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- Volume 20, Issue 2, 2006
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 20, Issue 2, 2006
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Volume 20, Issue 2, 2006
Author L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 189 –194 (2006)More Less
Extracted from text ... 189 Editorial Curriculum: A neglected area in discourses on higher education L. le Grange Department of Curriculum Studies Stellenbosch University Stellenbosch, South Africa Email: firstname.lastname@example.org INTRODUCTION Curriculum is a complex and contested terrain that is variously described based on disparate philosophical lenses through which it is viewed. When the word curriculum is invoked it is generally understood as applying to school education, that is, to the prescribed learning programmes of schools or more broadly to the learning opportunities provided to school learners, rather than to higher education. A survey of articles published in prominent curriculum journals such as Journal ..
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 195 –208 (2006)More Less
In the context of higher education, the role of mentoring new staff is variously established, though often informal. It is sometimes associated with research supervision, but more recently the increasing sophistication of the roles of staff has seen the introduction of `mentoring' to manage induction. In South Africa, a strong motivation for investigating the role of mentor is to facilitate the induction and retention of equity appointees. This article explores the perceptions of the role of mentor held by a sample of higher education practitioners with a view to identifying the expectations that higher education practitioners have of this role. The analysis reveals broad agreement with the literature, but strong emphasis on the importance of placing the interests of the protégé at the heart of the relationship, and recognizing that the responsibility of the mentor is to maintain a critical perspective and not merely to attempt to get the protégé to conform to the institution. The authors critically review the perceptions and conclude that the mentoring relationship is affected when the mentor is assigned to the protégé. In such situations, expectations need to be clearly articulated if the relationship is to succeed. In addition, recommendations are made about the choice of mentors, the importance of focusing on the realization of the potential of the protégé, the focus that is needed in a module to train mentors, the practical difficulties associated with mentoring, and models for mentoring.
Author F. CoughlanSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 209 –218 (2006)More Less
Debates about access and success are currently vigorous in higher education. There is much greater equity in terms of access but success in higher education continues to be racially patterned and far too few students graduate. This article argues for a more selective approach to access that is driven more deliberately by the need for increased success rates. It argues that higher education is carrying too much of the burden of expectation that it is the only viable route to economic participation for young people and thus that the demand for access is inappropriate.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 219 –231 (2006)More Less
The aim of this article is to explore the relationship between the desired outcomes of the National Plan for Higher Education and the funding formula. It further wants to explore the current situation regarding specific challenges in higher education, namely increased participation, broadened social base of students and equity, as well as a lowering of the dropout rate and an increase in graduate outputs. The question is also asked whether the funding formula is successful in being a goal-oriented and performance-based mechanism supporting and even driving institutions of higher education in obtaining the goals as stated in their institutional plans. The author also reflects on recent developments regarding the funding formula.
Author C. HutchingsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 232 –244 (2006)More Less
I have been teaching a group of students who are mature and experienced professionals in the field of Education, but do not have a prior degree. The class is diverse in terms of language and writing abilities, cultural and educational backgrounds, home and work situations and expectations of and reasons for their studies. Together with the various situational stressors that these students endure on top of the normal ones associated with studying, this poses many challenges. The African University of the 21st Century is following international trends of widened access, and it is therefore likely that it will face similar diversities and challenges. Reflective and dialogical journal writing is a central aspect of my course. It is included in an attempt to contribute towards students' confidence in writing and as an initial step towards development of their academic writing, reading and thinking skills. This article examines the progress of such skills in students through this endeavor and what it can contribute to our own development as teachers in being fully equipped for the African University in the twenty-first Century.
Author S.N. ImendaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 245 –260 (2006)More Less
This article looks at knowledge production in higher education (HE) from the point of view of how a given HE institution defines itself within the broader context of `the idea of a university'. In this regard, the article makes a critical analysis and interpretation of the literature on the central question of `the idea of a university', and the bearing of this on knowledge production. An overview of the history of universities is given, followed by a reflection on the literature pertaining to the notion of `the idea of a university'. This is done so as to contextualise what presently obtains with regard to conceptual types of universities around the world <I>vis-à-vis</I> the attendant knowledge to be pursued in the institution. In this regard, the article posits that the primary purpose / focus of knowledge and knowledge production will be a function of the given university's idea of itself.
The impact and cost-effectiveness of student counselling in the context of higher education : a literature reviewSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 261 –272 (2006)More Less
The need for and relevance of student counselling has been well argued for in past research, and has been duly recognised at governmental level in South Africa. However, this recognition necessarily calls for accountability from student counselling centres. In this regard, it becomes increasingly important to evaluate student counselling services in terms of their cost-effectiveness and the impact their services have. In this article, different methods for determining cost-effectiveness are outlined and the most applicable method in different cases indicated. Subsequently, research on cost-effectiveness and the impact of student counselling services are reviewed. Research findings on the impact and cost-effectiveness of policies, organisational structure, collaboration between different institutional service centres and counsellor characteristics are reviewed. In particular, it was found that collaboration between student-directed services within the broader University context contribute to cost-effectiveness and impact. It is concluded that more empirical research is needed to justify the claims of relevance of student counselling services. Suggestions are made as to how impact and cost-effectiveness can be studied at institutional level. Furthermore, it is suggested that research findings on counsellor characteristics should be integrated in the impact and cost-effectiveness studies of student counselling services.
