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Perspectives on Student Affairs

The goal of Perspectives on Student Affairs in South Africa is to generate interest in student affairs in South Africa. The papers contained herein are based on best practice, local experience and well-researched international and local theories.

The papers in this book deal with matters pertaining to international and national trends in student affairs: academic development, access and retention, counselling, and material support for students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are linked to national and international developments, as described in the first two papers.

This publication will assist both young and experienced practitioners as they grow into their task of developing the students entrusted to them.

All contributors are South Africans with a great deal of experience in student affairs, and all are committed to the advancement of student affairs in South Africa. The editors are former heads of student affairs portfolios at two leading South African universities.

Systemic School Improvement Interventions in South Africa: Some Practical Lessons from Development Practitioners

Looking at two smaller-scale systemic school improvement projects implemented in selected district circuits in the North West and Eastern Cape by partnerships between government, JET Education Services, and private sector organisations, this book captures and reflects on the experiences of the practitioners involved.

 

The Systemic School Improvement Model developed by JET to address an identified range of interconnected challenges at district, school, classroom and household level, is made up of seven components. In reflecting on what worked and what did not in the implementation of these different components, the different chapters set out some of the practical lessons learnt, which could be used to improve the design and implementation of similar education improvement projects.

 

Many of the lessons in this field that remain under-recorded to date relate to the step-by-step processes followed, the relationship dynamics encountered at different levels of the education system, and the local realities confronting schools and districts in South Africa’s rural areas. Drawing on field data that is often not available to researchers, the book endeavours to address this gap and record these lessons.

 

It is not intended to provide an academic review of the systemic school improvement projects. It is presented rather to offer other development practitioners working to improve the quality of education in South African schools, an understanding of the some of the real practical and logistical challenges that arise and how these may be resolved to take further school improvement projects forward at a wider district, provincial and national scale.

Educational Challenges in Multilingual Societies

This book is the sixth in a series of books from the LOITASA (Language of Instruction in Tanzania and South Africa) project and reflects the work done in the sixth year of the project. This book has its main focus research carried out in South Africa and Tanzania on the language of instruction issue.

Universities and Economic Development in Africa: Key Findings

Universities and economic development in Africa presents the synthesis and includes the key findings of case studies of eight African countries and universities.

Linking Higher Education and Economic Development

Finland, South Korea and the state of North Carolina in the United States are three systems that successfully have harnessed higher education in their economic development initiatives. Common to the success of the all these systems is, amongst others, the link between economic and education planning, quality public schooling, high tertiary participation rates with institutional differentiation, labour market demand, cooperation and networks, and consensus about the importance of higher education for development.

Linking higher education and economic development: Implications for Africa from three successful systems draws together evidence on the three systems, synthesises the key findings, and distils the implications for African countries.

The University in Africa and Democratic Citizenship: Hothouse or Training Ground?

Whether and how higher education in Africa contributes to democratisation beyond producing the professionals that are necessary for developing and sustaining a modern political system, remains an unresolved question. This report, then, represents an attempt to address the question of whether there are university-specific mechanisms or pathways by which higher education contributes to the development of democratic attitudes and behaviours among students, and how these mechanisms operate and relate to politics both on and off campus.

The research shows that the potential of a university to act as training ground for democratic citizenship is best realised by supporting students' exercise of democratic leadership on campus. This, in turn, develops and fosters democratic leadership in civil society. Thus, the university's response to student political activity, student representation in university governance and other aspects of extra-curricular student life needs to be examined for ways in which African universities can instil and support democratic values and practices. Encouraging and facilitating student leadership in various forms of on-campus political activity and in a range of student organisations emerges as one of the most promising ways in which African universities can act as training grounds for democratic citizenship.