The University of South Africa (Unisa) is the most productive university in the country, accounting for 12.8% of all degrees conferred by a total of 23 public universities and universities of technology, says the South African Institute of Race Relations.
Some 13.6% of all South African bachelors and honours degrees were awarded by the university in 2008. At the same time 5.5% of all masters degrees and doctorates were awarded by the university in 2008. Together they made up 12.8% of all degrees conferred.
This is according to the latest South Africa Survey, to be published by the Institute in Johannesburg next week, with information sourced from the Department of Higher Education and Training.
The most prolific university with regard to the awarding of masters and doctorate degrees was the University of Pretoria (UP). Some 15.2% of all degrees of this type were awarded by UP in 2008. It was also the second-most prolific university with regard to the awarding of bachelors and honours degrees, after Unisa. It accounted for 11.1% of all of these degrees awarded in 2008.
The universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town were the only two other universities to account for more than ten percent of all masters and doctoral awards in 2008. In that year the University of Stellenbosch (US) awarded 13% of these degrees, while the University of Cape Town (UCT) awarded 11.4%.
There were eight universities which accounted for nearly two-thirds of all degree awards. These were UCT (5.9% of all degree awards); the University of Johannesburg (7.6%); the University of KwaZulu-Natal (7.8%); North West University (7.9%); UP (11.6%); Unisa (12.8%); US (6.4%); and the University of the Witwatersrand (5.8%). Together these universities accounted for 65.8% of all degrees conferred in 2008.
The universities which accounted for the majority of degree awards in South Africa are all former whites-only institutions, with the majority of graduates coming from these institutions. A researcher at the Institute, Marius Roodt, said that these universities should be encouraged and strengthened, but not at the cost of other universities.
‘Other universities, especially historically-disadvantaged institutions, need to be supported, and become centres of excellence in their own right, but not at the cost of already successful universities.'
*This article was first published by The South African Institue of Race Relations.