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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Rebecca Davis.]

South Africa’s most prestigious university is in danger of losing its undergraduate law degree. In a move described as “unprecedented”, the Council for Higher Education has served the University of Cape Town with notice of the withdrawal of accreditation for its LLB programme unless certain conditions focusing on transformation are met. Without this accreditation, universities are not permitted to offer the degree in question. 

When it comes to teaching law, the University of Cape Town is ranked in the top 40 universities internationally. Yet in a shock move, the Council of Higher Education (CHE) this week informed UCT’s law faculty that it is in danger of losing accreditation for its LLB programme.

In an email distributed to law faculty staff this week, seen by Daily Maverick, it is explained that the CHE’s Higher Education Quality Committee has downgraded UCT’s LLB programme status to “notice of withdrawal of accreditation”.

The CHE’s website explains that “only programmes accredited by the (Higher Education Quality Committee) can be offered by a higher education institution, whether public or private”. It states that accreditation is only given to academic programmes which meet “minimum standards of quality”. For UCT to have its LLB accreditation withdrawn would mean that the university would no longer be able to offer an undergraduate Bachelor of Laws.

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South Africa at a Glance
57 700 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in December 2018 (CPI) & +5.2 y/y in December 2018 (PPI)
2.2% q/q (3rd quarter of 2018)
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