n South African Journal of Higher Education - The need for employee assistance programmes at South African universities

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The rapid changes taking place in South Africa reverberate in the education sector and higher education in particular has not been immune. The premise of this article is that higher education is both a locus of scholarly development and a work station where a considerable number of people are employed; and where employee productivity rises and falls often in relation to increases or decreases in instability and predictability in the work environment alone, or the work environment in combination with family and community life. In these times of rare stability, university academic and support employees can experience increased rates of such problems as alcoholism, depression, and relationship discord. This paper will indicate that the higher education sector as an employer does not take seriously the personal problems of employees despite the impact of these on productivity and morale. It is also the intention of this article to indicate that the university as a work station is also a breeding ground for personal problems. The loose structure of academic departments, low visibility of academics and a paucity of performance measuring instruments for academics are some of the factors that may allow job deterioration to go undetected.

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