n South African Journal of Higher Education - How affluent is the South African higher education sector and how strong is the South African academic profession in the changing international academic landscape?

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The aim of this article is to determine to what extent South African higher education and the South African academic profession can hold their own, within the international constellation of higher education systems and academic profession contingents. The article uses the theoretical framework of current changes taking place in higher education worldwide, developed by the international CAP (Changing Academic Profession) survey of the academic profession. It also uses data emanating from the CAP survey. A disturbing picture emerges. Enrolment ratios in South Africa as well as rates of increase in enrolment ratios are lower than that of comparable higher education systems abroad. The distribution of students across various academic fields is lopsided. Scholarly productivity is low and the link between academics and society appears to be weak. The stranglehold of managerialism on South African academics is perceptibly present, and felt stronger than by academics in other countries for which data exist. Public spending on higher education is relatively low, and is receding on a steeper inclination than the international pattern.

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