n South African Journal of Higher Education - Implementing national qualifications framework policy : perspectives on higher education

Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article reflects on the implementation of the National Qualifications Framework at tertiary level, using the University of South Africa as a case study and the five stated goals of the NQF as the criteria for measuring the success or otherwise of the enterprise. A brief description is given of the initiatives at Unisa and certain processes are highlighted; for instance, using team work to accomplish complex tasks; arriving at a shared understanding of new concepts through rigorous discussion; and documenting information and processes so that they are institutionalised. The article looks at the systemic implications of complying with the SAQA Act by June 2000: training academics in outcomes-based education before any documentation could be completed, researching recognition of prior learning and quality assurance, accommodating existing regulations where they conflicted with NQF legislation - for instance on aspects such as residency, and taking the hidden costs of the entire undertaking into consideration. The article concludes with an evaluation of the process of registering degree qualifications in outcomes-based format in June 2000 and subsequent developments in relation to the vision of the NQF as articulated in its goals.

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