- A-Z Publications
- South African Journal of Higher Education
- Previous Issues
- Volume 20, Issue 3, 2006
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 20, Issue 3, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 20, Issue 3, 2006
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 5 –7 (2006)More Less
Extracted from text ... Editorial Voices in this issue Yusef Waghid University of Stellenbosch Stellenbosch, South Africa Email: firstname.lastname@example.org This issue of the journal is prefaced by a moment in the Council of Higher Education's research agenda on the involvement of government in higher education institutions, particularly focusing on academic freedom, institutional autonomy and public accountability. Hall's article and responses from Divala and me offer some pathways as to how universities can begin to reflect on notions of academic freedom and individual autonomy constitutive of higher education in South Africa. At least three themes seem to unfold in the articles compiled for this issue ..
Author Martin HallSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 8 –16 (2006)More Less
Contemporary debates about academic freedom and institutional autonomy in South Africa's 'liberal' universities began in the 1950s, stimulated by the policies and legislation for racial segregation. While the form that these debates had taken has differed from university to university, the University of Cape Town stands as a good case study for the arguments and counterarguments that have been made through the years. In this essay, I trace these arguments from the middle of the last century through to the present, and show that different positions remain unreconciled, suggesting in turn a lack of consensus about the role of the university in contemporary South African society.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 17 –20 (2006)More Less
Martin Hall's essay does offer us a way to make better sense of some of the conceptual and pragmatic links between academic freedom and institutional autonomy in relation to higher education. His analysis of the classic and contextual views of the two concepts also gives us some pathways according to which we could begin to re-imagine conceptions of academic freedom and institutional autonomy constitutive of our own institutions. What I find surprising is his seemingly uncritical treatment of prominent theoretical positions on which he bases his main claims, which leaves his arguments somewhat truncated. In this response I raise some of the issues which I find troubling and also extend existing arguments in defence of academic freedom and institutional autonomy by making a case for responsible action.
Author Joseph DivalaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 21 –24 (2006)More Less
Yusef Waghid in his response to Martin Hall argues that Martin Hall offers a better way of making sense of some of the conceptual and pragmatic links between academic freedom and institutional autonomy. Nevertheless Waghid critiques Hall's uncritical treatment of prominent theoretical positions for his claims, which Waghid thinks leaves some of Hall's arguments truncated. This response finds Hall's option for conditional autonomy and Waghid's option for responsible action both problematic.
Experiences of Chinese international students learning English at South African tertiary institutionsSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 25 –37 (2006)More Less
This article aims to provide insight into the experiences of Chinese international students in some South African tertiary institutions. The study investigates their successes and failures in endeavouring to learn English and the culture shock and 'learning shock' they endure when registering to study in an African country with an essentially European-based tertiary education system. The current state of English learning and teaching in China is compared with that of South Africa, as is the daunting prospect of taking the step to study in a country on the other side of the globe where their home language is hardly spoken and their cultural background little understood. The students' insecurities surrounding their language learning suggest that the hugely different approaches in mainland China and South Africa are at the root of their anxieties and problems concerning their learning experiences. By opening up, exploring and understanding some of these differences South African academics might be empowered to help reduce the shock international students experience in adjusting to our system and assist them to achieve academic success.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 38 –50 (2006)More Less
The National Plan for Higher Education in South Africa (NPHE) (2001) identifies access as one of the priorities for the transformation of higher education. Consequently, several structural adjustments, policy shifts and enabling mechanisms have been put in place to enhance the efficiency of universities that will eventual lead to access for success. By focussing on multiple views and perspectives in relation to access, this article explores the extent to which access as a policy initiative has contributed to a radical transformation of the South African higher education system. The article presents an overview of positions and perspectives on access by critically analysing the new funding formula, the restructuring of higher education and policy shifts that foreground output and efficiency as main levers of the transformation of higher education in South Africa.
