oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - How responsive are South African higher education institutions to regional needs? The case of the Free State



South Africa higher education institutions are faced with a dual imperative: they are expected to become globally competitive and to deliver programmes, research outputs and community services that are accepted by the global higher education community. On the other hand, they experience increasing demands from government and local communities to become responsive to the social, economical and political needs of mostly under-developed domestic societies. While the imperatives for transformation in higher education derive in large measure from South Africa's apartheid history, they also form part of a global quest for change as throughout the world higher education systems are being challenged to become more responsive to society's needs (Perold 1998:28-29). Obviously, this is even more so in developing countries where the nature of society, social, economic and educational needs are extensive. <br>The main purpose of this research was to establish whether and how higher institutions are responding to regional needs. For this purpose two higher education institutions in the Free State province were targeted and an analysis was done of their three year rolling plans as these plans indicates, amongst others, how institutions are positionising themselves in their regions.


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