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Education in South Africa

A child seen from behind is wearing a jacket in the colours of the South African national team, with the South African flag and the inscript 'South Africa'.
Soccer World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

The education system and educational policy played a key role in South Africa not least in combating the apartheid regime. One of the saddest "highlights" in protesting against the regime was the Soweto uprising in 1976 also known as the students' protest. The lack of educational opportunities served to keep the Black population from participation in society and economy. In the case oft the Soveto uprising, for example, students protested against the introduction of Afrikaans as the sole language of instruction at school - Afrikaans being regarded as...

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If you are interested in finding out more about the current situation and particularities of education in South Africa, we recommend the article "Das Bildungswesen in Südafrika" (2013) by Christine Rehklau -. The publisher has kindly granted permission to publish it online. The dossier offers information on the following aspects of education in South Africa:


General Information on Education

South Africa, Republic


The website, which is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), provides a broad overview over research and education in South Africa, including information on statistics, educational reports, policy or cooperation with Germany and other countries. Additionally, you will find basic country data.
[Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

South Africa, Republic


The website LIPortal (Country Information Portal) is provided by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). Under the category "society and culture" (Gesellschaft und Kultur) you will find an overview over the South African educational system and important special issues and developments: Development of higher education, challenges and progress of educational [...]

South Africa, Republic


The country dossier for South Africa, compiled by the International Bureau of Education of the Unesco (IBE), provides information on statistics (from the World Data on Education - WDE), national education reports, education plans and policies, a bibliography (partly with fulltexts) and links to other sources. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

South Africa, Republic; Germany


The website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides ample information on academic exchange and cooperation with South Africa: information on figures and facts of the Brazilian education market, on scholarships (for Germans who want to go to South Africa and the other way round), on project aids and cooperation in higher education, background information on the [...]

South Africa, Republic; Germany


In the section ´´travel and safety information´´, the Federal Foreign Office of Germany provides basic information on different countries, amongst others on their education systems. This text about South Africa provides a brief introduction to the history and current developments in education in South Africa.
[Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]


Educational Policy (Ministries, Authorities & further National Bodies)

South African students sit around a table. On the wall, among others, there is a poster of Nelson Mandela.
Mandela is everywhere. Peace Education Workshop in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa, Republic


This is the official website of the Ministry for Basic (primary and secondary) Education in South Africa. The website provides information on school development, different forms of performance assessment, materials for educators / teachers, information on educational management and administrative questions. Furthermore, you will find information on educational programmes like [...]

South Africa, Republic


The website provides information on the structure and the work of the ministry. You will find documents (fulltext) on aims, programmes, strategies, reports, policies, legislation and more. Apart from the Ministry for Higher Education and Training there is also a Ministry for Basic Education (see for http://bildung-weltweit.de/bisy.html?spr=1&a=882). [Abstract: Editors of [...]

South Africa, Republic


The database Planipolis provides official fulltext documents on educational policy and planning from UNESCO member states. For South Africa you can find documents starting in the year 1997. Planipolis is provided by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP). [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

South Africa, Republic


The website provides information on the structure and the work of the ministry. You will find documents (fulltext) on aims, programmes, strategies, reports, policies, legislation and more. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

South Africa, Republic


The website presents the organization, e.g. its historical background and activities in the areas of education and training. There is a list of partners (government departments, research partners, international agencies) as well as detailed information about projects initiated or conducted by the CEPD. You will also find many fulltext documents, about political issues [...]

South Africa, Republic


Comissioned by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, the SAQA develops the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) for South Africa. It furthermore controlls the enforcement of the NQF and accredits educational institutions working according to the NQF. SAQA is also in charge of the accreditaion of foreign qualifications. The website provides information on the work [...]


Educational Reports, Statistics, Assessments

South Africa, Republic


EMIS is a website of the Ministry of Basic Education. It provides a lot of information (fulltexts) on different educational reports and statistics, partly dating back to 1999.
Content (as of 2013):

- emis information
-> Contacts
- - Schools Masterlist Data
- - Statistical Publications
- - - Education Statistics in South Africa at a [...]

South Africa, Republic


The Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS) provides the most recent basic data on education in South Africa. You will find information on the following issues:
* General information
* Education System
* Participation in education
* Progression and completion in education
* Education expenditures
* Illiterate population * Literacy [...]

