Low university attendance amongst blacks in SA

 ·19 Jun 2014
University of Cape Town

Black South African student attendance rates at tertiary level remains proportionally low in comparison with the Indian/Asian and white population groups.

This is according to the General Household Survey (GHS), conducted by Stats SA between January and December 2013.

The survey estimates that 740,893 students were enrolled at higher education institutions (universities and universities of technology) in 2013.

Almost two-thirds (66.4%) of these students were black African, while 22.3% were white; 6.7% coloured and 4.7% Indian/Asian.

The survey noted, however, that even though most students were black African, the student participation rate of this population group remained proportionally low.

StatsSA’s research showed that less than 4.3% of persons aged 18 to 29 were enrolled at a higher education institution in the country  ─  up from 4% in 2002.

An estimated 18.7% of white individuals in this age group and 9.2% of Indian/Asian individuals were enrolled at a university compared to 3.1% of the coloured and 3.2% of the black African population groups.

Distribution of students by group

Distribution of students by group

The study found that 77.8% of students were enrolled at public institutions. More than one ‐ third

Approximate 84.8% of students paid R4, 000 or more per year in tuition fees, and 7% reportedly did not pay fees, while 18% of students benefited from bursaries or fee reductions, the report said.

StatsSA said that the percentage of individuals aged 20 years and older who have attained Grade 12 has been growing since 2002, increasing from 21.9% in 2002 to 27.7% in 2013.

Over the same period, the percentage of individuals with some post ‐ school education increased from 9.3% to 12.8%, it found.

There were approximately 14 million learners at school in 2013.

The survey noted that 73.5% of persons aged 5–24 were attending educational institutions which is about the same than in 2002 when the attendance rate was 73.6%.

“A lack of money for fees remains the primary reason for a large proportion of individuals in this age group who were not studying,” StatsSA said.

The percentage of individuals without any schooling decreased from 10.6% in 2002 to 5.6% in 2013.

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