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- Volume 20, Issue 1, 2006
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 20, Issue 1, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 20, Issue 1, 2006
Author Yusef WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20 (2006)More Less
Extracted from text ... Editorial This issue of the journal highlights at least four main challenges to the higher education context: excessive managerialism, HIV / AIDS, student completion rates, and research, professional development and quality. First, on the subject of managerialism, it seems as if authors make a case for a complimentary view, that is, integrating the demands of a managerialist approach to higher education with indigenised approaches to governing higher education institutions. Second, HIV/ AIDS and its potential impact on university practices is being articulated as a major challenge to higher education, in particular how institutions respond to prejudice and unjustifiable discrimination. Third, ..
Author F. AdamsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 5 –16 (2006)More Less
This article identifies some of the implications of corporate forms of higher education governance for the management of South African universities. It explores corporate higher educational governance with reference to institutional autonomy incorporating academic freedom. It is the contention of this article that the primary driver of higher educational governance seems to be economic rationalism underpinned by a conception of corporatisation. This ideal is rooted in, and influenced by, a neo-liberal interpretation of globalisation with a strong preference tendency towards managerialism. Such managerialism claims to improve efficiency and effectiveness via financial accountability, quality assurance and performance evaluation, notions that have become increasingly popular in the governance model of South African universities. These managerialist ideals, embedded in a neo-liberal conception of globalisation, have specific implications for higher education governance in the sense that they have the potential to limit or erode academic autonomy and freedom because managerialism thrives in situations of 'control'. Such control it is argued, militates against academic autonomy and freedom. The article/s argue that a more defensible form of higher education governance can be achieved when governance in such institutions is enacted along the lines of what it means to be a community in an African humanist sense.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 17 –30 (2006)More Less
In South Africa, dominant discourses on research development are characterised by a technical-rational approach combined with a focus on the individual. Working from the notion that research is best characterised by the notion of communities of practice, it is claimed that more attention must be given to the building of intellectually engaging communities. Well-supported research communities are what ensure strong contributions dealing with the questions of the day, increased outputs on a continual basis, and long term research sustainability. Though a focus on outputs and provision of incentives are both relevant elements of research management and development, it is argued that they must not take place at the expense of supporting communities of practice in research. <br>This article discusses a number of critical areas of research development that have been identified: addressing perceptions and myths about research; management and support; mentoring; engagement with postgraduate programmes; incentives; resources; and creating research initiatives. For each of these critical areas, the intended and unintended consequences of current developments in research and research management on research practices and outputs are addressed. The article is directed at novel researchers, senior staff engaged in postgraduate supervision, mentoring and research development, as well as higher education managers.
Author K.J. De BeerSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 31 –45 (2006)More Less
The most debatable question in higher education today is: Why first 'open access' to promote massafication and now 'capping' to restrict learner intake? (cf. SA Media Information 2004). Concerning the managing of this difficult and extremely sensitive issue, the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) has come a long way. Its position paper for learner throughput and retention (2003±2006) is testimony to this problem. However, the aim of this article is not to give a summary of the position paper, but rather to delve into contemporary literature and academic development support research outcomes for possible enlightenment. This is possible in the sense that there are no clear-cut answers to be found either in the literature or in the CUT's own documentation as yet. Senate resolutions in this regard are still in the process of being implemented. <br>It was therefore considered to be a wise approach to rather differentiate between open access, retention and throughput. All three concepts are so highly integrated that it is not very clear where the one begins and the other ends. A simple example to