Great Progress for Blacks in South African Higher Education

A half-century ago, black students were barred from admission to most universities in South Africa. Only those blacks with special permission from the apartheid government were permitted to enter higher education. Slowly, over the years, the South African government loosened its tight grip on higher education.

But research from the South African Institute for Race Relations has found that since the end of apartheid the number of blacks graduating from South African universities has quadrupled. The research found that in 1991, 8,514 Africans were awarded degrees from South African universities. In 2008, 36,970 black Africans earned degrees. This is a 334 percent increase. Most of the degrees earned by blacks in 2008 were from formerly all-white universities.