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Steering from a distance: funding mechanisms and student access and success in higher education in South Africa

Breier, Mignonne; Le Roux, Pieter

Abstract:
This paper is concerned partly with some of the broader questions in the political economy of higher education in South Africa. In which direction is higher education being steered and ought it to be steered in another direction?
In section 2 of this paper the authors consider the empirical patterns that have emerged during the past two decades and show that the funding formulas and other policy interventions by government, together with the matriculation success rates and government spending on education, have had a significant impact on the types of changes taking place, but often not as was intended by those who designed policy. In section 3 the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NFSAS),is discussed. The authors argue that it needs to adjust to the new realities in education, where socio-economic background rather than race per se is the most important factor defining the ability of students to enter and succeed in higher education. In section 4 they show why the New Funding Formula is likely to have consequences very different from what it intends. It is criticised for using race as a proxy to determine whether students are socio-economically disadvantaged and for various other features likely to have unintended consequences.  Finally, in section 5 it is argued that higher education institutions need to be steered in a fashion which will ensure that they also develop the potential of the able students from the bottom four socio-economic quintiles.

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Title of Paper: Steering from a distance: funding mechanisms and student access and success in higher education in South Africa
City: University of the Western Cape, South Africa


Date:2007
Document Type:Conference Paper
Subject Area:Finance and Physical Resources
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Funding of Higher Education, Access to Higher Education, Success Rate, South Africa, Participation Rate, Funding Formula


File Size:489 KB
Rights:Paper was retrieved online at http://www.sanord.org/index.php.
Date Added:08 January 2008


Breier, Mignonne; Le Roux, Pieter (2007). Steering from a distance: funding mechanisms and student access and success in higher education in South Africa Presented at the First Annual SANORD Centre Conference on Higher Education and Development : Shifting Challenges and Opportunities, Cape Town, South Africa, 5-7 December.