Three South African Educators to Tour Universities at Invitation of President Bok
At the invitation of President Bok, three South Africa educators will visit Harvard and other U.S. colleges and universities next month to gather information on this country's system of higher education for a nation-wide, black South African scholarship program.
President Bok said yesterday the South Africans will tour educational institutions ranging from universities to community colleges to technical schools to determine which type of school would best meet the needs of black South African students.
The three representatives, Peter Hunter, Fanyana Mazibuko, and Ezekiel Mphahlele, are university professors in South Africa and members of the Educational Opportunity Committee (EOC) in Johannesburg, Lawrence F. Stevens '65, secretary of the Advisory Committee on Sharenolder Responsibility (ACSR), said yesterday.
The EOC, which will coordinate the program in South Africa, is chaired by Bishop Desmond Tutu. Tutu, secretary general of the South African Council of Churches, received an honorary degree from Harvard in June 1979.
Stevens said President Bok invited the representatives last month on behalf of the Institute of International Education (IIE), a non-profit organization located in New York that will coordinate a scholarship program.
Hilda Mortimer, a consultant on the South Africa educational program for IIE, said yesterday the representatives "hope to get an idea of the tremendous variety of American higher education."
The three educators, while familiar with the English school system, which is the model for South Africa's educational system, wish to learn about the structure and operation of colleges and universities in the United States, Mortimer said.
American universities have responded in an "overwhelmingly" positive way, Mortimer said, and IIE has more offers for scholarships than it can fund.
Mortimer said the institute will place an undetermined number of black South Africans in universities, colleges, technical schools and junior colleges throughout the United States. The IIE will also provide living and travel expenses for the students with funds provided by some of the 135 corporations that signed the Sullivan Principles, a set of guidelines for non-discriminatory employment practices.
Bok said that all black South Africans he has conferred with, regardless of their political perspectives, believe "there are tremendous educational needs that U.S. institutions could help with."
Bok met with the presidents of seven colleges and representatives of the Ford Foundation and IIE late last August to discuss a coordinated, nation-wide scholarship program.