n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Taalbeleidshersiening aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, 2003-2015

Volume 56 Number 4-1
  • ISSN : 0041-4751



(UFS), from the inception of the university council's 2003 language policy up to the adoption of an entirely new policy in March 2016. This overview is undertaken against the background of theoretical insights about the role of the evaluation of effective policy implementation in policy review at higher education institutions. Several studies as well as some institutional reports since then have suggested that the UFS language policy needed to be reconsidered in view of drastically changing demographics in particular. The underlying question that is considered in terms of relevant documentation available in the public space is therefore why the UFS did not respond earlier to warnings about the inappropriateness of a policy that had been implemented under completely different conditions back in 2003. Departing from international studies on policy review, the study specifically looks at the role of regulative factors in policy review. This is done in terms of an analysis of external core reports that, as far back as 2006 already, recorded shortcomings requiring corrective actions by the UFS. The role of specifically two reports published during 2008, namely the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) institutional audit report and the Ministerial Committee's report on transformation and social cohesion and the elimination of discrimination in public higher education institutions (the so-called Soudien report), are considered. Incidentally, they are also foregrounded in a transformation report issued by the UFS towards the end of 2014, which turns out to have provided a basis for reinventing language problems that could eventually be used as a rationale for changing the UFS language policy.

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