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- Volume 20, Issue 5, 2006
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 20, Issue 5, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 20, Issue 5, 2006
Author Yusef WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 565 –571 (2006)More Less
Author S.J. BerkhoutSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 572 –581 (2006)More Less
Qualifications have become academic currency. Apart from adding to the success and fluency with which people can move or be transferred from job to job,nationally and internationally, qualifications also serve to shape individuals' perceptions of their own worth because of their impact on their holders' expectations and prospects, as well as their power to elicit material rewards. In increasingly complex, interrelated and dynamic societies, assessment systems and related qualifications are powerful mediators of livelihoods. Qualifications have become signifiers of merit in terms of a person's knowledge, skills and competence.The greater the correspondence between the represented qualities and the actual performance of a person, the closer we are to attaining a valuable human resource or reliably saleable qualification. This article explores some of the implications of this for developments in higher education in the context of the growing internationalisation and commercialisation of the assessment and qualification business.
Author F.J. CoughlanSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 582 –591 (2006)More Less
Management in universities has had to change, as the demands on universities have demanded different skills. One consequence has been a backlash against what is perceived to be an emerging culture of managerialism. This conceptual article argues that a balance is needed between collegial and more corporate style management if a university is to protect its academic work while surviving in an external environment that could be perceived to be increasingly hostile to the traditional collegial model. It is argued that the best of both should be harnessed in protection of the academic project and that it is naïve to assume that it is possible to revert to a purely collegial model and indeed, that the collegial model itself may bean abstraction rather than a reality.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 592 –612 (2006)More Less
While exceptional leaders share certain qualities like a strong personal ethic and a compelling vision of the future, research has failed to provide conclusive 'proof' of the link between a leader's effectiveness and his / her emotional intelligence(defined from a cognitive perspective, as a set of abilities). Given the increased recognition of the importance of the role of emotions in the leadership literature,the question arises whether the concept of emotional intelligence has significance for leadership effectiveness. In a pioneering study in the South African context, we examined the possible relationship between four possible facets of emotional intelligence (defined as a multi-faceted ability) and five possible practices of exemplary leaders in the context of leadership in a Higher Education Institution. The sample comprised 138 managers within a Higher Education Institution. The findings provide some evidence that support a positive correlation between emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness.
Teaching and learning and technology : does WebCT help universities meet organisational and customer goals? A case studySource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 613 –626 (2006)More Less
This article explores whether WebCT, a virtual learning technology, meets organisational and customer goals at Coventry University Business School (CBS). Lecturer and student perceptions about the benefits of WebCT as a teaching and learning resource are examined as well as the goals of WebCT for the university as an organization. CBS students completed a structured questionnaire and semistructured interviews were conducted with lecturers who were selected using snowball sampling. The findings showed that customers view WebCT as a supplementary service rather than a replacement to classroom teaching and learning. This is in line with the organisational goals related to the enhancement of teaching and learning. The complexities of implementing WebCT, that is, technical problems, staff work load, and inadequate student support are some of the challenges discussed. Recommendations and implications made can be applied to other institutions deciding to implement a virtual learning environment.
On counting sheep : the self-medication and coping strategies of university students suffering from primary insomniaSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 627 –638 (2006)More Less
A factor that affects university students' academic performance is the quantity and quality of their sleep. There is a high rate of insomnia in the general population, but the prevalence of sleep difficulties among university students has not been extensively studied. The current study found that 23 per cent of the researched student population may suffer from primary insomnia. The strategies used by these students to cope with insomnia were investigated by means of a self-report questionnaire, which examined two broad categories, namely self-medication and self-coping strategies. Students were found to employ potentially harmful coping strategies, while harmless strategies were not always perceived as helpful. Since the onset of insomnia is often during early adulthood, and since poor sleep impacts negatively on academic performance, this study indicates that education around this topic is vital for students.
Author K.J. MammenSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 639 –654 (2006)More Less
The presently reported part of the study gathered data on the academics 'perceptions on quality in higher education (QHE) and investigated the general quality promotion (QP), quality assurance (QA), quality control (QC) and quality management (QM) strategies in the institutional level of a historically developing university (HDU), its Faculty of Science, four of its departments and by individual academics. The article discusses various perceptions of QHE as well as the concern for quality nationally and internationally and distils out some general QP, QA, QC and QM strategies. This research was a case study. The sample consisted of 28academics from the Faculty of Science. Data were gathered mainly through interviews.The overall conclusions were: university-, Faculty- and department-wide QA systems and self-assessments did not exist; no formal QA or QC mechanisms and related strategies were in place at the institution, its Faculty of Science and, the four investigated departments; the academics rarely practised formal QA, QP, QC and QM procedures; only 50 per cent academics had some conception of QHE as described in the literature. The quality of higher education (HE) implementation by academics who themselves did not have acceptable perceptions of QHE (on which HE is founded) as described in the literature may not do good to their employer and students in particular. The reported research focused only on one Faculty of an HDU and the findings cannot be generalized to other faculties within the same institution or to other institutions in South Africa or elsewhere. Undertaking similar research in other institutions and collating institutional, regional and national data can direct staff development activities at the respective levels.
