R3.5bn to be spent on Afrikaans education
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Johannesburg - The private Afrikaans university Akademia, established by the Solidarity Movement in 2012, has grown from 37 students to 413.
Akademia head of marketing Chris du Plessis said this was probably because students could study in their mother tongue and work while studying.
The Solidarity Movement says it has R3.5 billion in funds available, until 2020, to spend on promoting Afrikaans, scholarships, a language centre, planning for community safety, poverty alleviation, artisan training and other projects to safeguard the culture.
Gideon Redlinghuys, media relations officer for Solidarity, said although the university started small on the Centurion premises of Solidarity this year, it had moved into its own premises, also in Centurion.
The university offered three degrees accredited by the Department of Higher Education and many more were in the process of being accredited, he said.
It uses distance learning as a means of teaching.
Pretoria, Krugersdorp, Vanderbijlpark, Klerksdorp, Somerset West and Bellville in the Western Cape all have learning centres where students attend classes live-streamed from Centurion.
Solidarity also has a technical college, Sol-Tech, which has about 1 000 trainee artisans.
Solidarity Helping Hand has helped about 4 500 students at a cost of R73m.
It aims to expand its scholarship fund by 2020 to R160m.
Additional funding comes from donations, bequests, trust funds and other business plans.