motivate this statement is that politicians of the day determine state subsidies for enrolments and outputs. Higher education institutions are proverbially regulated like the water flow from a tap when it comes to government funding, making it very difficult for such institutions to construct their three-year rolling plans according to learner intake, and to balance this with financial planning. <br>Therefore, at this stage, learner support and academic development planning at the CUT is focused on the real academic concerns. Currently, learner service and academic development at the CUT stand within the context of value adding with regard to learners, lecturers, and the process of education. In order to enable members of the academic staff to continue providing quality education, it is important to emphasise personal development that meets the demands of the changing higher education landscape. <br>Learnership programmes based on self-development, together with an adjustment in modes of teaching, are prerequisites for success. In order to complete the quality circle, members of staff should be motivated to compile their own teaching portfolios, where existing and new skills are noted. Such a teaching portfolio can also be used for the evaluation of teaching staff. <br>Another learner support strategy is to allow access for learners who do not meet the minimum requirements for entry into a specific programme, and to have a qualityassured, recognisable foundation certificate with full articulation between and within institutions. The actual structure of the course should be generic regardless of discipline or faculty of study, although the learner's chosen field of study will determine the choice of core and elective offering. The foundation certificate will comprise 120 credits at NQF level 5. As part of learner support and development, learners and staff will also embrace the principles of diversity. Lecturing and supporting staff must assist in this by setting the example in interpersonal relations, especially to enhance learner satisfaction.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 46 –57 (2006)More Less
HIV Aids will remain a problem for a long time. Many people with HIV / AIDS still live in fear of discovery because of the prevalent stigma and its associated prejudice and discrimination. This article examines how HIV-related stigma and its associated prejudice and discrimination can be addressed in a classroom - in the field of education.
Author B. JohnsonSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 58 –71 (2006)More Less
In 1999, on the eve of rationalisation of South African higher education, J.M. Coetzee published a book entitled <I>Disgrace</I>. In this publication he narrates the tale of a Classics and Modern Languages professor transformed into an adjunct professor of communications, a marketable identity, as a consequence of rationalisation. Coetzee, describing his sense of displacement states: In this transformed and, to his mind, emasculated institution of learning he is more out of place than ever. But then, so are other of his colleagues from the old days, as burdened with upbringings inappropriate to the tasks they are set to perform; they had become clerks in a post-religious age (Coetzee 1999, 4). <br>Although <I>Disgrace</I> is a fictitious tale, the writer, to some extent, draws one's attention to the 'role strain' experienced by academics during restructuring.
The training and development of lecturers within the framework of the relevant Acts on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 72 –88 (2006)More Less
The education dispensation in South Africa underwent tremendous changes during the last decade of the twentieth-century and in the early years of the new millennium. Many lecturers are not necessarily equipped to face all the challenges that are a result of the changes. Since it is the vision of the new government to have a 'rational, seamless Higher Education system that will embrace the intellectual and professional challenges facing South Africans in the 21st century' (Department of Education 2003, iii), the researcher became involved and conducted this study in a higher education institution. The relevant Acts in the higher education environment served as framework to table a training model for newly appointed lecturers. Development research was used as method, and a heuristic statement formulated and tested. The instructional design components based on an Input --> Process --> Output matrix was applied, and a step-by-step approach followed to design the training model and simultaneously test the implementation of the programme. <br>The proposed training programme for the holistic development of lecturers in a higher education institution is based on past experience, relevant in the current situation, but also future-orientated. It is practical, effective and applicable in the higher education sector, and the validity lies in the fact that it is goal-orientated, based on state of the art knowledge, relevant and meaningful. It reflects the reality in which the lecturers are expected to perform and considers their emotional and instinctive feelings. It is therefore tabled as a well-researched and properly instituted model.
