n South African Journal of Higher Education - Higher education policy discourse in South Africa : a struggle for alignment with macro development policy : perspectives on higher education

Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article focuses on the government's higher education policy trajectory during the post apartheid period. The central argument of the article is that government policy ought to be examined in the light of a struggle over aligning the higher education policy discourse with the government's chosen macro development path. Policy activity has to be understood in the context of an emerging "policy force field" during the 1990s, which circumscribed the government's ability to act decisively in the sector. I discuss this struggle over policy alignment by focusing on three key policy moments, which point to the shifting policy discourse over an eight-year period. Given the discursive shift, the article shows how Historically Disadvantaged Institutions had become the key "problem" around which higher education policy unfolded.

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