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- Volume 15, Issue 3, 2001
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 15, Issue 3, 2001
Volumes & issues
Volume 15, Issue 3, 2001
Does the national plan effectively address the critical issues facing higher education? : guest editorialAuthor J.D. JansenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 5 –9 (2001)More Less
Author A.C. BawaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 10 –16 (2001)More Less
The South African university system is facing a crisis as the new policy period unfolds. This crisis stems from factors which are particular to South Africa and others which are due to the transformatory pressures on the nature of universities globally which are a result of salient changes to the processes of knowledge generation and dissemination. This article argues that the resolution of this crisis requires the establishment of a process that is led by the higher education sector that would lead to the development of a social contract between itself and the people of South Africa. It is argued further that this approach differs in very fundamental ways from the policy process that has been engaged since 1994.
Author L. CzerniewiczSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 17 –23 (2001)More Less
Reflections on learning online - the hype and the reality. This article describes a UCT academic's experiences of a twelve week course on networked teaching and learning run entirely online through a British university. She reflects on her experiences of isolation, the difficulties to do with lack of a sense of audience and the challenges of creating an appropriate online persona. She queries the deterministic claims in the literature regarding the intrinsic nature of online learning environments and collaboration. She argues that there has been a misinterpretation of theories of learner-centred approaches which have lead to insufficient structure in the course as well as the downplaying of expert knowledge. She concludes that sophisticated kinds of instructional design are required to provide an appropriate framework for learners for a course of this kind.
Author N. DlaminiSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 24 –31 (2001)More Less
South Africa experiences a great need for science, engineering and technology skills. As a counter strategy to the growing skills need local government, industries and universities have entered Industry-University Partnership Programme (IUPP) agreements following the example of international counterparts. Currently a few such programmes exist in the South African context. The organisation of these programmes has however proven to be a difficult and challenging task. This article purposes to propose a model for organising industry-university partnership programmes for viability. The proposed model draws on the work of Stafford Beer in his Viable System Model (Clemson 1984). The research paradigm stems from the fields of cybernetics and system thinking. The IUPP concept is in line with the societal shift of power (the ability to maintain control over use and allocation of crucial life-sustaining resources) from control over land and resources to knowledge, technological competence and human innovation (IFR 1998).
Accounting for change : the micropolitics of university restructuring. Part three : global pressures, local responsesSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 32 –38 (2001)More Less
In this third and final article on ``the micropolitics of university restructuring'', the links are drawn between globalisation pressures on the third world state and the ways in which higher education institutions are affected in the same ways by the state and globalisation, given the very different histories, capacities and ideologies of universities even within the same country. But the case study of the University of Durban Westville (UDW) also demonstrates that the quality of organisational leadership is a critical variable not only in shaping institutional micropolitics but in affecting the capacity of universities to respond to the relentless demands of the state under conditions of globalisation.
Author L. KajeeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 39 –45 (2001)More Less
This article examines the issue of language policy and practice in higher education institutions, by observing the impact of interventionist strategies such as the language policy at the ML Sultan Technikon, which is situated in Durban, KwaZulu Natal. The language issue is assessed against the backdrop of multilingualism and the official 11-language policy, as entrenched in the Constitution. Despite the national call for multilingualism, the medium of instruction at the Technikon, as at most tertiary institutions in South Africa, is English. This article examines recent language debates in the country, then discusses the implementation of the Technikon's language policy. The conclusion is that despite the hegemonic role played by English, attempts must be made to encourage multilingualism or regional bilingualism, or else pay the price of further marginalising the African languages.
