The International Institute of Education (IIE) is expanding its college scholarship program for Black South Africans along lines proposed by President Bok last fall.
The IIE plans to increase the number of multi-national corporations contributing to the existing program, while soliciting tuition scholarships from universities.
"I think one contribution universities could make (to the South African situation) would be to provide some educational opportunities for Black South Africans because those opportunities are in very short supply," Bok, who now chairs IIE's National Advisory Council on South African Education, said last night.
The IIE is sending letters to 135 corporations that are involved in South Africa and have agreed to the Sullivan Principles of fair employment in Third World countries. The institute is also asking 250 universities to participate in the scholarship program.
Last year Bok created a South African fellowship program at Harvard, which has financed scholarships for six graduate students in the past two years.
But there are limits to what one university can do to improve the education of Black South Africans, Bok said, adding that there is a need for a larger program incorporating foundations and colleges to finance and support education.
Bok met with other university heads last year to propose a coordinated intercollegiate program. He said that a number of universities were enthusiastic at that time, but wanted to discuss the plan with South African representatives.
Hilda Mortimer, consultant in the South African education program for IIE, said yesterday the new program will enable more Black South Africans to study engineering, math, science and business administration. "There is a tremendous need for Black South Africans to gain professional experience," Mortimer said.
"No matter what the course of events is in South Africa, increasing educational opportunities of Black South Africans should make constructive contributions, he added. Bok said the opportunity to study in America would widen horizons of South African students and give them a detached perspective.
Black South Africans are also enthusiastic about the program. Ernest Mchunu, a South African student who is attending the Law School, said the Harvard fellowship program enabled him to come to America and that it was his first experience outside of South Africa.