Apartheid came crashing down over a decade ago, but its legacy lives on in many aspects of South African society. Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, sadly noted the Bloemfontein campus of the University of the Free State is still divided based on race. “One student put it nicely, one campus, two races” he told journalists. The good news is that virtually all members of the campus, faculty and students seeks changes that would end the two race reality. However, too many students believe they are on a campus in which racial segregation, though illegal, is the reality of their lives.
There are no simple answers to this issue. Certainly, if there are dormitories, then students of different races should share the same room. Faculty can initiate mentoring programs which provide young black South Africans training and support in their efforts to obtain advanced degrees. Above all, secondary schools which feed into the university must have effective programs that prepare a larger number of students with skills and knowledge to succeed in college.