Author Z.E. ErasmusSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 51 –63 (2006)More Less
Drawing on research among medical students at the University of Cape Town's Faculty of Health Sciences, this article explores two questions: How do students and staff work with 'race' in their relations to one another? What challenges do these relations pose for transformation? Data was gathered using in-depth interviews with forty-one students during 2001. Standard methodological and analytical procedures ensured increasing reliability and validity of the study. This study revealed an unyielding racialisation of every day life, consciousness and knowledge in the learning environment. The work of Frantz Fanon frames this analysis. It concludes staff and students work with a conception of 'race' as a fixed essence. This presents certain chaIlenges for transformation: to free 'race' from the grips of absolute difference; to articulate an expanded conception of 'the human'; and to shift from the human family towards the human polity as a unit of solidarity.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 64 –78 (2006)More Less
Irrational prescribing originates in undergraduate therapeutics education, where prescribing skills have been overlooked. P-drug, a rational prescribing approach, has been developed in response to poor prescribing. In 2004, the first cohort of PBL final year students at Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine reported feeling unprepared to prescribe medicines and requested help. We aimed to assist students in improving their prescribing competence and confidence. Students were tested and asked to rate their confidence for some of their responses. A stratified sample of 10 of these students, were interviewed, where they prescribed treatment for 4 paper cases. A week-long intervention was designed, covering key areas of weakness and prescribing skills and employing several learning strategies. Students evaluated the course, rating how they felt key competences changed. Test results averaged 47 per cent. True / false questions were better answered (69 per cent) than short answer questions (21 per cent), the worst of these testing drug level interpretation (48 per cent) and dosage calculation (5 per cent) respectively. Students interviewed gave appropriate treatment for 4 of 40 cases and important patient information in only 1 case. Eight students gave an appropriate text for further information. The student evaluation showed an improvement for all prescribing abilities.
Author R. IlorahSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 79 –96 (2006)More Less
The historical black universities (HBUs) in South Africa were established by the apartheid government to serve black students banned from attending segregated white-only universities. These universities were poorly funded compared to the white-only universities. The poor funding affected their output (research and postgraduates) adversely. With apartheid and segregation at universities abolished, the HBUs experience other problems in addition to their inherited legacies from the apartheid years. They remain poorly funded and their incoming students comprise mostly those from financially disadvantaged and rural backgrounds. These students can hardly afford to buy textbooks and they lack the study habits necessary for university education.
Author P. LazanasSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 97 –107 (2006)More Less
One of the purposes of knowledge generation at the higher education level is the creation of expertise. However, the mental structures that an expert uses to process information are not generally considered. Instead, information alone is presented to the learner and it is hoped that he or she will somehow integrate this information into knowledge and subsequently into wisdom. This article attempts to show that we need to identify the unconscious mental processing structures needed in order to convert information into knowledge; as well as to clarify our assumptions about the meaning of these words. <br>Findings from a study of technical experts, in the field of electrical engineering, are presented to illustrate what mental structures and strategies they use to process information. Using these findings, cognitive training can be designed so that novice engineers may gain the mental structures needed to convert electrical engineering information into usable knowledge. This could represent a new way for knowledge transfer in the 21st century.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 108 –121 (2006)More Less
This article portrays the research development strategies followed by a University of Technology in an attempt to increase and sustain a research culture. It discusses the approach of research development through building structural and intellectual capacity amongst the existing population of researchers which includes, predominantly, lecturing staff and postgraduate students. The article is based on a case study of the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT). Results have shown that through various innovative strategies such as the establishment of an Office for Research and Development, the University has seen notable improvement in research participation. However, it is apparent that the CUT is still faced with challenges in sustaining accredited research outputs.
Author M.G. MasitsaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 122 –136 (2006)More Less
Lack of student motivation to learn and study has become a problem to education institutions the world over. Numerous factors contribute to this situation in South Africa. Research has found that in spite of student potential, as well as resources and facilities found in schools and in higher education institutions, students are not inspired to learn and study voluntarily and to the best of their abilities. Students should first be motivated to learn and study before they can take advantage of their potential, as well as resources and facilities in education institutions. Motivation is indispensable to learning because it influences independent interest in the learner and induces him / her to put some effort into the learning task. This article investigates, by means of the Study Process Questionnaire, the study approaches of grade twelve learners in township schools. The study has found that a significant number of students are not adequately motivated. The article concludes up with recommendations for schools.
