More SA women studying further – survey
Cape Town – The share of the white and Indian populations with post-school qualifications has increased by 15% since 1994, while the share of the coloured and black populations increased by 7%.
This is according to data from Siyaphambili (We are moving forward), a project of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (Saldru) at UCT.
The initiative, which forms part of Saldru’s post-school education and training research project, studies the number of young South Africans who attain qualifications after high school and those who do not.
It has been tracking post-school qualifications since 1994.
The data also shows that a higher proportion (14.75%) of women obtained post-school qualifications when compared with men (12.86%) in the 25-year period.
All age groups surveyed have demonstrated steady growth.
However, the oldest surveyed age group (36-64) recorded the highest increase (17.58%) since 1994, followed by the 25-35 age group at 16.45% and the 15-24 age group at 4.59%.
Though South Africa enjoys relatively high levels of primary and secondary school participation, the level of post-secondary school qualifications remained low, their research found.
“Data shows that South Africa has very high returns on post-school education. A university graduate can earn up to three times the amount of someone who matriculated, or up to five times the amount of someone who passed Grade 8,” said Dr Nicola Branson, the principal investigator for the Siyaphambili post-school research project.
Siyaphambili last week launched an interactive website to track, showcase and streamline its work.
According to Branson, the website provides a measurement using publicly available data from Stats SA on a platform that is easily accessible to all.
“The website is a public interactive platform that uses publicly available, accurate data to communicate,” Branson said.
“(It) provides us with a platform to monitor the proportion of South Africans who are between the ages of 15 and 64 years and have a post-school qualification.”
Funded by the Kresge Foundation, the website has been inspired by the US Lumina Foundation’s Stronger Nation website, which similarly tracks and monitors Americans’ post-school qualifications.
Professor Murray Leibbrandt, the director of Saldru, said that the launch of the website was a proud moment for the team.
He said the unit’s commitment to conducting “excellent” research that had a direct impact on poverty and inequality. The website is at www. siyaphambili.uct.ac.za/home-378