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Diversity and research practices among academics in South African universities: race for the market

Thaver, Beverly

Abstract:
Higher education systems, globally, are being called upon to effect changes in terms of widening student access and diversifying a previously homogenous academic staff profile. In South Africa, one of the main forces driving the diversification of academic staff is state policy in the form of employment equity legislation, with racial redress serving as one of the main elements. Legislation of this nature together with other associated policy initiatives are in turn being interpreted and acted upon by higher education institutions in varying ways. At a third level, the intra-institutional or micro-level, individual academics of all races are under pressure to modify and adapt their daily practices and to align them more closely, not only with wider state and institutional imperatives but also with increasingly insistent market forces. The ways in which academics are responding to these pressures for greater diversity, specifically at the level of their research practices, is the primary focus in this article. I explore the effects of the changing conditions of scientific inquiry and highlights contestations arising around the validity of knowledge problems. My overall finding, that the intensive market-logic environment either draws on or eclipses the equity and diversity imĀ¬peratives, raises questions about how further to address the traditional and conservative social relations that remain so characteristic of the academy.

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Document Title: Diversity and research practices among academics in South African universities: race for the market
Journal: Perspective in Education
Volume: 27
Issue: 4


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Research
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Academia, Differentiation of Higher Education, Diversity, Higher Education, Research, South Africa


File Size:122 KB
Date Added:19 May 2012


Thaver, Beverly (2009) Diversity and research practices among academics in South African universities: race for the market , Perspective in Education 27(4)