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- Volume 16, Issue 2, 2002
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 16, Issue 2, 2002
Volumes & issues
Volume 16, Issue 2, 2002
National plan for higher education in South Africa : a programme for equity and redress or globalised competition and managerialism? : guest editorialAuthor I.M. NtshoeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 7 –10 (2002)More Less
Extracted from text ... Guest Editorial National plan for higher education in South Africa: a programme for equity and redress or globalised competition and managerialism? I M Ntshoe Human Sciences Research Council I feel greatly privileged to be given an opportunity by this journal to write this Guest Editorial on the newly released National Plan for Higher Education in South Africa (NPHESA). This editorial comment situates debates on the transformation of the Higher Education (HE) sector in South Africa, from the publication of the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE), the White Paper and the National Plan on Higher Education in South Africa ..
Author P. HiggsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 11 –17 (2002)More Less
The ongoing process of transformation in South African universities testifies to the enduring seriousness of the questions of meaning and purpose that universities face. The response to this situation often is in terms of transformation programmes that focus on the social role of the university, that is, on the meaning of the university as a social institution whose purpose is defined as meeting the needs of society. In South Africa, political and economic discourse has to a large extent perceived the social role of the university in terms of nation building. In this essay, I argue that such an understanding of the social role of the university is misdirected, and if allowed to guide educational transformation, damaging. Rather, I would argue that the basis for the university's service to society lies in its character as a community of reason.
Author Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 18 –24 (2002)More Less
This article attempts to challenge Higgs' ambivalent position that the role of the university should not be defined in terms of "meeting the needs of society". My contention is that the university can still retain its character as "a community of reason" (Higgs' main argument) without abandoning its social role vis-á-vis nation building. Instead, this article argues that the envisaged social role of the modern university needs to be framed within a complementary knowledge base, that is, disciplinary knowledge or Mode 1 plus socially distributed knowledge or Mode 2. In this way, Higgs' argument for the university as a "community of reason" - incorporating both rational self-understanding and communicative praxis - would not necessarily be undermined.
Author C. BreenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 25 –31 (2002)More Less
In this article, the author focuses on some of the problems involved in offering an appropriate university Masters module for teachers who want to improve their practice and move beyond the intuitive. The article claims that this is a highly complex task, which in the first place will demand several radical changes in focus and attention. The author describes the fundamental theoretical framework on which this module will be based, and also gives an insight from a related assignment as to what might be expected from the course.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 32 –40 (2002)More Less
Teaching, and specifically quality teaching, has for many centuries been the defining characteristic of the academic profession. However, since the dawning of the 20th century, it seems that the very basis of the global higher education institutional reward system is the belief that working with, contributing to, and pursuing knowledge (ie research) is in fact superior to teaching. The article discloses some findings, based upon a global e-mail survey, involving more than 20 higher education institutions, practices that are being implemented in order to reward quality teaching. The survey indicated that there is in fact a disequilibrium between teaching and research, with the "weight" favourably tilted towards the latter. But, it seems as if the rewarding / recognition of quality teaching is slowly but surely catching on. Higher education institutions are increasingly implementing formal reward systems, which makes quality teaching much more than purely an evading dream.
Author E. GouwsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 41 –48 (2002)More Less
An unemployment rate of 32, 6% emphasises the absolute necessity for a strong entrepreneurial-driven economy. Entrepreneurship Education is the one variable that appears most consistently in programmes and strategies that governments and policymakers around the world embark on to create an entrepreneurial-driven economy. In South Africa Entrepreneurship Education is part of the learning area : Economic and Management Sciences, which forms part of Curriculum 2005. The aim of this article is to explore the implications of Entrepreneurship Education for teacher training, and to suggest some guidelines for compiling a curriculum for teacher training.
Author L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 49 –55 (2002)More Less
In recent years education for sustainability (EFS) initiatives have significantly influenced debates and activities related to environmental education. Sustainability has come to be viewed from / in various theoretical perspectives such as liberalist, critical and postmodern. The concept is a contested one, open to debate and speculation. In this article I critically discuss some emerging discourses on environmental education and how sustainability has been taken up within different discourses. I argue that the contested nature of the concept, however, does not mean that it cannot be usefully taken up within environmental education processes. I specifically focus on how the concept has been adopted by students in a preservice science education programme at the University of Stellenbosch.
