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Title: A reflection on academisation and its effect on curriculum transformation in South Africa’s higher education sector.
Authors: Sabela, Thandeka Primrose.
Masuku, Mandla Mfundo.
School of Development Studies
School of Development Studies
Keywords: Curriculum.;Transformation.;Academisation.;Responsiveness.;Higher education.
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: University of KwaZulu Natal
Abstract: South Africa’s higher education has undergone complex processes of state mandated institutional restructuring since the demise of apartheid. These have resulted in an increase in access to higher education and several processes of regulating the administration, organisation, management, and functioning of the country’s institutions of higher learning. The transformation of higher education in South Africa has relied on, among other factors, discourses of academisation to address historical legacies of inequity, and transform the country’s higher education curriculum. In this paper, we explore how the discourse of academisation has changed the country’s vocational programmes from being alternatives to university studies to becoming universities of technology. This change has compelled vocational programmes to shift their focus and re-curriculate thus interfering with staff composition and constrain-ing rather than creating an autonomous atmosphere for actual curriculum transformation and implementation. The country’s higher education sector needs to reflect critically on its current process of curricular transformation by interrogating if and how these transformations respond to the needs of the sector’s stakeholders, namely students and their prospective employers. This critical reflection seeks to answer questions that focus on how the curriculum strives to include its stakeholders’ narratives to help students to become socially responsive citizens, equipped with well-developed critical thinking skills. It is proposed that a participatory platform be established to which all relevant stakeholders could contribute by helping to build an effective academic agenda. This could enable the country’s higher learning institutions to be responsive to the rapidly changing needs and demands of employers by producing graduates who are both innovative and competitive critical thinkers.
Description: Please note that only UMP researchers are shown in the metadata. To access the co-authors, please view the full text.
DOI: 10.29086/2519-5476/2020/sp31a2
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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