News in Brief

09 September 2002
Graduates need opportunities here

ARE higher education institutes, recipients of huge public funding, stimulating economic growth in the Province or merely training graduates who leave the country for greener pastures?

This was the main issue under discussion at a ground-breaking public debate on higher education's role in the Western Cape. The debate, a panel discussion, with input from the public gallery, was hosted at the SABC studios and was facilitated by Dr Franklin Sonn, former ambassador to the US and former rector of the Peninsula Technikon.

The debate was part of the Learning Cape Festival, a month-long series of events showcasing learning opportunities. Professor Ian Scott represented UCT on the panel and a contingent of UCT students put some pertinent questions to them.

Laurine Platzky, acting head of the Western Cape Department of Economic Affairs, said priority should be given to creating more opportunities for graduates in the region, primarily in growing sectors such as clothing and design and in new areas such as tourism and information technology.

Penny Vinjevold, chief director of education planning in the Province, offset this with "horrifying figures" from former Department of Education and Training (DET) schools. Only 3% gained matric exemption. Of the 5 000 who wrote maths higher grade, only 28 passed.

Young scientists flock to UCT science expo

YOUNG scientists from all over the Western Cape mounted more than 200 exhibitions at the annual Expo for Young Scientists held at UCT's Jameson Hall recently.

The participants, school pupils in Grades 8 to 12, from 28 schools were on hand to explain their work.

The Expo is a broadly-based science fair that provides an opportunity for local high school students to display investigative projects in various categories. Virtually every interest in the sciences is catered for, as there are now no fewer than 24 categories in all.

The organisers awarded 148 awards, 25 being first prizes to the best displays in various subject sections ranging from agricultural sciences to tourism opportunities, with food sciences being the latest addition.

Three Eskom Prize winners were chosen to represent Cape Town at the annual National Eskom Expo in Pretoria in early October.

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