Author M. MapeselaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 56 –62 (2002)More Less
Although globalisation and internationalisation of higher education in Africa have borne many benefits, some problems that face the South African public higher education today may be associated with them. Private colleges are growing very rapidly and more and more students enrol annually, whilst previously disadvantaged higher education institutions experience a serious decline in student numbers. The reasons for this proliferation together with its impact on higher education will be examined and trends and events leading to the opening of boundaries for international private colleges will be investigated. Trends and events that have led to the establishment of flourishing overseas private colleges will also be investigated. Information on the number of private colleges and historically disadvantaged higher education institutions and as well as their student enrolments will be gathered and analysed. Then recommendations will be made.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 63 –68 (2002)More Less
One of the charges levelled at RPL is that it is a "soft option" in higher education. It appears to offer easy access into higher education, and relatively undemanding ways of gaining credit. This article investigates these assumptions and identifies the demands of a portfolio development approach in RPL.
External and internal influences as driving forces and / or stumbling-blocks in the development of the South African quality assurance system nationally as well as institutionallyAuthor L.J. Van der WesthuizenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 69 –74 (2002)More Less
The development of national and institutional quality assurance and management systems is often forced (rightfully or wrongly) into a specific direction by external and internal environmental influences. In South Africa such influences play a major role in both the national higher education policy developments and the implementation of the higher education policies institutionally. The impact of these guiding interventions resulted in a study to identify the most important internal and external environmental influences directing or hampering national and institutional quality assurance and management developments as well as their implementation in the South African higher education system. These internal and external influences will be discussed and evaluated critically during the presentation.
Author T. Van RooySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 75 –82 (2002)More Less
Significant developments in RPL are taking place in the formal education and training systems in South Africa alongside other policy and curriculum initiatives towards access, equity, flexibility and lifelong learning. Demands to have learning gained informally from experience recognised will be great. This raises questions regarding the kind of RPL practices that could exist within higher education. Offering RPL could pose a big challenge to education and training systems, especially in terms of the absence of learner-centredness and the lack of curriculum flexibility in many parts of the higher education system. The problem, however, does not lie in the acceptance and adoption of the notion of RPL, but in the measurement and evaluation of learning that has taken place in varied ways and circumstances. The consideration of RPL requires a new commitment by higher education institutions to rethink some accepted meanings of higher education learning and particularly of higher education programmes. This article aims to contextualise RPL as a principle and to show the implications of recent developments in education for implementing RPL in higher education in South Africa.
The principle of an NRF rating system for the humanities and social sciences : ameliorating the Judgment of ParisSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 83 –93 (2002)More Less
The National Research Foundation (NRF) is proposing to introduce a ratings system for the humanities and social sciences comparable to that which pertains in the natural sciences. The article welcomes this development, and argues for full and open consultation with the research community regarding appropriate ratings criteria. These should take a clear view of the social mission of the humanities and social sciences, and require that researchers demonstrate the public impact of their work. The article urges greater awareness of the necessity of building a national community of intellect, and more critical scrutiny of the purpose and impact of international recognition as a criterion of research performance in the social sciences and humanities.
