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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.77 n.1 Pretoria  2012




A vision for a Reformed Christian college for South Africa


'n Visie vir 'n reformatoriese Christelike kollege vir Suid-Afrika



Johannes D. Froneman

School of Communication Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa





A yawning gap has existed in the South African educational landscape since the effective termination of the Potchefstroom University (PU) for Christian Higher Education (CHE) by the government in 2004. The North-West University, which was formed through the merger of the PU for CHE and the University of North West, has been positioned as a value-driven university, but for all its good intentions and successes, it cannot (and never was intended to) continue the PU for CHE's tradition of Christian higher education. Given the growth of Christian schools in South Africa after 1994, it is clear that pupils from these and other schools have no Reformed option when they choose an institution of higher education. It is therefore suggested in this article that the concept of a new Christian college should find favour amongst Reformed Christians from all denominations, races, ethnic groups and languages in South Africa. The author argues that obstacles simply have to be overcome. A balanced Reformed approach which eschews extreme fundamentalism as well as attempts at undermining the fundamentals of the Christian faith is needed. Therefore, the formation of an inclusive pilot committee to investigate the idea is proposed.


Sedert die regering se terminering van die Potchefstroomse Universiteit (PU) vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys (CHO) in 2004, bestaan daar 'n groot gaping in Suid-Afrika se onderwyslandskap. Die Noordwes-Universiteit, wat uit die samesmelting van die PU vir CHO en die Universiteit van Noordwes ontstaan het, is op waardes gegrond, maar ondanks goeie bedoelings en suksesse kan dit nie die PU vir CHO se tradisie van hoër onderwys voortsit nie. Dit was ook nooit die bedoeling nie. Dit is duidelik dat diegene wat uit Christelike en ander skole kom nie meer 'n Gereformeerde alternatief het om van te kies nie. Daarom word hier beklemtoon dat 'n nuwe Christelike kollege byval sal vind onder Gereformeerde Christene uit alle kerkverbande, rasse, etiese groepe en tale in Suid-Afrika. Die outeur argumenteer dat hindernisse doodgewoon oorkom moet word. 'n Gebalanseerde Gereformeerde benadering wat sowel fundamentalisme as 'n afwatering van die basiese boustene van die Christelike geloof vermy, word voorgestel. In die lig hiervan word 'n inklusiewe loodskomitee voorgestel wat die saak verder kan ondersoek.



Full text available only in PDF format.



Competing interest

The author is a professor at the North-West University (NWU). He has previously voiced a critical opinion about the government-enforced merger of the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE) with the University of North-West to form the NWU. The views expressed in this article should not be regarded as criticism of the present NWU, but is solely intended as an independent view regarding the future of non-state-funded higher Christian education in South Africa.



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Johannes Froneman
Private Bag X6001
Potchefstroom 2520
South Africa

Received: 30 June 2011
Accepted: 29 Sept. 2011
Published: 20 Nov. 2012

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