Desmond Tutu, the archbishop of Cape Town, this week called on universities in the developed world to continue to offer free places for South African students .
In London to receive an honorary doctorate from South Bank University, Dr Tutu said that providing post-school education for the majority black population could be achieved most economically in South Africa.
But there was cultural importance in some students spending time at universities in developed countries. This was only possible if universities waived fees.
"We hope institutions such as South Bank University will be ready to forge links, especially with the traditionally black universities which have not had the opportunity to build up huge endowments."
He, said that individual academics could help the transformation. "We will have to deal with a massive, massive increase in black education. There is enormous pressure for places but tertiary education is way beyond the means of most people."
Dr Tutu, who is chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, hoped that the Afrikaans universities would continue to play a full role in achieving the new government's aim of redressing historic imbalances.
He urged them not to feel marginalised but to build on the wealth of distinctive language and culture.