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- Volume 17, Issue 3, 2003
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 17, Issue 3, 2003
Volumes & issues
Volume 17, Issue 3, 2003
Author T. ParkSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 5 –8 (2003)More Less
Extracted from text ... Guest Editorial Rethinking and re-imagining higher education: why? T Park University of Stellenbosch The prestigious 13th biennial conference of the South African Association for Research and De- velopment in Higher Education was focused on the very relevant theme of "Rethinking and Re-imagining Higher Education". The attempt to rethink and re-imagine the South African Higher Education system has already received serious attention on several occasions in the history of our country. One such occasion was the process that led to the publication in 1997 of Education White Paper 3: A Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education. At that stage ..
Author J.D. JansenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 9 –12 (2003)More Less
Extracted from text ... Guest Editorial On the state of South African universities1 J D Jansen University of Pretoria Not since the traumatic reorganisation of South African higher education with the cynically named Extension of University Education Act of 1955, has university education stood at such a precarious crossroads.2 It is not only the uncertainty of the effects of mergers and incorporations that would reduce the number of higher education institutions (universities and technikons) from 36 to 21 entities, but the effects of a changing climate for higher education operations which threaten the very essence of what a university education stands for in ..
Transforming tertiary institutions for mass higher education through distance and open learning approaches in Africa : a telescopic view : perspectives on higher educationAuthor D. BraimohSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 13 –25 (2003)More Less
The recent global occurrences are in one way or another affecting many individuals, institutions and even governmental structures, particularly in the developing countries of the world. Those who are hard hit within the premise of our article, include the Universities on the continent of Africa, where their hitherto status quo as "ivory towers" is being challenged by private competitors while this situation has been aggravated by the fast dwindling financial support from their varying governments. In addition, the process of democratization of education has inevitably led to the explosive demands by the citizens of the different African countries for open admission into the tertiary institutions as full time students but the universities have no absorptive capacity to meet the demands due to some perennial factors. Against this background, this article therefore, analyses the current spate of "transformation process" which is going on in most of the Southern African Universities. This is done using the telescopic view to assess the rationale, with a view to synthesizing the positive dividends which may accrue from the adoption of distance and open learning approaches in order to achieve greater accessibility and the massification of educational products. This is especially pertinent during this era of technology driven educational innovation, so as to make universities' programmes not only accessible but also relevant to the needs and aspirations of the teeming African population.
Imagining a multilingual academy : rethinking language in higher education : perspectives on higher educationAuthor G. BrandSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 26 –35 (2003)More Less
Language affects all aspects of the academy as a platform for the cultivation of critical thinking. The extension of multilingualism (ie "more people using more languages in more registers and in more domains") in higher education would contribute significantly to "improving the quality of the higher education sector". A uniform bilingual model for all institutions of learning is defended, and it is argued that the creation of a multilingual academy in South Africa is crucial for managing the tensions between (1) "educational quality, equity and justice", (2) "student responsibility and educator accountability", (3) "state planning and academic freedom", (4) "international competitiveness and community development", and (5) "research and social relevance". This is so because the extension of multilingualism would contribute to the simultaneous achievement of all these different goals, thereby helping to reconcile them.
Reconstruction from the ruins : higher education policy and the cultivation of citizenship in the new South Africa : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 36 –48 (2003)More Less
Since 1994 national higher education policy has demanded radical reconstruction of the higher education sector in South Africa. But as well as addressing their divided and unequal past and the globalisation of higher education, our universities also face a global crisis in higher education, which Bill Readings (1996) has dubbed "the university in ruins". This article raises some critical concerns about current conceptions of the South African university. Our central focus is on the notion of citizenship education as an aim of tertiary education. We begin with an account of the ruination of our universities under apartheid. This is followed by a discussion of Gerard Delanty's (2001) analysis of the evolution of the contemporary university and the impact of the democratic cultural model on its work. Following Delanty, we explore the implications of the imperative to complement social citizenship with technological and cultural citizenship. Philosophical pragmatism, we argue, points the way to filling in some of the silences in current approaches to these issues, suggesting a radical reformulation of university curricula.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 49 –65 (2003)More Less
This article discusses the emerging trends in the assessment of learners supported by the Outcomes-based Education and Training (OBET) approach in Health Sciences in response to the challenge to equip learners for professional vocational employment. Information about assessment was obtained from participants from the Technikon Free State and the University of the Free State by using structured interviews. The results of the study indicated that the use of performance assessment methods should receive more attention. Abandoning the traditional paradigm and adopting the principles and ideas of assessment with a new approach with success will require time, energy, effort and patience from educators, faculty and learners.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 66 –73 (2003)More Less
This article examines some roles of higher education in relation to local communities and local economies. After first establishing the increasing significance of local economic planning, three categories of role for higher education in relation to local development are identified : the first as a stakeholder, involving direct engagement with the local economy; the second as a strategic partner and advocate for human resource development and the third, as a service provider, building intellectual capital. The article examines the proposition that the most significant contribution that a university or technikon can make to the development of a locality derives from its recruitment of students from the local community. A research model is presented whose purpose is to provide a framework for the evaluation of the local impact of higher education institutions as service providers. Finally, such local roles for higher education institutions (HEIs) are discussed specifically in the South African context with a comment on the Government's National Plan for Higher Education.
