n South African Journal of Higher Education - Indigenous African knowledge systems and innovation in higher education in South Africa : perspectives on higher education




The importance of innovation in higher education is recognised in South African educational discourse. The South African White Paper on Science and Technology, issued in September 1996 and entitled, <I>Preparing for the 21st Century</I>, states that, "... the White Paper is built upon the twin concepts of `innovation' and a 'national system of innovation' ". The National Plan for Higher Education (2001) recently unveiled by the Ministry of Education, also places great emphasis on innovation. Innovation is regarded as the key to knowledge production and processing, while the future of any nation is seen to be determined by its ability to convert knowledge into wealth and the social or public good. In this article we want to argue that innovation in higher education goes beyond the formal systems of innovation done in universities and industrial research and development laboratories. For proper development to occur in the South African context, we would maintain that <I>indigenized African innovations and knowledge systems&lt;/I&gt; would also have to be taken into account in higher education curricula.


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