Blacks Make Gains in South African Higher Education, But Whites Still Earn a Majority of the Degrees in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

A new report from the South African Qualifications Authority shows that since the end of apartheid, greater educational opportunities for blacks have increased the number of students earning degrees. In 1994 there were 542,398 people in South Africa with a college degree. About one quarter of these were black. In 2004 the number of people with a college degree climbed to nearly 1.2 million, and about half of them were black.

Blacks now make up solid majorities in most academic disciplines. But whites, who make up about 9 percent of the total population in South Africa, earn a majority of the degrees in mathematics and engineering. In fact, the racial gap in degrees earned in mathematics has actually increased since 1994.