Re-thinking the role of theology in higher education : striving for deeper transformation : perspectives on higher educationAuthor M. KareckiSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 74 –81 (2003)More Less
Since the first democratic elections of 1994 every area of life in South Africa has been undergoing transformation. Higher education has not been exempt from this process. Within this context there have been attempts to minimise and sometimes, eliminate theology departments and faculties from institutions of higher learning because theology is often perceived as irrelevant. But if theology is taught in a contextual and engaging manner higher theological education can help learners reflect critically on contemporary life and the contribution they can make to society. Three modules from Unisa's Department of Missiology are examples of learning designs that are contextual and have the potential to evoke a deeper transformation in learners.
A monitoring and evaluation system for South African higher education : conceptual, methodological and practical concerns : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 82 –89 (2003)More Less
This article is based on research done at the Council on Higher Education (CHE) to produce a framework for the monitoring and evaluation of the achievement of higher education policy objectives in South Africa. The article situates monitoring and evaluation systems within the context of the rise of the evaluative state and argues that for monitoring and evaluation to have a function beyond mere accountability and resource allocation they have to transcend the generation of baseline data and venture into the more complicated and contested terrain of explanation. For this to happen, monitoring and evaluation systems need to be deeply embedded in the socio-political dynamics of the societies in which they operate both at the conceptual and the design level.
Author L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 90 –96 (2003)More Less
The pace of technological and environmental changes has reached unprecedented levels in recent decades. It is unlikely that the accelerating pace of these changes will slacken from "the rising gale forces our species has set in motion" (Jones 1998:231). Critical futures scholars argue that the <I>status quo</I> future is unsustainable and that contemporary society needs to envision and work towards more sustainable futures. Consideration given to futures concerns is important for higher education so as to aid us in understanding the role of futures images in our thinking, planning and decision making, all of which could lead towards (un)sustainable paths for the future. In this essay I explore implications that the envisioning of sustainable futures might have for the university.
Getting both wheels on the rails : how do academics in South Africa envisage gaining educator competences at the same time as advancing in their disciplines? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor C. MbaliSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 97 –105 (2003)More Less
When is the best time for novice lecturers to get qualified as educators? Now that there is a SAQA-approved qualification for educators in higher education, many higher education institutions (HEIs) are getting organized to deliver such programmes. But who will be the candidates for such courses? How to weigh up the competing career requirements to advance to PhD or further research in the chosen discipline against embarking on educator programme? How do academics prefer to gain further competences? This article analyses responses to a questionnaire on this posed to new staff at induction, and also presents typical career profiles in Chemistry as discussed with seminar participants from that department showing the tension between teaching and research pressures. The underlying argument is that systemic changes are needed nationally (through the HEQC) and institutionally (through incentives such as probation or promotion criteria) to promote educator development for all lecturers.
Equity development programmes for academic staff at South African higher education institutions : progress and promise : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 106 –113 (2003)More Less
The current academic staff profile in South African Higher Education reflects much of the skewdness of the past. The central dilemma faced by these institutions is how to achieve an equitable ratio in the short and medium terms. In response to government concerns expressed through the National Plan on Higher Education, several institutions of higher learning are now embarking upon strategies to develop, retain and attract staff from designated groups. The issues discussed in this article arise from a baseline survey conducted by the researchers to investigate Equity Development Programmes (EDPs) for academic staff within the South African higher education sector. Quantitative data from telephone interviews and a questionnaire survey across all public higher education institutions are drawn upon as the basis of analysis for these programmes. Indications are that there are few meaningful, successful EDPs in existence at SA higher education institutions. Those institutions that have development programmes have limited and inadequate resources. The major aim of this article is to analyse how these programmes are structured and focussed, how they are funded, and their overall impact, with a view to identifying policy, planning and development imperatives for public higher education institutions.
Selection for professional training as educational psychologists : equity and justice? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor R. NewmarkSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 114 –121 (2003)More Less
I co-ordinate the MEd Psych programme of the Department of Educational Psychology, University of Stellenbosch. After the completion of this training programme as well as an internship of 12 months, candidates are qualified to register as educational psychologists at the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Due to the professional demands of this training programme, only twelve students are selected for it annually. Because only twelve students are selected, the selection committee has an ethical and legal responsibility to ensure that the selection process is fair towards candidates. In my capacity as programme co-ordinator and chair of the selection committee, I find it challenging to facilitate a fair selection process. In this article I critique the selection protocol of the MEd Psych programme at the University of Stellenbosch.
