Accountability and Autonomy in Higher Education in a Transforming Democracy: The Case of South Africa

By Magda Fourie-Malherbe.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 9, 2015 $US5.00

In the new democratic South Africa the government has been using three levers to steer the higher education system: funding, planning and quality assurance. Even though these have been criticized by some commentators as "external intervention" rather than "the logical outcome of national transition," these levers managed to strike a balance between the principles of autonomy and accountability, while moving towards the realisation of the vision of an equitable, inclusive, responsive, and cooperative higher education system. Of late a number of national policy developments such as amendments to the Higher Education Act and the appointment of an oversight Ministerial Committee on Transformation of Higher Education has rekindled fears among the higher education community of "government intervention." Using policy analysis, this unfolding situation will be analysed and discussed.

Keywords: Governance, Steering, Transformation

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.39-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 9, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 473.809KB)).

Prof. Magda Fourie-Malherbe

Professor, Centre for Higher and Adult Education, Department of Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa


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