n South African Journal of Higher Education - Regional consortia, partnerships, mergers and their implications for the transformation of the South African higher education system

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



A number of regional consortia have emerged in recent years to collaborate in sharing scarce resources and attempting to overcome the legacy of the skewed and fragmented system of higher education. Rationalisation of course offerings and movement towards mergers of institutions are further possibilities. The purpose of this study is to record baseline data of the existing consortia with respect to their projects, location, composition, governance and financing mechanisms. Emerging best practice, trends in the rationalising of course offerings and movement towards mergers are identified. The consortia operate through a series of projects such as the library consortia, information literacy, a central applications office etc, are governed by a Board of Trustees and administered throughan Executive Director. They are financed through member subscriptions and donor support. Despite the progress made with a range of collaborative arrangements, there is little evidence of cost savings or improvements in efficiency.

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