JONATHAN JANSEN | Transformation must never be an excuse to let standards drop

Durban University of Technology should be commended for expelling 31 unqualified lecturers from its ranks

13 October 2021 - 19:28

Two months ago, the unthinkable happened in South African education. A university ejected 31 lecturers from campus who were unqualified for the job. You heard right. This institution of higher learning actually took its job seriously (higher learning) and retrenched academics for low standards of scholastic achievement. That this happened in a university of technology, often stereotyped as the lesser academic cousin of the traditional universities, is all the more reason for applause. The Durban University of Technology (DUT) broke new ground in a country going the other way — they raised the standard.

The DUT could have gone the route of so many South African universities and dropped the standard in the name of transformation; we need more black professors so let's make it easier for our people to make the grade. Unisa recently offered a master class in the race (sic) to the bottom of the academic stakes — it set the standards for the professoriate so low that you hardly needed to do any serious research or publication or supervision of doctoral students. Show up with your black skin and you can slide into the rank of professor with the lowest scholarly achievements on the continent...

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