n Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif - Aiming for transformation : exploring graduateness in South Africa

Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1016-4359
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2193



South African universities need to envision a new idea of (university) education in order to support and promote the transformation of this country's society. Congruent to this, universities are beginning to (and should continue to) create definitions of graduateness that embody this ideal. Defining graduateness is an attempt to quantify the qualities and attributes with which graduates will exit their institution and what it is that makes graduates prepared for the society they will serve.

This article explores the notion of graduateness and how developing definitions of graduateness for South African universities can contribute to re-imagining our higher education system and, consequently, to transforming South Africa. The need for transformation within the greater South African society is discussed. Further, the transformation of is essential to the realisation of the societal transformation that is required and facilitated by our constitutional dispensation. Individual transformation is possible through transformative education and, more specifically, transformative legal education. The skills, properties and attributes commonly encompassed in a definition of graduateness are provided and existing South African definitions of graduateness are scrutinised to determine whether the idealised graduates are envisioned as transformed persons. The article concludes by providing recommendations for the development of new definitions of graduateness, highlighting how transformative (legal) education can assist in the development of the transformed individual. It is postulated that should be an attribute of graduateness at all universities in South Africa.

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