n South African Journal of Higher Education - Accounting for autonomy

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Originally presented as the 41st T. B. Davie Memorial Lecture at the University of Cape Town, this article offers a critical review of the changing meanings of and challenges to institutional autonomy since the coming to power of the first democratic government in 1994. The argument has less to do with enumerating the recent threats to autonomy than with understanding the transnational currents that underpin such changes in university-state relations everywhere. There are at least two paradoxes of concern: that the achievement of a democratic state after apartheid was accompanied by the decline in institutional autonomy; and that more and more is expected from universities even as the state provides less and less commitment in terms of centralised funding.

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