n South African Journal of Higher Education - The national plan for higher education in South Africa and African indigenous knowledge systems : a case of conflicting value systems? : perspectives on higher education

Volume 18, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



In this article I would like to indicate that there is an inherent conflict between the underlying values portrayed by the policy document entitled 'National Plan for Higher Education in South Africa' and the values embodied in the discourse about the African Renaissance and the promotion of African indigenous knowledge systems (IKSs) in South Africa. This article will attempt to analyse the dominant values of the National Plan for Higher Education in South Africa as well as the underlying values portrayed by the programme for African IKS in South Africa. Thereafter the paper will demonstrate that the cultural climate emanating from the discourse in policy documents such as the 'National Plan for Higher Education' (NPHE) is relatively hostile to the value system necessary for an IKS programme to take root in South African soil. I thus want to argue that a case of conflicting values between the NPHE and the IKS programme arises from an existing split between official values and non-official values apparent in the policies governing the direction of higher education (HE) in South Africa. The paper will offer some ideas why this situation has come about and pose some critical questions for discussion.

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