Make your mark: Thandi Lewin of the Department of Higher Education and Training appealed to student leaders at the African Student Leaders Summit to play a role in addressing Africa's problems.
African student leaders should participate in the "nitty-gritty" of teaching and learning at universities to address problems facing the continent, urged Thandi Lewin, chief director of university policy in the Department of Higher Education and Training.
Opening the inaugural African Student Leaders Summit, hosted by UCT at the Cape Town Lodge on 6 September, Lewin also noted that access to higher education is not yet translated into success.
"We've improved the access to universities dramatically, and we have changed student demographics," Lewin explained. "But many of those students don't graduate."
The week-long summit is the collective efforts of student leaders from UCT, the University of the Western Cape, the University of Fort Hare and the University of the Witwatersrand, and aims to create an environment for future African leaders to connect, communicate and work together. Student leaders representing 21 universities from nine countries are attending the summit.
Lewin also encouraged participants to contribute in seeking solutions to the low rate of students' participation in the elections of Students' Representative Councils, in creating a new generation of scholars, in the development of multilinguism, and in rooting out discrimination.
"We have a better understanding of our place in the world, and we should search for new ways to tackle our problems."
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