n SA Mercantile Law Journal = SA Tydskrif vir Handelsreg - Individual performance contracts in higher education : a critical appraisal

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-0099
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2185



This article is the result of personal experiences as well as the experiences of friends, family and colleagues at universities in South Africa. It is an attempt to deal academically with what seem like universal problems pertaining to performance contracts in higher education institutions. Although the examples cited in this article all come from documents at the University of South Africa, the contention is that the problems identified are applicable to all universities. However, the determination of whether performance contracts at other higher education institutions pass muster will be left to those with more localised knowledge.

It is no secret that performance management at institutions of higher education is not popular amongst academics. This is sometimes attributed to arrogance on the part of academics - the assumption being that academics think their work cannot be judged. There is good evidence that this is not the case. Academics are used to peer review of their research, external moderation of their course material and examination papers, external examination of their postgraduate students and so forth. These are all well-established and familiar forms of external evaluation of the work of academics. So it is not a case of arrogance. The problems that academics have pointed out have more to do with the content of performance agreements and the seemingly arbitrary nature of performance appraisals.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error