Author S. NarseeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 46 –52 (2001)More Less
To acquire literacy is much more than to psychologically and mechanically dominate reading and writing techniques. Acquiring literacy does not involve memorising sentences, words or syllables, lifeless objects unconnected to an existential universe ± but rather an attitude of creation and recreation, a self-transformation producing a stance of intervention in one's context. The words of Paulo Freire illuminate a view of literacy that is purposeful, contextual and transformative. It places the learner rather than the teacher or the text at the centre of the literacy process and it defines this process as more than the skills associated with reading and writing per se. Literacy is understood as a creative activity through which learners can begin to analyse and interpret their own lived experiences, make connections between those experiences and those of others. In this sense literacy is intimately connected to language itself, grounded in the historical and cultural background of the learner, and centred in the personal and social construction of meaning. The author offers a more culturally sensitive view of literacy practices as they vary from one context to another. One cannot pretend that cultural and ideological assumptions are neutral and universal. Educators should suspend judgement as to what constitutes literacy among their students, until they are able to understand what it means to the students themselves and from which social contexts reading and writing derive their meaning. Literacy must not be seen as simply a neutral skill, practiced in the same manner all over the world. The ideological model of Prinsloo and Breier (1996), recognise that educational and policy decisions have to be based on prior judgements regarding what type of literacy to impart to students in a culturally and linguistically diverse environment and why. It must be pointed out that unlike most countries in the world where English second language students are usually in the minority, in South Africa they form the large majority. It is in this context that this article has been written. INTRODUCTION
Author R.P. NgcongoSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 53 –57 (2001)More Less
This article discusses different models of supervision and promotion of Masters', Doctoral and PhD students. It argues that leadership is inherent in and underpins any model of supervision or promotion of students. The article advances a view that supervision and promotion of the said students should be transformative leadership. This approach to supervision or promotion of students suggests enabling them to develop as researchers and contributors to university goals of teaching, research and community service. The involvement of students in these goals is seen as additional and related to their primary task of pursuing their degrees. Furthermore, the article posits that supervision as transformative leadership requires a vision from supervisors and promoters, which upholds students' ongoing growth as researchers and contributors to university goals which have been mentioned. The article concludes by making a few recommendations regarding how university staff can be supported in the practice of supervision as transformative leadership.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 58 –65 (2001)More Less
This article proposes a research incentive tool that hopes to address two challenges that face technikon research namely, low research capacity and inadequate incentive schemes given the research climate and realities at technikons. The contention is that technikons require an incubation period in which a sustainable research environment can be established for them to participate meaningfully in research. This period should combine effective management, a nurturing environment and stringent quality improvement. The Research Performance Index (RPI), adapted from a former technikon, Curtin University of Technology, is proposed as a tool with the potential to contribute towards such a nurturing environment. Unlike the SAPSE system which rewards limited categories of research output, it rewards not only a wide range of research outputs but also research-related professional activities. The RPI will be implemented at Technikon Southern Africa (TSA) from 2001. It is proposed that if cautiously implemented, it can contribute towards building a sustainable research culture at technikons.
Author J. ParasSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 66 –73 (2001)More Less
The mathematics education community has recently submitted a proposal to the Council of Education Ministers about the crisis in Mathematics Education in South Africa. The purpose of the submission was to both outline and define the crisis and to make suggestions regarding the role of both National and Provincial governments in addressing the crisis (Amesa News 2000). This article suggests that there is a similar crisis at the tertiary level where students are failing mathematics. For example, in UDW ± this article is about WHY students are failing Mathematics Education one in the School of Educational Studies at the University of Durban-Westville. The article also provides a rationale of the study, the method used in collecting and analysing the data, some of the main findings and recommendations for teacher education institutions in South Africa.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 74 –81 (2001)More Less
The South African Higher Education system is in a state of rapid flux. Various factors are rendering education vulnerable to destructive influences. It has become imperative for academic managers to ensure that academic staff function productively. Management information systems which will generate correct information as to amongst others, academic workload, has become a necessity. It is important to be able to accurately measure input and output of academics, as this will have a direct bearing on the management of their performance. Six principles should be incorporated in a system of appraising workload and performance, viz validity; reliability; transparency; adaptability; acknowledgement of performance and negotiation of mutually agreed tasks and outcomes. Workload determination and indicators of performance quality would make up the basis for a comprehensive and logical performance management system for higher education.
Academic programme co-operation in South African higher education : imperatives, challenges and threadsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 82 –91 (2001)More Less
Since 1994 policy documents and initiatives such as the NCHE document (NCHE Report 1996), the White Paper (RSA DoE 1997), the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997, the National and Institutional Planning Framework 1998, proposed not only regional co-operation between various higher and further education institutions but also the need for academic programme co-operation between institutions whether on a regional or interregional basis. The rationale behind this initiative is to encourage the development of regional partnerships as means for, amongst others, to reduce the overlap and duplication of existing programme provision in certain regions and to enhance the articulation of programmes and mobility of learners between institutions as described by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) (RSA 1998). But even more critically, regional programme collaboration could be one way of transcending the current divides in the higher and further education system, and could become a "harbin ger of new institutional and organisational forms" (RSA DoE 1997:18). The purpose of this article is to furnish insight into the rationale, challenges and quandaries of academic programme co-operation and to describe, as a case study, the progress made by an initiative to develop and implement an interinstitutional Masters' programme in higher and further education studies.
Can postpositivist research in environmental education engender ethical notions within higher education?Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 92 –101 (2001)More Less
In this article we contend that postpositivist research in environmental education can contribute towards promoting ethical activity within higher education. We argue that postpositivist inquiry breaks with utilitarian and uncritical assumptions about research in environmental education and also creates unconfined spaces for ethical notions such as truth-telling and sincerity, freedom of thought, clarity of meaning, non-arbitrariness, a sense of relevance and respect for people and evidence. Drawing on recent case study research in environmental education involving higher education institutions, we show that ethical notions of postpositivist research can engender self-determination, trust and respectful collaboration among diverse people.
The efficacy of form-focused instruction on the syntactic accuracy of second language students of English at the University of Port ElizabethAuthor D. AyliffSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 102 –110 (2001)More Less
This article explores whether a short one semester course in form-focused instruction helps improve the syntactic accuracy in the written work of second language students of English at the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE). The article describes research which combines quantitative and qualitative methodology. The collection of data and the statistical analysis of its results rely on quantitative methodology, while the rationale for its conception and framework rests on the application of a qualitative interpretation of the relevant literature on second language acquisition and error analysis. The results of the experimental group of advanced L2 English students who underwent a one semester course in form-focused instruction in English are compared to a control group.
