The Challenge of Higher Education Transformation in South Africa

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:30
Oral Presentation
Jayanathan GOVENDER, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The South African higher education landscape has been undergoing structural, institution and curriculum transformation for two decades. New policies, legislation and national higher educational bodies coordinate and guide the transformation process. Government has set particular economic and social priorities for the higher education sector. However, transformation must be normatively framed against academic freedom and institutional independence. Accordingly, the South African contribution will analyse the contradictions that derive from these divergent priorities.

The South African contribution will focus specifically on the changing patterns of student access to higher education; commensurate curriculum change; and graduate attributes for the roles in society and the economy. Accordingly, the aim of the contribution is to highlight the realigned foci of South African higher education from the previous apartheid bias of supporting a minority population and limited economic sectoral base to that of opening up to the majority population and the broader national economy. The contribution will also highlight the challenges of the relationship between South African education and the national economy.