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Corruption In Universities Still Under The Spotlight

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NSFAS Corruption In Universities Still Under The Spotlight

Several scandals have recently engulfed some of the country’s public colleges and universities. Because of this, the Department of Higher Education has come under scrutiny for what it has done to address these concerns.  

Institutions of higher learning continue to be subject to corruption allegations and mismanagement allegations.

Corruption In Universities Still Under The Spotlight

More than 100 students were allegedly excluded illegally from Walter Sisulu University in February 2020. SRC also accused WSU of fraud, alleging that NSFAS funding was claimed using the university’s registration template.

Members of the National Health, Education and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) also accused the University of South Africa (Unisa) of corruption, alleging that members of the institution’s executive management and council had engaged in fraud and corruption.

It was also announced in August 2022 that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was investigating how honours degrees were awarded, corruption allegations, as well as maladministration at The University of Fort Hare (UFH).

At a recent portfolio committee meeting, Sanele Zondo made accusations about these issues.

To clarify the steps the department has taken to address the issue, Zondo called on Blade Nzimande, the Higher Education Minister.

It is the University Councils, not the DHET, who are ultimately responsible for institutional governance in higher education, the Minister reminded Zondo.

They are responsible for preventing instances of fraud, waste, and corruption through effective governance. In cases where these issues are not properly addressed by these university councils, the Minister is mandated by his guiding legislation to intervene.  

Ministers may intervene when they believe matters are not being handled appropriately under the Act. As well as engaging directly with university councils, the Minister can also address concerns directly. 

Aside from monitoring and supporting governance, the Department provides training, independent evaluations, and self-evaluations. Whenever problems with governance arise in institutions, it keeps a close eye on them.

On some of the measures taken to ensure that these institutions are held accountable for their integrity. A code of conduct for colleges has been developed by the Department, which includes policies, procedures, and disciplinary procedures.

UMALUSI and Council for Higher Education (CHE) also provide quality assurance for the Department’s examinations and assessment processes, which are involved in the fight against qualification irregularities.

It is the responsibility of officials to adhere to disciplinary procedures when irregularities and non-compliance occur.

 

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