n South African Journal of Higher Education - How to measure and reward teaching excellence within the changing higher education landscape

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



In 2004, the minister of education reformed higher education in South Africa by merging institutions and by re-designating technikons as universities of technology. In the current tertiary environment, increasing pressure is placed on academic staff to do research and to improve their qualifications. The emphasis on research and the production of new knowledge is supported by research awards at higher education institutions. Research funds are also available for conferences, resources and financial incentives for peer-reviewed publications and other research outputs. <br>However, reward systems for quality teaching are not as well-developed. A question that arises is how to measure quality teaching in a manner comparable to the way in which research is measured. This is complicated by the diversity of class sizes, teaching levels and availability of teaching resources over which the lecturer does not always have control. The need for the recognition of quality teaching is pointed out in national consultative documents as one of the factors for motivating lecturers, thus highlighting the importance of quality teaching and of increasing the throughput rate. In 2004 a project was launched to determine the criteria and process that need to be established to introduce a system for the reward of good and innovative teaching practices. Based on the results of this project, a conceptual model is proposed for the award, recognition and management of quality teaching.

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