The Restructuring of South African Higher Education: Rocky roads from policy formulation to institutional mergers, 2001-2005

Teresa Ann Barnes (Editor), Narend Baijnath (Editor), Kalawathie Sattar (Editor)

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


Before 1994, South Africa supported 36 higher education institutions, a manifestation of the cancerous social engineering of apartheid. Enforced racial segregation resulted in the building or reshaping of a plethora of institutions to accommodate specific racial and language groups, although these institutions were managed and professionally staffed mostly by white males. Financially, these higher education institutions were an enormous burden for the new state after 1994.

The result of a three-year research project undertaken by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of the Western Cape, this book examines the processes of restructuring following on the government's decision in 2001/2002: to radically reform the legacy of 'the geopolitical imagination of the apartheid planners' in higher education. In this innovative attempt to get under the skin of what was clearly the most major intervention in South African higher education since 1959, two key elements formed the backbone of the research: a set of site-based observers on each campus, and regular interviews with key informants at each case-study site.

Because the decision to merge the institutions was far-reaching but widely contested - the aim of the study was to gather descriptive information to analyze to what extent the mergers were helping the sector towards the lofty goals of the 2001 National Plan for Education - were the mergers advancing the causes of equity and increasing student access to higher education?

The findings brought together here represent a comprehensive range of institutions. The main researchers, all institutional insiders, represent strong diversity in training and perspectives, and their contributions are enlivened by personal insights and supported by key tables and figures
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationPretoria
PublisherUnisa Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Print)9781868885244
StatePublished - 2009


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