n South African Journal of Higher Education - IT governance in the context of HE governance in South Africa

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Public higher education (HE) in South Africa is governed by the Higher Education Act (Act No. 101 of 1997) (DoE 1997a). This article refers to four different, but related, levels of governance that span the landscape of public HE: firstly, within the global context; secondly, in the context of the country with all of its government ministries; thirdly, the 'system' of education in the context of legislative governance within the public higher education sector in South Africa; and finally, the institutional governance arrangements required in terms of legislation or regulation, which will be reviewed with particular attention being given to information technology (IT) governance. Further, the notion of 'managerialism' will be discussed to provide some structure to the context in which governance is practised. IT governance, as a subset of institutional governance, within and across the public HE system is subsequently addressed. Finally, the current absence of IT governance oversight or reporting to the public HE authority and mechanisms to improve governance in the sector are discussed, which provides an indication of the value that can be created by the implementation of a best practice IT governance framework at institutional level. The layered approach to governance investigated in the article provides insight into the factors that influence the ability to govern subsystems, particularly the IT subsystem, in the public HE sector in South Africa. This approach can be adapted for use in most environments.

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