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The transition to equity in South African higher education: governance, fairness, and trust in everyday academic practice

Thaver, Beverley

Abstract:
In South Africa, 15 years into a new political order, higher education institutions are under pressure to create and sustain the conditions necessary for the consolidation of democracy. One of the more important of these conditions is the need to shift their academic staff profiles in ways that are more representative of a diverse democracy. This process is mediated by legislative and policy reforms that have as their aims the establishment of a more diverse community of academics (see, inter alia: White Paper, 1997; Employment Equity Act No. 55 of 1998; National Plan for Higher Education, 2001). While much current thinking is at the macro-level and focused on narrow human resource aspects related to “getting the numbers right,” there is limited research on what happens in the daily experiences of faculty. This article draws on a research project conducted at five universities in South Africa in order to explore how academics in their everyday micro-practices of governance, teaching, and research respond to this external systemic pressure. The findings are considered in terms of their implications for the democratization process, in relation to issues of governance, fairness, and trust, at the levels both of institutions and of society as a whole.

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Document Title: The transition to equity in South African higher education: governance, fairness, and trust in everyday academic practice
Journal: International Journal of Politics, culture & Society
Volume: 23
No. of Pages: 43-56


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Institutional Management
Country:International
Keywords:Equity, Democracy, Academic Staff, Higher Education, South Africa


Date Added:28 September 2012


Thaver, Beverley (2010)The transition to equity in South African higher education: governance, fairness, and trust in everyday academic practice , International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 23: 43-56