One of the functions of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) is to publish information regarding developments in higher education, including reports on the state of higher education, on a regular basis. However, while the CHE has published reports on the overall state of higher education, as well as on various aspects of higher education policy and practice, it has not in the past published key data on the higher education system that would enable stakeholders, researchers and the general public to make their own assessment of the state of higher education. In order to fill this gap, statistics for the South African higher education system have been collated in this first edition of VitalStats. Public Higher Education, 2010. It is intended that VitalStats will become an annual publication aimed at providing key data on the public higher education institutions.
This issue covers data for the years 2005 to 2010, starting in the immediate period after the various institutional mergers had been consolidated and ending with the most recent audited data, which is generally two years prior to the current year. An annual update of the publication will ensure that all stakeholders are regularly able to access reliable and recent information on the higher education sector.