Author W.D. CoetzeeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 111 –118 (2001)More Less
This article focuses on some features of typographic layout and design and the possible impact of typography on comprehensibility and reader preferences. Reference is made to works by several authorities on the matter who deal with these issues and also to surveys of reader preference and reader performance conducted in various parts of the world. Some of the findings from these surveys are compared with the outcome of a local survey among in-service teachers studying at a distance whose first language is not English. Reader preference for specified typographical aspects of page layout and design was investigated in this survey, including font type, font size, headings, line justification and margin width.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 119 –130 (2001)More Less
The factor structure of the Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale (SDLRS) was investigated for Afrikaans and English-speaking first-year university students. Five factors were extracted and rotated to oblique simple structure for both groups. Four of the five factors were satisfactorily replicated. The fifth factor appeared to be a methodological artefact and was loaded by items that need to be reverse scored. Second-order factor analyses revealed a single higher-order construct underlying responses to the SDLRS items for both groups. This construct is presumed to reflect readiness for self-directed learning. A factor extension analysis showed that the majority of the individual items relate satisfactorily to the higher-order construct measured by the SDLRS. It is recommended that until more information on the meaning and validity of the first-order factors is obtained, interpretations of SDLRS scores should be done at the higher-order level.
An investigation into the perceptions of academic staff on quality assurance in teaching and learning at selected South African universitiesSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 131 –141 (2001)More Less
During the last decade South African higher education has undergone various changes in terms of new policies and legislation, an increasing diverse student population, participating governance structures, declining enrolment figures and different modes of programme delivery. Apart from adjusting to these changing circumstances higher education has to compete in a competitive global and national environment where students have a variety of institutions and delivery modes to choose from, although only one pool of potential students exists. In this competitive environment academics are forced to demonstrate the quality of what they are doing and consider the effectiveness thereof. Academics also have different views regarding a quality assurance system. Some view it as a form of managerial control, while others feel such a system can ensure improvement. This study was therefore initiated to investigate how South African academics perceive the implementation of a quality assurance system that is initiated by government.
Die verband tussen matriekprestasie en eerstejaarprestasie vir opeenvolgende innames aan dieselfde universiteitSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 142 –149 (2001)More Less
Die korrelasie tussen matrieksimboolpunttotaal (MST) en die gemiddelde kurrikulumpersentasiepunt (GKMP) is vir verskillende opeenvolgende eerstejaar-innames van wit mans, wit vroue, swart mans en swart vroue aan dieselfde universiteit in die negentigerjare bereken, sowel voÂoÂr enige aanpassings in GKMP, as naÂaanpassings vir verskille in puntoekenningstandaarde en kursuslading. Die onderhawige korrelasies was deurgaans hoeÈr vir wit as vir swart studente en in die meeste gevalle hoeÈr vir mans as vir vroue. Soos op grond van 'n makliker bereikbare MST-afkappunt en die opheffing van die semesterpuntvereiste as toelating tot eksamens verwag kon word, was daar 'n toename in die onderhawige korrelasies vir wit studente. Die korrelasies vir swart studente het die meeste baat gevind by aanpassings vir kursuslading terwyl die korrelasies vir wit studente die meeste voordeel getrek het uit aanpassings vir punttoekenningstandaarde.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 150 –153 (2001)More Less
Black students' failure to complete the psycho-educational test battery that is administered traditionally to all first-year registrants at some historically white universities not only tends to impede admissions research, but also may augur ill for students' optimal integration into university life. The results of a study in which only archival data were available for test participants and test evaders, are reported. The test particpants tended to perform better academically, both at high school and at university, than did the test evaders. On average they were younger than the test evaders and they tended to register in the science faculties rather than in the social sciences and humanities. By definition, further explorations of psychological explanations for these findings are precluded by the unavailability of test data for test evaders.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 15, pp 154 –161 (2001)More Less
With technikons becoming universities of technologies, the emphasis is now on their ability to effectively offer research degrees, eg master's degrees and doctorates. Some of these institutions are not well developed in terms of research supervision. It is even more difficult, but also very necessary, for a distance education institution to offer such support at its regional centres. A project on postgraduate research supervision was completed, that looked at: . The assessment of decentralised research support centres at a distance institution of higher learning. The supervisor's perspective of the research supervision process in a distance learning institution. The findings of these two papers revealed that there is limited research expertise and limited research infrastructure at the institution's regional centres. These centres rely heavily on research expertise and infrastructure at the central campus. The research further shows that students lack research knowledge and skills, which has led to some academic departments devising research support strategies such as the development of research guides and courses, proposal development workshops, the development of research committees, promotion of co-supervision and peer evaluation, and the decentralising of research supervision. In conclusion, both these studies suggest that research support and supervision are in an embryonic stage within the institution. However, the following initiatives have been established: the development of a research support course for postgraduate learners and supervisors, the establishment of a departmental or sub-group research committee, and the realignment of procedures and policies for senate approval of research proposals.