South Africa, Republic


The country dossier for South Africa, compiled by the International Bureau of Education of the Unesco (IBE), provides information on statistics (from the World Data on Education - WDE), national education reports, education plans and policies, a bibliography (partly with fulltexts) and links to other sources. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

South Africa, Republic


This interactive website is provided by the OECD. It can be used to compare South Africa's educational statistics with that of the average OECD results or with the results of other countries. For other countries, it is also possible to compare results from different international educational assessments (PISA,TALIS, PIAAC, ...). These options might available for South Africa [...]


(Professional) Associations and Unions

A tribune with participants of the congress. In the background, there is a banner with the inscription: Education International 6th World Congress.
Education International 6th World Congress in South Africa, EI Executive Board.
South Africa, Republic


"As an independent government agency, the NRF promotes and supports research in all fields of knowledge. It also conducts research and provides access to National Research Facilities." A focus is on natural sciences. The website provides a lot of information on projects, programmes, scholarships, research centres, centres of excellence, annual reports on research in South [...]

South Africa, Republic; international


EASA is the professional organisation for educational research in South Africa. The website provides basic information on its structure, aims and membership, as well as a newsletter, activity reports, information on the annual EASA conference, and free access to the fulltexts of their e-journal "South African Journal of Education" (SAJE). [Abstract: Editors of Education [...]

South Africa, Republic


The South African ELRC is acting as a kind of agent for conflict resolution between different trade unions in the public education sector and the respective ministries in charge (acting as employers). The website provides information on their service for conflict resolution, on agreements, legislations and regulations, on links to different trade unions in the educational [...]

South Africa, Republic


"SACE is the professional council for educators, that aims to enhance the status of the teaching profession through appropriate Registration, management of Professional Development and inculcation of a Code of Ethics for all educators." The website provides information on the structure and work of SACE, including the work of their two departments "Professional Development & [...]

South Africa, Republic


NTEU is the South African trade union for the tertiary education sector (university level). The webiste provides information on NTEU's structure, its work and services, its annual conference, relevant legislation, bargaining procedures and more. NTEU is not a member of the Educations Labour Relations Council (ELRC) which acts as an agent in conflict solution between many [...]


German Commitment in South Africa

Germany; South Africa, Republic


Official website of the German-South African Year of Science 2012/13. The main part of the website provides information on cooperation projects sorted by topics: Astronomy, Bioeconomy, Climate Change, Social Sciences & Humanities, Human Capital Development, Health Innovation, Urbanisation / Megacities. Furthermore, you will find information on events, partners, press releases [...]

Germany; South Africa, Republic


Under the category "Bi- and Multilateral Cooperation" (in this case forwarded to "International Science Years"), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides information on the Science Year 2012/2013 betwenn Germany and South Africa. Furthermore, you will find information on the political framework for scientific and technological cooperation, on key [...]

Germany; South Africa, Republic


This RSS-Feed provides information on cooperation between Germany and South Africa in the field of education and research. The information is provided by the website "International Cooperation" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
[Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

South Africa, Republic; Germany


This website provides information on the official cooperation in education and research between Germany and South Africa. Among others, this includes information on Opportunities for funding, the political framework, on priorities and highlights of the German-South African cooperation and more. Additionally, you will find some official documents and further relevant links, for [...]


Research Literature on Education in South Africa

The building of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in the background you can see mountains.
The University of Cape Town, South Africa

The German Education Portal provides an integrated search over several databases in Germany and two international databases containing literature from the educational research. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

The German Education Portal provides an integrated search over several databases in Germany and two international databases containing literature from the educational research. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Im Folgenden wird zunächst ein kurzer Überblick über die Geschichte Südafrikas gegeben (Kap. 1). Daran schließt sich die Betrachtung der Anfänge schulischer Bildung insbesondere im Missionsschulwesen an (Kap. 2). Im weiteren Fortgang wird das für Südafrika kennzeichnende Thema der Bildung im System der Apartheid abgehandelt (Kap. 3), bevor anschließend die Situation [...]

Dieser Artikel ist eine Antwort auf den Aufruf zum Nachdenken Über die Art der Wissenschaft, die wir Schülern in Südafrika beibringen. Debatten über die Natur der Wissenschaft und des wissenschaftlichen Lernens finden größtenteils im Spiegel einer Literatur statt, die die Spannungen zwischen unterschiedlichen Perspektiven wissenschaftlicher Bildung analysiert. Im [...]

