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- Volume 19, Issue 1, 2005
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 19, Issue 1, 2005
Volumes & issues
Volume 19, Issue 1, 2005
Author B. Van WykSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 5 –19 (2005)More Less
Since 1994, higher education transformation in South Africa had a significant break with apartheid education policy. This article explores constitutive meanings of higher education transformation such as equity and redress, critical inquiry, communicative praxis and citizenship in relation to institutional plans of three universities in the Western Cape province, namely Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Western Cape. This article shows that these higher education institutions are overwhelmingly orientated towards achieving performance indicators as announced in their institutional plans, in other words, there is an emphasis on performativity. I argue that the excessive use of performance indicators could undermine deep higher education transformation. Unless universities are also prepared to transform in an atmosphere of <I>ubuntu</I> (literally `African humanness and dignity') they have little chance of realising constitutive meanings of higher education transformation which in turn could lead to sham transformation.
Towards an integration of a pedagogical and political project : the use of the genre approach in academic literacy developmentAuthor C. ThomsonSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 20 –30 (2005)More Less
This article focuses on an academic literacy development initiative in a postgraduate, Honours level teacher education programme. Informed by a 'critical' perspective on literacy, and the field of Systemic Functional Linguistics, it describes and evaluates this initiative against an understanding that the Genre Approach can be a very effective approach to advancing students' reading and writing competence as it embodies both a pedagogical <I>and</I> a political project. In the experience reported on in this article, the pedagogical project had as its explicit goal, students' mastery of the genre of the academic argument. The `political goal' was to nurture an understanding of the potential of many existing reading and writing teaching practices (particularly in South African school and tertiary contexts) to entrench the established social order. The article shows how difficult it is to address both these goals simultaneously, particularly within a distance learning context, but argues that a commitment to realising the political goals is central to an authentic transformative pedagogy.
Constraints in the teaching and learning of the humanities at South African universities : a Delphi studyAuthor H. ViljoenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 31 –44 (2005)More Less
This article is a report on a Delphi study undertaken to determine the critical inhibiting factors (constraints) in the teaching and learning of the humanities in South Africa. It is part of a larger project premised on the Theory of Constraints that aims at determining the constraints and finding ways to overcome them. The Delphi technique as a technique for polling expert opinion is briefly described. For this study the opinions of two panels of experts about constraints for the humanities have been polled. Twenty-one constraints were identified to a high degree of reliability. The study confirms that basic language and reading skills are of the utmost importance. It also confirms that the humanities should profile their contribution to society much stronger and learn to deal effectively with the utilitarian and vocational challenges they face today.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 45 –58 (2005)More Less
It is generally accepted in sub-Saharan Africa that HIV / AIDS will seriously affect the higher education sector. Impact assessments for university and technikon students indicated an infection level between 21±36 per cent by 2005. The disease will affect every institution of higher education in its entirety. Institutions of higher education, however, seem to under-estimate the potential of HIV / AIDS to destroy systems. Absence of well-developed plans and budgets as well as failure to attend to systemic impacts can have disastrous results. Higher education institutions have to develop a clear and comprehensive strategic approach towards HIV / AIDS . This will comprise of a situation analysis, a response analysis, formulation of broad guiding principles, identification of priority areas and strategic goals within an action plan. An Impact and Response Framework for the higher education has been developed that could assist institutions in their strategic planning to address HIV / AIDS .
`Stopping before we start . . .' : could self-doubt about the quality of publications be interpreted as a barrier to publishing by prospective authors?Author A. Maurtin-CairncrossSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 59 –72 (2005)More Less
At a conference I attended recently, a presenter proposed the perspective of a school of thought that recommends that, prior to publishing endeavours, authors must raise questions with themselves. Some of these questions should include: whether the proposed article would really be knowledge or merely knowledge?; whether scholarship is the cornerstone of the article?; whether the article is a means to an end or an end in itself? In this article, I will use some of the findings of a research study conducted with academic women at selected South African historically black universities (HBUs), to argue that such questions may increase self-doubt and may subsequently impinge on publication endeavours. This becomes particularly poignant for academic women who have a negative relationship with publishing. The findings of the study elucidate some of the barriers that academic women at these institutions experienced with regard to publishing. I feel that such questions at the initiation of publication endeavours may retard the inception of publishing and render this academic activity more daunting to academic women, who do not qualify to be promoted because of deficient publication records, and are over-represented in the lower echelons of academia.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 73 –88 (2005)More Less
This article discusses student counselling and development services as an indispensable and integral part of higher education institutions. The value of such services is highlighted by drawing on theoretical considerations as well as examples from current research perspectives, both internationally and nationally. Because of its past history and present conditions, South Africa has specific higher education needs, for example dealing with large numbers of students who had inadequate school preparation and who consequently experience numerous barriers to learning. These needs are discussed in terms of the way that student counselling contributes towards ensuring that students receive the necessary support to study successfully and to enter the world of work as well-adjusted and well-prepared citizens of the new South Africa.
