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Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande has described a report which said racism and sexism were rife in South African universities as "shocking and damning".
The study, which was conducted by a committee of academics, found that universities were still discriminating when enrolling students and continued to embrace European cultures to the detriment of African cultures, despite the majority of students being black.
It said black students often "complained of the way they are assessed and with regards to promotion".
The study also found that "institutional cultures favour white experiences and marginalise black ones, which results in feelings of alienation, and a fear of speaking out".
It said racial prejudices among lecturers made them perceive black students as under-performers.
"The report is damning. There should be more discussion about the issues raised," Nzimande said yesterday.