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n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die tanende aantreklikheid van die akademiese professie in Suid-Afrika : Navorsings- en oorsigartikels

Volume 50, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751

Abstract

Die doel van dié artikel is om met behulp van die data van die CAP (Changing Academic Profession) internasionale ondersoek na die akademiese professie te bepaal hoe aantreklik die Suid-Afrikaanse akademiese professie, vanuit hulle belewenis, die akademiese professie as loopbaan bevind. Uit die ondersoek blyk dit dat akademiese personeel in Suid-Afrika onder groot werkdruk verkeer. In vergelyking met ander professionele lui word hulle onderbesoldig. Boonop het hulle, onder 'n groeiende bestuurskultuur, baie van die vryheid en outonomie wat histories aan die akademiese professie gekoppel is, prysgegee. Dan het hulle ook nog ander frustrasies, byvoorbeeld die instroming van akademies swak voorbereide studente, en 'n gebrek aan toereikende navorsingsbefondsing. Volgens beskikbare getuienis is die aantreklikheid van die akademiese professie as 'n loopbaan in Suid-Afrika besig om te taan, en 'n aansienlike persentasie van akademici oorweeg dit om die professie te verlaat. In die lig van die kardinale belang van die hoër onderwyssektor in die ontplooiende kennissamelewing van die een-en-twintigste eeu, behoort die aangeleentheid as 'n saak van dringende prioriteit aandag te geniet.


As the twenty-first century's knowledge society - that is societies/economies which have evolved from industrial production and services to the production of knowledge as driving axis - takes form, an ever-increasing value is attached to the higher education sector. Any higher education project stands or falls by the quality of its academic staff complement, which in turn depends on how attractive the academic profession is as a career. The aim of this article is to investigate the attractiveness of the South African academic profession, by means of the data of the CAP (Changing Academic Profession) international survey of the academic profession. Internationally the following factors are impacting on higher education and on the academic profession : globalisation; information-, the communication- and knowledge revolution, the neoliberal economic revolution and democratisation. On top of these world-wide trends, higher education in South Africa is both the scene of a radical make-over of the entire education system (change to outcomes-based education, introduction of a National Qualifications Framework, desegregation, equalisation of opportunities, multiculturalism, democratisation) and it is regarded as a major instrument to effect an ambitious series of societal goals : economic goals, cultural goals, social goals and political goals. The above have radical implications for all aspects of the professional lives of academics : their tuition activities, research, community service, administrative activities, relations with institutional governance, entrepreneurship, and physical facilities and remuneration. From the investigation it appears as if the South African academic profession is under big work pressure. They work longer hours than what South African labour legislation sets as norm. In comparison with other professions they are under remunerated. Moreover, they have been dispossessed of much of their freedom and autonomy that have historically been regarded as an essential part of the professional environment of the academic profession. On top of that they are experiencing other frustrations, such as the influx of academically inadequately prepared students, and a lack of sufficient research funds. Amidst these circumstances a substantial percentage of the academic profession consider leaving the profession. According to available evidence, the attraction of the South African academic profession is diminishing. As the higher education sector (and by implication the academic profession) is pivotal for the nascent knowledge society, the diminishing attractiveness of the academic profession in South Africa should, as a matter of urgent priority, receive attention.

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/content/akgees/50/2/EJC20195
2010-06-01
2019-08-17

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