Author J.W. MostertSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 137 –149 (2006)More Less
This article will first provide a theoretical overview of the problems that learners experience in distance education. It will also deal with some of the implications for course design. Problems associated with study through a distance education institution include loneliness, time management, examination skills and the format of the study material. Some distance education learners also struggle to adapt to a situation in which the role of the academic has changed from lecturer to facilitator. It is important that the distance education learner take responsibility for his/her own independent learning. <br>In the second part of the article, a generic delivery model for distance education in Africa will be proposed. The model will be based on the problems identified in the first part of the article and on the experience of the author both as a regional academic manager at Unisa and as a distance education learner at the same institution in 2004. It is also important that note be taken of the quality criteria developed by the Nadeosa task team.
Clarifying students' perceptions of different belief systems and values : prerequisite for effective education praxisSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 150 –167 (2006)More Less
Prior to 1994, the presence of minority belief systems and values in education were largely ignored in South Africa. It could be expected that after ten years of democracy students' understanding of, for instance, the values of inclusivity and diversity in a multicultural society in general and tertiary education in particular should not be in question. However, it appears as if personal perceptions of students in a teacher training programme have the potential to influence their education praxis, despite a module focussing on diversity of cultures, belief systems and values. <br>This article reports on one part of a research project on the perceptions of third-year students at a tertiary institution on different belief systems and values, undertaken in 2004. The authors discuss only the data gathering process, analysis of data and conclusions drawn from the two qualitative questionnaires.
Is economic impact a good way of justifying the inclusion of foreign students at local universities?Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 168 –181 (2006)More Less
In the debate surrounding the costs and benefits of having foreign students at South African universities, the financial contributions of foreign students to their host economies is sometimes cited. This article reports the results of a comparison between the economic impact on the Grahamstown economy of the spending of foreign and local students at Rhodes University. It finds that the spending patterns of both types of students are remarkably similar and that the somewhat higher economic impact of foreign students is largely as a result of their propensity to choose the more expensive residence accommodation, rather than as a result of greater average spending generally. We suggest that economic impact studies should be used with caution when making the case for continued public subsidy of goods with significant non-market values and that opportunity costs should also be considered.
Author N. TisaniSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 182 –193 (2006)More Less
In the light of many changes taking place in higher education, it is often problematic to align the theoretical pronouncements with their application on the ground. This article is based on a study that tracked steps taken by educators to introduce portfolio assessment in an institution of higher learning. A phenomenographic research method was used to capture data from the documents the educators had produced over a two-year period. The focus of the research was on the manner in which three factors revealed the experiences of the research participants, namely the past of the participants and the institutional culture, the educational beliefs of the participants, and their educational understanding of portfolio assessment. Analysis of documents on programme design, implementation and evaluation revealed how the participants struggled to implement the use of a portfolio for assessment. After persistence and reflection, they improved on their practical interpretation of the theory. <br>'Portfolios are messy to construct, cumbersome to store, difficult to score, and vulnerable to misrepresentation. However, in ways no other assessment can, portfolios prove a connection to the contexts and personal histories that characterize real teaching and make it possible to document the unfolding of both teaching and learning over time' (Shulman in Wellman 1999, 3).
Author A. Van WykSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 194 –208 (2006)More Less
Action Research has been used in many fields of endeavour as a useful means of improving practice. This article describes how this methodology was used to develop a programme of language learning at the University of the Free State. The researcher was tasked with the development and implementation of an English language access programme for students who do not comply with the traditional entrance requirements. This article briefly outlines the development, implementation and evaluation of an English literacy course for low-proficiency learners using Action Research as methodology. The methodology is explained as well as the reasons for selecting Action Research for this project. The researcher designed a model for the research process that is presented and described in the article. The article includes a brief description of the findings documented after each cycle of the research.