A theoretical framework for an access programme encompassing further education training : remedy for educational wastage?Author P.A.P. NairSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 94 –103 (2002)More Less
The contemporary challenge facing education in South Africa is finding ways to assist the vast majority of school-leavers who do not qualify for direct entry into higher education or the world of work. Aside from the needs of a large number of failed matriculants and other learners who have dropped out of school without completing their secondary-school education, there are the special needs of adult learners in the workplace that must be taken into consideration. It is against this backdrop that the country experiences a pressing need for developing skilled graduates. Many educationalists have believed all along that the problems facing school education are so complex that the majority of school-leavers are underprepared for completing higher education successfully. There is no easy solution to this problem and backlogs may take a considerable period to overcome. Over the years, several higher education institutions (HEIs) have resorted to bridging / access programmes as a quick-fix solution to providing an alternative route for learners who could not meet the entry requirements to higher education courses. These programmes were institution-based and had very few uniform characteristics in terms of duration and curriculum; moreover, they failed to provide any certificate qualification or mobility. At the same time, statistics show that the numbers of students in need of such access courses have increased considerably over the years because of the steady reduction in the numbers of learners who pass matric well enough to enter HEIs. The introduction of the Further Education and Training (FET) band (previously known as the senior secondary phase) in the education policy is providing an opportunity for, among other things, developing a proper intermediate structure between the school sector and the higher education sector to cater for the lower achievers, as well as those who are underprepared at the school exit point. This is done by way of broadening the scope and value of the access programmes already existing in our HEIs. The current dispensation is such that securing a higher education qualification is considered to be the exit point. However, it is high time to consider providing alternative median exit points with undergraduate certificate qualifications that could serve as a part of a coherent learning pathway for those who may fail to reach the exit point of higher education degrees and diplomas without interruption. Such an action plan may help to address the burning national issues of unemployment and high crime rate. This article outlines the research that resulted in the development of a comprehensive access model encompassing FET, which may provide a threefold exit facility.
Empirical evaluation of a forecasting model for successful facilitation on telematic learning programmesSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 104 –111 (2002)More Less
The Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education embarked on the telematic learning systems route in 1995, introducing an instructional model whereby students would benefit from having access to learning facilitators with both academic and field-related expertise in addition to educational technology applications. Facilitation is regarded to be an important component of the learning model, and hence, a forecasting model with the purpose to predict success in facilitation was developed during 2000. This article deals with the empirical evaluation of the forecasting model to ensure that managerial predictions are validated before it is implemented in practice. The forecasting model identified 8 key attributes for facilitation success based on performance measures from the 1999 Facilitator Customer Service Survey. During 2000 the annual Facilitator Customer Satisfaction Survey was employed to validate the findings of the forecasting model. A total of 1910 questionnaires were distributed in a mail survey to MBA telematic learning students of the PU for CHE. A total of 249 returned questionnaires suitably completed, were returned that resulted in a response rate of 13%. The objectives of the article are to : <ul> <li>determine the validity of the forecasting model; and to </li> <li>test the model for practical managerial implementation. </li> </ul> The value of the research is practically significant. The empirical evaluation accredited the forecasting model partially whilst also highlighting its weaknesses. In addition, the evaluation also directed research into new horizons in the forecasting of facilitation success. The research concluded that : <ul> <li>the forecasting model is successful concerning the CSI value and a high positive linear correlation exists (r = 0, 964);</li> <li>the model could not be employed to forecast academic success as a function of facilitation;</li> <li>the questionnaire of 30 criteria (CSI measurement) could be reduced to only those identified by the forecasting model due to the high correlation between these two variable sets; </li> <li>the definition of success in facilitation is too conservative and should be extended towards other human behavioural characteristics; and </li> <li>academic success by facilitators not necessarily implies a high level of customer satisfaction.</li> </ul> The initial purpose of the research to enable the managerial approach to move from a retrospective to pro-active approach whereby corrective measures should be taken before not during courses or after the course, is partially successful because of its limited ability to predict facilitator success. Although already beneficial to the university as agent of quality education, the research should continue in a new direction, namely that of human behaviour to incorporate other influences than just the performance measurements of facilitators as academic expansion of the lecturer. Ultimately, the students deserve the best education possible to contribute to the maximisation of the country's human capital.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 112 –121 (2002)More Less
