Today's Big Stories

Transformation in higher education is inevitable - Jansen

702's John Robbie spoke to University of Free State Vice Chancellor, Professor Jonathan Jansen, about the recent violent clashes between student members of political parties at various institutions of higher learning and racism allegations against Stellenbosch University.

Professor Jansen gave his views about how the University of Free State went about its transformation following the university's notorious racism incident in which a group of white students degraded black workers at the university.

At the time, my colleagues in the council and the leadership at the University [of Free State] came together and they said, 'we have a problem' and they didn't add the word 'but'. I came in and with our team, we just kept our foot on the pedal and said that transformation does not happen over a weekend. It does not only happen with students. We have to deal with staffing issues and curriculum issues. And so far so good.

Professor Jonathan Jansen, University of Free State Vice Chancellor

Speaking about the Stellenbosch racism allegations, Professor Jansen said:

This was so predictable. You can't, in a country like this, as you saw on the Luister video treat black people with contempt and think you're going to get away with it.

Professor Jonathan Jansen, University of Free State Vice Chancellor

It's a singular failure of the leadership [at Stellenbosch University]. Not understanding that you cannot use language as a barrier to black students at the universities, or treat black students as second class citizens. You can't tell them to go elsewhere because they do not speak the dominant language

Professor Jonathan Jansen, University of Free State Vice Chancellor

Listen to the full conversation below:


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