Author W.M. OnsongoSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 273 –287 (2006)More Less
On average the B.Sc. (Eng.) degree programmes in South Africa universities graduate about 50-60 per cent of the students admitted. Generally, the highest dropout occurs in the first year of registration. This article reviews admission and graduation statistics at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and assesses the impact of recent academic support programmes on the pass rate from first year to second year. It is shown that even with the recent remarkable growth in numbers and changes in race demographics for the student intake to study engineering at Wits, it has been possible to achieve pass rates comparable to those recorded in the past when the students came predominantly from a privileged background. This proves that the academic support programmes have been effective and it is shown that there is room for improvement. It is recommended that suitable intervention at second-year level could further boost the throughput towards graduation.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 288 –298 (2006)More Less
The question `When am I educated?' had a fairly simple answer in the modern era. The <I>minimum</I> requirement was a degree from one of the `recognised' universities of the world, and the degree initiated the individual into the different `official' canons of knowledge. The majority of those canons were Western in origin and represented Education (with a capital `E'). Knowledge production and legitimisation were the sole mandate of universities and institutions of higher learning. In the postmodern era being considered `educated' has changed dramatically. Universities are no longer the only producers or legitimisers of knowledge; the canons of knowledge themselves are contested. Industry demands `just-in-time' learning and certification, while lifelong learning as transitional learning celebrates `unofficial' and informal knowledge production. Lifelong learning furthermore includes valuing interdependency and learning-in-communities within the broader project of individuation. Should the question be `Who owns or will produce what type of knowledge?' or `Who will sanction the knowledge produced or owned and determine the relevance thereof?'
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 299 –317 (2006)More Less
This article presents the findings of a survey conducted in August 2004 of students' attitudes, perceptions and knowledge about sexually transmitted infections, HIV/ AIDS and sexual practices at an Institution of Higher Education. The study was set against the backdrop of the 2004 South African national survey, conducted by the Reproductive Health Research Unit, University of Witwatersrand, which identified the worrying trend that although South African youths acknowledged HIV / AIDS as the biggest problem facing them and 45 per cent personally knew someone who had died of AIDS, the vast majority of those who engaged in risk behaviour did not think they were personally at risk of contracting HIV / AIDS. A representative sample of students in the age range 17 to 25 completed a confidential, anonymous questionnaire. In spite of high-risk sexual behaviour, that is, multiple partners and inconsistent condom use, most students believed that they were not at risk of contracting HIV / AIDS. A review of students' sexual behaviour is followed by recommendations. The findings of this survey are relevant for management of higher education institutions. Information on students' attitudes and perceptions will enable Higher Education management to review their present strategies and policies on HIV / AIDS. This will facilitate the implementation of the most effective methods of responding to an epidemic that is increasingly more visible on campuses in South Africa (Higher Education HIV / AIDS Programme 2004).
Author S. SchulzeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 318 –335 (2006)More Less
Since there has not been much research focus on job satisfaction in Higher Education in South Africa, this article describes the job satisfaction of these academics in times of transformation. A survey design involved 94 respondents from similar departments at a residential and a distance education institution. A questionnaire focused on teaching, research, community service, administration, compensation, promotions, university management, co-workers' behaviour and physical conditions. Demographics that could influence the job satisfaction of the academics were also considered. These included university context, being employed on a full-time or part-time basis, rank, ethnic group, union membership and gender. Factors causing satisfaction and dissatisfaction were identified. These were sometimes influenced by the above-mentioned demographics. Three-quarters of the sample indicated that, all things considered, they were satisfied with their work. Significant correlations between job satisfaction and physical conditions and support, in particular, were determined.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 336 –351 (2006)More Less
An introductory course in on tertiary level inadvertently sets the scene for the demands of the corresponding profession. Unfortunately, it seems as though these courses do not prepare learners adequately to acquire the demanding professional competences required for professional success. This problem has been a subject of contention especially in accounting education for a very long time amongst practitioners, educators, researchers and professional bodies alike. The article proposes that the fundamental problem is epistemological in nature: The authentic nature and structure (epistemology) of accounting is not reflected and, subsequently, education practices are adopted that does not serve the learner to conquer the challenging demands of the profession accordingly. To arrive at a new paradigm for introductory accounting education, powerful learning environments are suggested as a way to provide competent professionals.
Author H.P. WolmaransSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 352 –366 (2006)More Less
Business simulations provide a teaching method that typically yields (1) more hands-on experience, (2) a higher level of excitement, (3) a higher noise level (and yet a lower incidence of problems), and (4) more commitment than traditional methods of teaching (McLure 1997, 3). Business simulations are experiential learning opportunities that have been successfully used for higher education in a wide range of disciplines. They are also ideally suited for use in adult education, where the focus is more on facilitating learning than traditional methods of knowledge transfer are. This article reports on a study that examines the value added by business simulations in a financial management course, as perceived by the learners. The reasons why learners experience this teaching method as positive are investigated. It would seem that higher education in financial management has much to gain from a wider application of business simulations.