The supervisor's accountability versus postgraduates' responsibility within the academic writing arenaAuthor S.M. HoltzhausenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 89 –100 (2005)More Less
One of the most burning issues facing South African higher education, as stressed by the National Plan for Higher Education (Republic of South Africa Minister of Education 2001), is the success rates of postgraduates. Most of the problems experienced in postgraduate work relate to language. In South Africa this problem coexists with a host of other factors, such as students' prior schooling; exposure to certain necessary resources (e.g. electricity and libraries); literacy provision in the home and community; attitudes towards schooling; and proficiency in English. All of these are aspects that could jeopardise the success of academic writing. In order to address this as part of the human capital development of postgraduates and future academics, one needs to understand that new and more complex skills than in the past (e.g. being flexible, adaptable, quick learners, team players, critical thinkers and problem-solvers) are required. However, to transform this area should be a two-way process, which does not entail a change in pedagogy (i.e., towards professional educators), but also a change in attitudes, behaviour and the skills of learners.
Questioning service learning in South Africa : problematising partnerships in the South African context. A case study from the University of KwaZulu-NatalSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 101 –112 (2005)More Less
Service learning is increasing in popularity in South Africa and has been conceptualised as occurring in the context of partnerships between higher education institutions and their local communities. However the relevance of the partnership model as a framework for service learning and sustainable community development within the South African context has not been critically examined and needs to be explored. <br>This article aims to provide insight into the partnership and development processes that form the context for interpreting the outcomes of service learning, through reflecting on the experiences and lessons learnt within the partnerships at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg. Drawing on themes extracted from an analysis of service learning practices at the university, various issues are highlighted to extract theoretical framework shortcomings, potential real-world tensions, implications for service learning in higher education within South Africa and issues for future research.
Author A. PatersonSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 113 –128 (2005)More Less
The period within which higher education mergers have taken place on a large scale internationally overlaps with a phase characterised by extremely rapid takeup of information technologies in higher education. This article analyses the implications of institutional mergers for information systems development in the South African higher education system. The analysis is undertaken with particular reference to the new institutional shape as envisaged in the higher education merger plan, and with reference to the characteristics of current higher education information systems. This article will draw attention to the key decisions that can influence the outcome of information systems integration in higher education mergers. Particular emphasis is given to the importance of information systems as more than mere technological infrastructure that can contribute to long-term sustainability in higher education institutions which are quintessentially knowledge based organisations.
Factors predicting English second-language students' use of Web-based information systems : implications for student supportSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 129 –143 (2005)More Less
With the growing reliance on computerised systems and increasing rapidity of the introduction of new technologies into many tertiary courses, learner acceptance and use of technology is an important issue. The purpose of this article is to identify the factors that may predict English second-language (ESL) students' perceived ease of use as well as their overall use of Varsite, a Web-based information system, developed at the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). The results indicated that students' reading abilities explained approximately 88 per cent of the variance of perceived ease of use, whereas application-specific self-efficacy, ease of use, enjoyment, and outcome expectations are major factors predicting English second-language students' overall use of Varsite. Implications for student support are discussed.
Author S. SaundersSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 144 –154 (2005)More Less
There is an increasing awareness in interpreting quality in higher education in terms of a 'multi-customer focus'. This awareness coincides with a growing interest in market segmentation in the higher education sector in order to address the needs of students that hold different perceptions on the quality of higher education. This research suggests that students should to be segmented on quality perceptions rather than either expectations or service quality attribute importance, as service quality judgement is affected by actual perceptions. Using a quality perception approach developed by Woo (1998) the study was able to identify three distinct clusters of students which have different service quality perceptions towards higher education institutions. The distinct clusters were based on seven factors that influenced service quality in higher education, namely: quality of lecturers, lecturing arrangements, support systems, support facilities, manageability of programme, physical logistics and intellectual value. These new insights into the segmentation of the higher education sector are particular importance to educators as service can be tailored to students that have very different quality perceptions. To ensure that institutions are both tailored and proactive to student needs and offer quality higher education, market segmentation of its customer base is as important as in any other industry.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 155 –166 (2005)More Less
Research on burnout in different occupational fields has taken place internationally. However, no studies have been performed on students in higher education institutions in South Africa. The objective of this research was to standardise the MBI-SS and the UWES-SS for student leaders in a South African university. Further objectives included determining the relationships between burnout and engagement, on the one hand, and work stress, optimism, individual and organisational commitment, on the other. A cross-sectional survey design was used. The entire population of student leaders was involved (N = 196). The MBI-SS and the UWESSS, Life Orientation Test Revised, Attitudes Towards Your Organisation Survey and Position Characteristics Survey were administered. The results showed that for the Burnout Model, Emotional Exhaustion was best predicted by Overload, Cynicism by Job Demands and Professional Efficacy by Resources. For the Engagement model, Absorption was best predicted by Resources and Dedication, and Vigour was best predicted by Optimism.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 19, pp 167 –183 (2005)More Less
This article focuses on the redevelopment of the National Diploma in Small Business Management that was developed in 1994 by the then Technikon SA.1 The main challenge for academics is to develop effective techniques for the teaching of, and training in, entrepreneurship that will meet stakeholder needs. The study aims at reviewing the name of and curriculum for the qualification with a view to meeting these needs. The article introduces the important role of entrepreneurship in meeting economic challenges and, as a background to this process, offers a brief overview of the policy and legislative imperatives that led to the major recurriculation and redevelopment of all the qualifications presented at South Africa's higher education institutions. Qualitative research design was conducted in which relevant documents were reviewed and small business stakeholders interviewed on addressing the gaps that exist. The recommendations from the findings that resulted in the restructuring of the qualification were submitted to the Department of Education for approval. The researchers and all the institutions that participated in this study are pleased to announce that their efforts were rewarded by the Department's approval, in August 2004, of the changes, as recommended.