Occupational stress and strain of support staff at a higher education institution in the North West ProvinceSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 89 –102 (2006)More Less
The aim of this study was to determine the occupational stressors and strains for support staff at a higher education institution in the North West Province, and to assess the differences between the stressors and strains of different biographical groups. A cross-sectional survey design (N = 315) was used. The ASSET and a biographical questionnaire were administered. The results of the study show that, compared to international norms, support staff demonstrate significantly higher levels of psychological and physical ill-health, commitment from the organisation, as well as commitment from the individual. Analysis of variance showed in-group differences in terms of occupational stress and strain for language groups, gender and years of experience.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 103 –119 (2006)More Less
Quality assurance is an important subject in modern universities. After discussing several theoretical aspects of quality and quality assurance, the authors conclude that the care taken by heads of academic departments or directors of academic schools in the process of quality assurance may be regarded as one of the key elements of ensuring good quality in an institute of higher education. In order to gain more insight into this aspect of life at an institution of higher education, an empirical survey was done among a number of heads of academic departments / directors of academic schools at a university that was recently formed as a result of a merger between a historically white university and a historically black university. It was found that, because of various historical and organisational culture differences between the two campuses of the new university, there were several differences in managers' approaches to quality and quality assurance, and that it will probably take a considerable time for quality assurance processes to take final shape at the new university.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 120 –144 (2006)More Less
The paucity of clear, comprehensive and current information about higher education, and internationalisation in African higher education, scratches African countries from contention in both the race within Africa, and the race globally, for quality higher education for the world's mobile students. In addition to a lack of information, other challenges may limit the development of the potential of African higher education, its students, staff, curricula and myriad opportunities for practical experience in many fields. This article explores some of these challenges to internationalisation in African higher education. In addition, Kenya is examined as a case study, and information is provided on the current shape and size of internationalisation in public higher education institutions in Kenya. Developments in internationalisation in Kenyan higher education are contrasted against developments in South African higher education, and the similarities and differences are highlighted. The authors discuss how Africa could strengthen her position through well-functioning cooperative partnerships.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 145 –158 (2006)More Less
A descriptive questionnaire-based study was undertaken among higher education institutions in the Eastern Cape Province. The objectives of the study were to establish costs and trends in costs associated with HIV / AIDS morbidity and mortality, and to assess perceived HIV / AIDS impact on job performance and coping with performance problems. To this end, a systematic random sample of 137 head of departments from 14 higher education institutions was interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The results of the study showed that HIV / AIDS increases indirect costs, lowers job performance and increases staff turnover. It can be concluded that HIV / AIDS is having a serious impact on the fiscal situation of tertiary institutions in much the same ways as it does on other institutions. It is, therefore, imperative for higher education institutions to respond to HIV / AIDS for their own benefit and that of their broader stakeholders. Early action will reap tremendous savings in both economic and human terms.
Refining lecturers' assessment practices through formal professional development at Rhodes UniversityAuthor E.A. SayighSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 159 –171 (2006)More Less
The Higher Education Quality Committee's emphasis on the assessment of student learning in its criteria for institutional audits (June 2004) signals that institutional arrangements to ensure quality assessment practices are to come under the spotlight. One means to demonstrate institutional commitment to quality in assessment practice is to provide formal training programmes enabling lecturers to become accredited as assessors. But the central issue for many South African institutions of higher education is how to successfully develop assessment capacity and accredit lecturers as assessors. This article discusses a professional development course which targets capacity building and the accreditation of lecturers as assessors. It challenges how far the 'assessor unit standards' guide towards an effective curriculum and details the curriculum design and implementation processes of the Rhodes' course, which was considered to have promoted assessment innovation, despite initial resistance to change. The discussion is illustrated by course evaluation data as well as interview data with course participants.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 172 –189 (2006)More Less
In pursuit of quality, the learning process should be continuously improved by changing, among other things, the learning material and the way learning is facilitated. A concern for academics, teaching experience in the B.Ed. module: Personnel Management, a module offered by means of distance education at the University of South Africa, is to ensure that learners progress beyond the mere completion of assignments to where they commit themselves to construing the learning material and to developing management and leaderships skills. A means of achieving this is to change the assessment system of assignments. During 2003 a single, extensive assignment was set, which consisted of nine activities linked to the nine themes covered by the module. A detailed memorandum with a marking schedule for the assignment was issued to students at registration. <br>In this article the following issues are covered: the approach to learning in the module; features of self-assessment and students' perceptions of the learning content and assessment system. Quantitative methods of data gathering were employed to explore learners' responses to the assignment and assessment system in the B.Ed. module: Personnel Management.