German article by a member of the Africa Team of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation on the influence Apartheid still has on education and equal access and opportunities in South Africa. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]


South Africa`s BRICS Cooperations

India; Brazil; South Africa, Republic


The Dialogue Forum of India, Brazil and South Africa was established with the Brasilia Declaration in 2003. About once a year, the heads of the governments meet in Summits and the foreign ministers in Joint Ministerial Commissions. Besides trilateral cooperation on a political, economic and societal level, common international projects are another central issue. Education, [...]

South Africa, Republic; international


[The Register including the search for treaties does not function currently. Therefore, we at least linked to the superordinate page for you. 05.01.16]

The South African Treaty Register is the official custodian of all international agreements of the Republic of South Africa with other states. Among others, you can search for agreements in the field of education as [...]



Here is a list of agreements from the South African Treaty Register containing the word "education" in their title. Please note that there are also other keywords in the field of education (e.g. "science"). Hence, this list makes no claim to be complete. Unfortunately, the links to the treaties are not permanent and can therefore not be linked here. If you are looking for the respective treaties` fulltexts please use their name to search for them in the South African Treaty Register.

Agreement with Title of the Agreement
Brazil Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Government of the Republic of South Africa on Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education (06.07.2009)
Russia Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Education (21.11.2002)
India - Agreement on Cooperation in the Fields of Education, Arts, Culture and Sport (04.12.1996)
- Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Education (02.10.2006)
China - Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Education (29.06.2004)
- Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Education (24.09.2007)
- Agreement between the Government of the People`s Republic of China through its Ministry of Education and the Government of the Republic of South Africa through its Department of Basic Education on Cooperation in the Field of Basic Education (26.03.2013)


India; South Africa, Republic


"The Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA) was established at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg towards the end of 2007: the first in Africa to focus on India. In 2009, the Centre received major funding from the Mellon Foundation to establish a Chair in Indian Studies and fellowships for graduate students.
CISA promotes teaching, research and [...]


China-Africa Relations in the Field of Education from Different Perspectives
From a European Perspective

"The paper studies the modalities which are used by China in its human resource cooperation with Africa in general, and where relevant with South Africa in particular. It covers the human resource dimensions of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), pledges, paying particular attention to the latest round of commitments from the November 2009 Ministerial Conference in [...]


From an African Perspective

China; Africa South of the Sahara


This article was published in the University World News and provides an overview over the current African-Chinese relationship and cooperation in the field of education. The author also compares this relationship to the nort-south relationship between Europe / USA and Africa. Milton O Obamba is a research associate at the African Network for the Internationalisation of [...]


From a Chinese Perspective

This paper was presented at the China-Africa Links Workshop 2006 at the Center on China's Transnational Relations of the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. "This paper reviews the course of Sino-African Education Cooperation from 1949 till present, and also summarizes its characteristics, experience, and lessons. The more-than-50-year Sino-African Education [...]

Last Update: 18.07.2018  -  N. Cohen ; R. Martini ;

News about South Africa

  1. University World News: South Africa
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  1. South Africa: A Babel of languages at School (DLF 23.05.18) [courtesy translation]
  2. Is China the new lodestar for Africa’s students? (Uni World News 07.04.17)
  1. “Reaching the Unreached: Skills Development Policies and the Promise of ICT – A Scoping Study from India and South Africa” (Oct. 2016)
  1. Understanding Barriers to Accessing Skills Development and Employment for Youth in Argentina and South Africa: Synthesis Report
  2. China in Africa: empire-builders or alliance-makers? (THE 21.04.16)
  3. African Ministers of Education, Science and Technology call for awareness raising and resource mobilization to strengthen E-S-T in the Continent (African Union Agenda 2063)
  1. China ups Africa support with training, scholarships (12/15)
  1. India`s Modi to set out Africa trade vision at summit (The East African 29.10.15)
  1. China’s Higher Education Engagement with Africa: A Different Partnership and Cooperation Model?
  1. 2nd AFRICE International Conference 2015
  1. Blackboard cooperation: China’s role in educating Africa
  1. Confucius who? [China-Africa]
  1. Cooperation through education: Bridging differences with the Chinese Government scholarship programme

Further Dossiers

  1. Nelson Mandela Dossier (African Studies Centre Library Leiden)

    Literature Search

    1. ilissAfrica - Internet Library Sub-Saharan Africa

    Music

    1. Miriam Makeba - “Soweto Blues“ (with lyrics)

    Wikipedia

    1. Education in South Africa

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