The poor performance of a group of adult learners from an historically disadvantaged background doing a postgraduate programme in education through distance education, triggered this investigation. The purpose of this article is therefore, firstly to measure these students' perceptions of their own SDL; secondly to explore the extent to which their study materials support and enhance their SDL; and thirdly to interpret these adult learners' perceptions of their own learning in terms of SDL support in their learning materials. Their perceptions of their own learning were identified by means of a Self-directed Learning Readiness Scale. SDL criteria were developed to assess their study materials. The items in the questionnaire were then matched with these criteria in order to compare the learners' perceptions of their own SDL with the development of SDL in the study materials. Recommendations focus on the development of SDL competences in study materials.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 122 –129 (2002)More Less
This study investigated factors which could explain the decline of student numbers at the University of Transkei. The findings indicated that the choice of the institution was made principally by the respondents themselves based on their career directions. However, affordability, in terms of the fee structure, prospects for financial assistance and proximity to their homes also came out as major determinants in the respondents' ultimate choice of the institution. The institution's public image and stability, the quality of staff, institutional facilities and availability of other resources for teaching and learning, administrative efficiency, friendliness of staff, admissions and course registration procedures, the language of instruction, fairness in the allocation of facilities and other resources, as well as the treatment of students on an equal and fair basis, all played a major role in attracting students. Catering and hostel facilities were not major factors in the students' choice of the institution.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 130 –138 (2002)More Less
Social changes in contemporary society are demanding that learners change their knowledge and skill bases and change them faster than at any time in history. The confluence of technology, demographics, and work / family requirements make lifelong learning a necessity for more and more people. The demands for training and retraining, the trends toward multiple careers throughout a person's lifetime, added to the new knowledge about teaching and learning, demand concomitant changes in the roles of students, lecturers, the curriculum, and indeed, a re-examination of the role of our universities. While the delivery of telematic courses via emerging technologies is being embraced by many traditionally contact universities, it is the lecturers who play the key role in its successful implementation. The purpose of this study was to identify the concerns of lecturers, within the School of Languages at the Potchefstroom University for CHE, who have to develop and facilitate language modules for various Telematic programmes. Recommendations on how to address these concerns are also discussed.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 139 –149 (2002)More Less
Postgraduate supervision in South Africa currently takes place in the context of university transformation, increasing numbers of disadvantaged students and appeals for improved completion rates. Thus there is concern for quality. Among others, quality is determined by the extent to which students' expectations are met. Data about students' perceptions of supervision provides important information about their expectations and if these are satisfied. Survey research was employed to determine distance education students' perceptions of their postgraduate supervision in the Faculty of Education, University of South Africa. Students had to rate the supervision they were given regarding the stated outcomes of these degrees. Their judgments of individual styles of supervision were also determined. Finally, students had to describe the most rewarding or frustrating aspects of their studies and what they would recommend regarding postgraduate supervision. The article concludes with suggestions to enhance the quality of supervision. These include the training of supervisors.
Ensuring the right to a healthy environment through school involvement in rural areas : the case of a higher education institutionSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 150 –157 (2002)More Less
Governments often have poor records taking action to solve environmental problems. The South African government has attempted to solve this problem by introducing a Bill of Rights which also enshrines environmental rights. This article shows how an institute of higher learning - the University of South Africa - became involved in rural areas to improve the understanding of the environment and create pathways to sustainable living. Activities were undertaken in schools to try to create improved sustainable living in communities in general. The activities undertaken in rural areas were aimed at and regarded as valuable steps towards ensuring the environmental rights of its people.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 16, pp 158 –165 (2002)More Less
The research on which this article reports, deals with the opinions and perceptions of 245 employers of the profile of MBA graduates. The research findings form part of a more comprehensive study on the status and nature of the MBA programme in South Africa. This article reports on the following research objectives : <ul> <li>To establish the profile of the ideal and the actual MBA graduate.</li> <li>To assess whether significant differences exist between the profiles of the ideal MBA graduate and the actual MBA graduate.</li> <li>To extract factors relating to the employers' perceptions of the ideal MBA graduate.</li> <li>To elicit the opinions of employers on the future development of the MBA programme in South Africa.</li> </ul> The main research findings indicate a disparity between the profiles of the ideal and actual MBA graduate. In terms of specific variables that can shape the profile of MBA graduates, it was found that employers were neither satisfied with the liaison between employers and business schools nor with the MBA graduates' proficiency in leadership, interpersonal, entrepreneurial and communication skills; and that they were concerned about the integration of knowledge across functional areas. Noteworthy the following : employers stated that graduates seemed excessively concerned about earning top-level salaries and that their expectations often exceeding their experience and ability. The article concludes with the most prominent findings with respect to the profile of MBA graduates and the future development of South African MBA programmes.