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African Higher Education Research Online - Symbolism and substance: towards an understanding of change and continuity in South African higher education

   

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Symbolism and substance: towards an understanding of change and continuity in South African higher education

Subotzky, George

Abstract:
This chapter explores the pattern of continuity and change that characterises the transformation process in South African higher education and examines the combination of factors underlying it.  Understanding the pattern of change and continuity, as well as the implementation "gap" and discursive policy "shifts", requires aligning four analytic lenses, each of which inform the next.  First, the author re-examines the nature of the policy - in particular, distinguishing between symbolic and substantive policy, identifying the limits and indeterminacy of policy and highlighting its discursive function.  Secondly, the author identifies key drivers of policy change and trace their inter-relationship.  Thirdly, the obstacles to change and policy implementation is identified.  Fourthly, a significant change factor, which tends to be underplayed  by other analysts, is how the dominant global discourse has foreclosed (and has been allowed to foreclose) the redistributive-transformative discourse that forms one component of the two-fold development imperative of post-apartheid society.

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Chapter Title: Symbolism and substance: towards an understanding of change and continuity in South African higher education
Book Title: Globalization and reform in higher education
City: Berkshire, England
Publisher: Open University Press
No. of Pages: 164-193


Date:2003
Document Type:Chapter in Book (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Transformation of higher education, , South African Universities, Higher Education Policy, Higher Education Reform, Policy Analysis, Policy Process


File Size:289 KB
Rights:Permission to reproduce this chapter was granted by Open University Press.
Date Added:30 March 2007


Subotzsky, George (2003). Symbolism and substance: towards an understanding of change and continuity in South African higher education. In Heather Eggins Globalization and reform in higher education Berkshire, England: Open University Press, 164-193

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