A Caledonian college in Cape Town and beyond : an investigation into the foundation(s) of the South African university system : perspectives on higher educationAuthor H. PhillipsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 122 –128 (2003)More Less
Adopting a historical approach, this article traces the origins of key features of the South African university system, namely the general nature of its undergraduate degrees, its heavy reliance on lectures to convey information and its extensive use of examinations to assess levels of student achievement. This historical investigation finds the roots of these features in the unreformed Scottish university system which was enthusiastically embraced by South Africa's first two teaching universities, the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Stellenbosch, in 1918, and which then was adopted by those universities which were set up in their image during the next 70 years. The article suggests that any attempt to reform the country's university system today must take account of the historical circumstances which produced it originally.
Quality enhancement in higher education in South Africa : why a paradigm shift is necessary : perspectives on higher educationAuthor R. PretoriusSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 129 –136 (2003)More Less
This article analyses the concept of quality in the context of South African higher education. The focus is on the new system of quality assurance for higher education soon to be implemented by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). The new quality system is subjected to analysis, and compared with not only the theory and practice of quality management, but also the systems used in this regard by higher education in other countries. An important finding is that the new system for South Africa tends to be bureaucratic and emphasises accountability, which limits its potential for transformation. Real enhancement of quality is an internally driven process and will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve through external quality assurance. The current perspective on quality assurance in higher education in South Africa requires a paradigm shift which will turn it into a process in support of a culture of continuous improvement, and which engages institutions in totality and in an integrated manner.
Transforming education in South Africa : paradigm shift or change? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor M. RamoseSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 137 –143 (2003)More Less
The transformation of the content of the educational curriculum in South Africa is an imperative of historical justice. Though the final constitution of South Africa represents a substantive improvement on the rights condition of many South Africans, it is at the same time an impediment to transformation. This is because it is not vested with credentials that make it a truly homegrown South African constitution. At the same time bounded reasoning in its aspect of impermeable boundaries renders the quest for transformation impossible. It is therefore urged that dialogue from within the permeable boundaries of all those involved is the optimal way to pursue the transformation of the content of the educational curriculum.
Author B. ThaverSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 144 –151 (2003)More Less
As a policy goal, staff equity, more specifically at the level of "race" ushers in several implementation challenges for the university sector. This article seeks to contribute substantively to this complex phenomenon. It relates the need for staff transformation (in terms of "race") with that of the democratic imperative as required by our diverse society. Having established the broad rationale for change it hones in on micro-level staff equity practices of recruitment and curriculum. It focuses on the extent to which "race" operates and intersects with other social factors. Furthermore, given the close conceptual relationship between "race" and the dimension of perceived alienation on the part of black academics, the article offers some insights into the meanings associated with the notion of alienation.
Educational transformation : towards re-imagining higher education : perspectives on higher educationAuthor B. Van WykSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 152 –158 (2003)More Less
This article uses conceptual analysis to explore logically necessary conditions of educational transformation <I>vis-à-vis</I> higher education and its concomitant constitutive meanings. I contend that equity and redress, critical inquiry, communicative praxis and citizenship constitute necessary conditions which make possible the occurrence of higher education transformation. Of the four conditions, I analyse the condition of "citizenship" in terms of a re-imagined notion of higher education. I explore several features of a re-imagined notion of citizenship in relation to educational transformation.
Author Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 159 –163 (2003)More Less
Higher education re-imagining in South Africa primarily focuses on educating students to be responsible citizens. The National Plan for Higher Education (2001) aims in the first instance at cultivating in students the capacity to deliberate respectfully with one another in order to become responsible citizens. This article argues that deliberation and respect are necessary but not sufficient conditions to foster a sense of responsible citizenship. Students also need to be taught to develop the quality that Nussbaum (2001) refers to as "compassionate citizenship".
Author E.M. BitzerSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 17, pp 164 –177 (2003)More Less
A major contribution of higher education institutions towards benefitting societies, is their potential to assist students in their academic progress as well as their progress in other spheres. To be able to assess how students change progressively, particularly in respect of change in perceptions during their undergraduate studies, relevant pre-entry data is needed. If a transformational approach to quality assurance and development is desirable in higher education, strategies and instrumentation for assessing student change and progress need to be continuously investigated. <br>This article reports research directed at the adaptation and implementation of relevant assessment models, including Astin's comprehensive approach to student talent development, Kuh's model of student engagement and Tinto's longitudinal model of factors influencing student departure. It explores new possibilities of generating data on student change that might be potentially valuable to students, learning facilitators and researchers in higher education institutions. The article also proposes instrumentation that might assist higher education institutions in rethinking ways and means of determining students' perceptual change.