n South African Journal of Higher Education - Stakeholders in quality : a response to Loyiso Jita's article

Volume 20, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The main argument in Loyiso Jita's article is that although both law and convention have established stakeholder participation in higher education quality assurance, it lacks conceptual clarity. The article bravely attempts to develop a theory of 'stakeholder identification and salience' by drawing mainly on business and organisational management literature and thus opens up the debate for greater clarity. In introducing my response to Jita's article I point to quality in higher education as a shaping force, take a closer look at the concept of 'stakeholder' and revisit the institutional autonomy-public accountability debate briefly. I conclude that the Jita article makes an important contribution to the debate about higher education quality stakeholders, but that it has at least three shortcomings. It generalises excessively about higher education institutional contexts in describing the limitations of stakeholder involvement, it fails to clarify through concrete examples what exactly hampers the HEQC in terms of legal constraints and institutional autonomy and it relies too heavily on business and organisational management literature to get the debate on a sound footing.

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