oa Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - Kommunikasie(-kunde) in Suid-Afrika: enkele behoeftes en toekomsperspektiewe

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



This article represents a review of trends in the development of Communication as academic discipline in South Africa. Salient results of a number of surveys are the following: (a) large number of students have graduated over the past ten years. Wide differences in post-graduate penetration between universities are also noticeable (see tables 1 and 2; (b) Mass communication is at present the single most frequently offered course in university communication curricula while theory and methodology as independent communication courses figure fairly prominently. Speech and interpersonal communication are not salient in university courses (see figure 1); (c) Since 1980 a total of 182 research projects in communication have been completed. As in the case of teaching, mass communication has been the most popular field of research. In contrast hardly any research on methodological problems have been undertaken over the past seven years (see figure 2); (d) Analysis of applications by communication students and researchers for financial support from the HSRC indicated that their success rates have been lower than comparable disciplines (see figure 3). Against the background of the importance and relevance of communication to contemporary South African society the paper concludes with a number of interpretations and future challenges.

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