oa Journal of Education - Lifelong learning, academic development and the purposes of higher education

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



This article is concerned with the competence of the university graduate; it poses two main questions: 1. How can a higher education institution ensure that its students exit the system with the ability to generate socially useful knowledge throughout the rest of their lives? 2. To what extent do students who are currently exiting universities have this ability? It goes on to argue (in agreement with the architects of the NQF) for certain generic competences that are seen as vital for survival in the world of work today, regardless of the degree studied. Focusing on the notion of �critical thinking�, as one of these descriptionptions of competence, the article suggests how this notion can usefully be elaborated if education is to serve an emancipatory purpose in the current context.

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