n South African Journal of Higher Education - The dilemma of the HBUs in South Africa




The historical black universities (HBUs) in South Africa were established by the apartheid government to serve black students banned from attending segregated white-only universities. These universities were poorly funded compared to the white-only universities. The poor funding affected their output (research and postgraduates) adversely. With apartheid and segregation at universities abolished, the HBUs experience other problems in addition to their inherited legacies from the apartheid years. They remain poorly funded and their incoming students comprise mostly those from financially disadvantaged and rural backgrounds. These students can hardly afford to buy textbooks and they lack the study habits necessary for university education.


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