Assessing the impact of student counselling service centres at tertiary education institutions : how should it be approached?Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 655 –678 (2006)More Less
This article conceptually addresses the issue of assessing the impact of student counselling and development services in higher education institutions. It deviates from recent approaches which primarily examine the impact of selected interventions on specific indicators. In this article the question is asked whether the capacity to deliver the services can be justified to the institution. In times when higher education institutions face declining revenues, and when increasing demands are placed on education institutions to demonstrate accountability in the use of public funds, it is not enough to know that past counselling interventions have resulted in positive impacts. The institution needs to know whether the ongoing investment makes financial sense. This article, therefore, focuses on counselling services holistically as a strategic partner of the institution, and argues that their function should mainly be to support the institution in accomplishing its strategic purpose and in satisfying key strategic stakeholders. What is needed is a forward-looking role definition linked to a set of strategic impact and performance indicators as a basis for assessment. Such an approach opens up a way to view benefits not only in traditional accounting terms such as cost savings, but also as the social benefits and value-adding that takes place within the bigger strategic picture.
Reacting, adapting and responding to change : experiences of multicultural and anti-racism teacher education post 1994Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 679 –690 (2006)More Less
This article reports on a section of the results of a South African-Netherlands Research Foundation Programme on Alternatives Development (SANPAD) project that was undertaken at Edgewood College of Education and three primary schools in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The project covered a ten-year period and investigated the response of a previously `white' college of education to the desegregation of its student body, both in terms of its institutional responses and the changes in its curriculum and course offerings. It then went on to interrogate preservice teachers' experiences of multicultural and anti-racism education during their teacher education at college and during their teaching practicum session at the schools. Data was collected by examining curriculum documents and course outlines, administering questionnaires, undertaking semi-structured interviews with the college staff and pre-service teachers, and using observation schedules to examine the pre-service teachers teaching of a variety of subjects at their practicum school. The student questionnaires were analysed and common themes were captured.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 691 –702 (2006)More Less
Environmental management in South Africa is constrained by a lack of capacity for effective stakeholder engagement and environmental decision-making. The country's excellent environmental legislation demands that environmental professionals be appropriately trained at the higher education level. To this end, a Bachelors level learning programme in environmental management (the EM programme) was developed by the University of South Africa (UNISA). The approach used to design a curriculum for the EM programme is explained in this article. It is also argued that the EM programme should be extended to cater for the management of special environments and individual resources. The EM programme could also serve as a model for the development of a similar programme aimed at building the professional and technical capacity required for biodiversity management.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 703 –717 (2006)More Less
This article describes the structure and rationale for an open-book approach in professional accountancy examinations. The concept of knowledge management and the recognition that some knowledge ought to be embedded in the minds of professional accountants while other knowledge ought to be readily accessible and capable of application forms the basis of this approach to open book assessment. The literature is examined and provides a context for the approach adopted. An initial analysis of an open-book examination provided a positive indication as to the feasibility of the proposals. Testing in a post-graduate accounting class was carried out with the results providing tentative support for this approach to open book assessment.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 718 –730 (2006)More Less
Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers made a distinction between traditional approaches and humanistic `learner-centred' approaches to education. The traditional approach holds that educators impart their knowledge to willing and able recipients; whereas the humanistic approach holds that educators act as facilitators who assist learners in their learning processes. As a learning theory,humanism refers to the belief in the innate ability of humans to learn, and the creation of an environment in which students are given `Freedom to Learn'. South African accounting education has, by and large, followed the traditional approach rather than the humanistic approach. This article attempts to expand on the existing references to a humanistic approach through a more detailed exposition and application of the educational theory of Carl Rogers in the context of South African accounting education. The prospects of a humanistic approach in accounting education are then discussed and some practical strategies provided in relation to a specific third-year undergraduate accounting unit offered in South Africa.
Knowledge production and transmission in a changing society : challenges facing law lecturers in a distance education environment in South AfricaAuthor Susan ScottSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 20, pp 731 –743 (2006)More Less
In this article I highlight the challenges facing a law lecturer in a multicultural society in transformation where the student is being prepared to serve society in different occupational fields as a professional person. I indicate that the law itself cannot effect change. For this we need properly trained lawyers. For an effective transformation of the society we rely heavily on previously disadvantaged groups to take responsibility in all fields of the legal profession. The requirements exacted from lawyers are very high. I furthermore focus on the tension between the kind of graduate we are expected to produce and the students presenting themselves at our institution. Particular attention is paid to the kind of skills that we have to transmit to students, as well as the obstacles in the way of achieving this at a distance education institution.