Page 133 - UCT Research Report 2011

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state of humanities in South Africa was in the spotlight in 2011
with the publication of two major reports that point to an alarming
decline in the field across the country. While the reports, one
commissioned by the Academy of Science of South Africa, and the other by Higher
Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande, are in many respects very
different, and while there has been contestation about their foci and respective
findings, both warn of a crisis in humanities that is threatening to undermine South
Africa’s youthful democracy.The ASSAf report points to declining student enrolments,
falling graduation rates and decreasing government funding for humanities in higher
education institutions, as well as the lack of international standing and status of
much humanities scholarship. While the contribution of the Faculty of Humanities
to research at UCT shows that it bucks these trends in significant ways, there is no
room for complacency and the faculty is committed to strengthening research and
teaching in this vital area.