Challenges of postgraduate students at the University of the Western Cape 2009 - 2013
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In South Africa, postgraduate education is a catalyst in national development and poverty alleviation that is widely acknowledged by the state and higher education institutions, such as the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Previously disadvantaged universities in South Africa were systematically moulded by apartheid planning and the prevailing social-economic-political order of the time. The structural legalised differences between historically white and historically black institutions created the key inequities between them. Unjust laws and institutionalised racism caused historical black universities (HBUs), such as the University of the Western Cape, also known as the University for the left, to lag behind with the intake of postgraduate students. Prior to 1994, students, who were fortunate enough to attend university, were mostly limited to studying towards an undergraduate degree, diploma or a certificate course, in the fields of teaching, nursing or law enforcement. The dawn of democracy opened up new possibilities; however, a major sphere of concern, was the need to speedily transform the education system, to make it inclusive for all. Systematically, institutions of higher learning focussed more on postgraduate education, as it was a stepping stone to improve enrolment growth research output, and collaborative partnerships, at national and international level. However, socio-economic factors, such as the lack of funding, were major constraints, as most postgraduate students were challenged to pay registration fees, or accommodation deposits, upon registration.