisting of contemporary journals, books and media including new sources of information such as digital databases.
Computer centres should have an adequate number of workstations, with internet access and e-mail connections.
The cafeteria should serve healthy refreshments that cater for all cultures and religions.
The university should be easily accessible for individuals with disabilities e.g. Lifts, ramps and wider passages.
Reasonable sports fields should be available to ensure that students can participate in their desired sport either socially or professionally.
QUALITY OF FACILITIES cont…
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Figure 8: Perception of quality of facilities
A safe environment refers to one that complies with health and safety regulations i.e. one that has proper sanitation, is clean and free from pollution, risk of injury, danger and violence. Furthermore, the university should uphold values such as respect, equality, tolerance and valuing diversity.
Private tertiary institutions are perceived as much safer than public tertiary institutions, with 74 percent agreeing that private tertiary institutions are safer.
Society tends to downplay the impact that the media has on this particular perception e.g. the media has sensationalised protest action at public tertiary institutions as violent and unruly, enforcing a perception of a dangerous environment.
n = 512
Figure 9: Perceptions of safety
HEALTHY STUDENT LIFE
This implies maintaining a balance between academia, sport, culture and socialising during the student years. In other words students should lead a holistic lifestyle to ensure that they are well-rounded individuals by the time they graduate.
Scholars felt that a healthy student life refers to some of the following:
Public tertiary institutions are better able to provide a healthy student life as a more favourable gender ratio will be observed e.g. “not enough girls at private tertiary institutions”
No matter how unrealistic, the perception that private tertiary institutions are better able to cater for a healthy student life as “the lazy people will be separated from the hard-working people”.
Private tertiary institutions are better able to cater for a healthy student life as the possibility of “contracting HIV” was perceived as being higher in a public tertiary institution.
The perception of scholars regarding a healthy student life seems to be balanced between public and private tertiary institutions
HEALTHY STUDENT LIFE cont…
n = 512
Figure 10: Perceptions of a healthy student life
Higher education systems would be wise to pay attention to the indications scholars are giving. Even though what scholars perceive may not be the universities’ reality, universities have to adapt themselves as to what prospective students are requiring. After all, a prospective student should be viewed as a prospective client for the higher education system.