Puk Professor on Minister’s Advisory Panel
Professor Heilna du Plooy of the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus’ School of Languages, has just been appointed by the minister of higher education, Blade Nzimande, as a member on a panel to advise him on a future policy for the Arts in Higher Education.
Prof. Heilna du Plooy.
According to Du Plooy, the advisory panel comprises fifteen experts from different disciplines and institutions in Arts Sciences, from Social Sciences and Languages and Philosophy. Experts from, amongst others universities, advisory institutions, institutes and research bodies are involved.
“A strong awareness prevails concerning the problems the Art Sciences are confronted with and it is gladdening that the minister and all those involved wish to improve the situation,” says Du Plooy. Through this, Nzimande attempts, amongst others, to accentuate the importance of bursaries and research funding since there has been a marked lack of interest in Art Sciences, which include important disciplines such as the languages, law and economic sciences. “It is the government’s responsibility to focus on scarce and critically important skills, and I am concerned about the neglect thereof at especially universities and other tertiary institutions,” Nzimande said.
The task team will be responsible for studying existing initiatives and for providing information and giving advice on the development of fresh innovating programmes. Apart from the panel itself, two meetings will take place where all others involved will be afforded the opportunity to be informed and give inputs themselves. The expertise of Deans, Vice-Chancellors and Research Directors of universities will be harnessed to ensure that the final policy is acceptable, useful and exciting and also comply with the highest requirements. The panel must have their report ready by May 2011.
Published by Kiewiet Scheppel on 14 October 2010.