On the topic of the change in the number of black African graduates over the last twenty years (and the recent media hype) this study by my colleague and friend Dr Hendrik van Broekhuizen is all that needs to be said:
“In addition to the expansion of South Africa’s yearly graduate outputs, the nature of the policy changes which have affected the HE system over the past 25 years means that the demographic composition of South Africa’s stock of graduates has also changed radically over time. This is clearly evident when looking at changes in the racial composition of the graduates produced by the HE system each year. Figure 3.2 reveals that, while the number of White graduates produced annually has increased only moderately from about 27 500 to just over 35 000 in the past 25 years, the number of Black graduates produced has increased more than 16-fold from about 3 400 in 1986 to more than 55 600 in 2011. The implications of the racial differences in graduate output growth are simple: while the HE system produced 7.9 White graduates for each Black graduate in 1986, by 2011 it produced 1.6 Black graduates for every single White graduate. Figure 3.3 offers a similarly poignant illustration of the extent of change in the racial composition of South Africa’s stock of graduates by showing the respective racial shares of the total number of graduates produced in each year since 1986″ (p13).
From his 2013 Economic Society of South Africa paper.