News wrap 10/10/18

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News for and about students.

SA’s first medals in the 2018 Youth Olympics

Team SA scored their second medal on day two of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires on Monday (8 October). Dune Coetzee picked up a silver medal in the women’s 200m butterfly, while Amber Schlebusch won the first gold medal for South Africa in the women’s triathlon on Sunday. You can see all the results for Team SA on Day 2 and Day 3 the schedule for Day 4. Russia is in the lead at the games with 13 medals, 11 of which are gold, overall. Followed by Hungary (2nd: 5 golds) and Colombia (3rd: 2 golds, 1 silver, 2 bronze) with 5 medals each. South Africa are tied in 10th spot with Denmark and Vietnam, with 2 medals each. We will keep you updated as the Games continue.

Millions being wasted on ‘soft’ degrees in SA

The Sunday Times has published a report highlighting the fact that money meant for the National Skills Fund (NSF) to develop “badly needed artisans” is being used to fund university students instead. NSF CEO Mvuyisi Macikama said South Africa’s lack of skilled  artisans is forcing companies to import those skills. Macikama went on to say that the Department of Higher Education has taken R6.56-billion from the NSF to pay for “no increase” and “no fees” promises made by the government. NSF funds are now being funnelled to keep fees down for humanities and social science students. The businesses which help fund the NSF were also frustrated as they pay their skills levies but are not receiving trained artisans, the Sunday Times reported. The NSF is currently training 21,000 artisans per year with plans to up the number to 30,000 by 2030. – More on this story on the My Broadband site.

Kenyan universities face more funding cuts

Last week, Kenya’s public universities were hit with a US$10 million (about R147m) budget cut when parliament voted to reduce funding for salaries, learning materials and infrastructure. The budget cuts are meant to help the government combat a looming fiscal crisis.

After the country’s auditor general listed 11 of Kenya’s public universities as insolvent last year, higher education has faced job cuts, frozen posts and spending cuts on key activities such as research. After the latest decision, a deputy vice-chancellor of a public university, who declined to be named for fear of reprisals, said: “This calls for massive job cuts again; we can no longer afford to hire new staff. We are appealing to the government to consider supporting the universities to continue running their operations. It’s no longer tenable… It has reached crisis level.” Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, however, told universities to tighten their belts “Universities must address the ratio of technical staff to support staff at institutions,” adding that the number of support staff was too high. “We are encouraging and supporting rationalisation to guarantee the sustainability of institutional operations.” – Read more on this story on the University World News site.

Australia Awards bursary info session in Cape Town October 25th

Scholarships for Masters studies in Australia are being offered to eligible African candidates for postgraduate studies and there is an information session about them being held in Cape Town later this month. For more information: