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Science Communication in South Africa: Reflections on Current Issues

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Why do we need to communicate science? Is science, with its highly specialised language and its arcane methods, too distant to be understood by the public? Is it really possible for citizens to participate meaningfully in scientific research projects and debate? Should scientists be mandated to engage with the public to facilitate better understanding of science? How can they best communicate their special knowledge to be intelligible? These and a plethora of related questions are being raised by researchers and politicians alike as they have become convinced that science and society need to draw nearer to one another.

Higher Education Pathways: South African Undergraduate Education and the Public Good

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In what ways does access to undergraduate education have a transformative impact on people and societies? What conditions are required for this impact to occur? What are the pathways from an undergraduate education to the public good, including inclusive economic development? These questions have particular resonance in the South African higher education context, which is attempting to tackle the challenges of widening access and improving completion rates in in a system in which the segregations of the apartheid years are still apparent.

Going to University: The Influence of Higher Education on the Lives of Young South Africans

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This accessible book brings together the rich life stories of 73 young people, six years after they began their university studies. It traces how going to university influences not only their employment options, but also nurtures the agency needed to chart their own way and to engage critically with the world around them. The book offers deep insights into the ways in which public higher education is both a private and public good, and it provides significant conclusions pertinent to anyone who works in – and cares about – universities.

The Delusion of Knowledge Transfer: The impact of foreign aid experts on policy-making in South Africa and Tanzania

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This book reveals fundamental problems of expert advice in the context of aid that concern issues of power and legitimacy rather than merely flaws of implementation. Based on empirical evidence from South Africa and Tanzania, the authors show that aid-related advisory processes are inevitably obstructed by colliding interests, political pressures and hierarchical relations that impede knowledge transfer and mutual learning. As a result, recipient governments find themselves caught in a perpetual cycle of dependency, continuously advised by experts who convey the shifting paradigms and agendas of their respective donor governments.

Change management in TVET colleges: Lessons learnt from the field of practice

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The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college environment is marked by increasingly stark juxtapositions between what needs to be achieved in the post-school education sector and the increasing difficulty of current conditions. The ‘triple challenge’ of poverty, inequality and unemployment weighs heavily on the social, political and economic fabric of the country and expectations are high that the TVET colleges can make a pivotal contribution to counter these challenges. Despite laudable increases in TVET enrolment, the education system needs to work harder to accommodate the weight of demand for post school further education and training (FET) band qualifications from young people not in education, employment or training. At the same time, it is vital to secure adequate quality in TVET programmes which depend so much on the competence and commitment of college lecturers.

Reflections of South African University Leaders: 1981 to 2014

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The inspiration for this collection arose in late 2013 in the Council on Higher Education’s (CHE) Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate, the directorate responsible for conducting research on the higher education landscape and monitoring the state of the sector over time. They noted that conditions besetting universities had grown increasingly complex, both globally but more especially locally, and the question arose – how had this altered the challenges to university leadership over the period, say, between the new political dispensation ushered in in 1994 and the second decade of the new millennium? More particularly, how had leaders with a proven track record of visionary and strong leadership during this period faced these challenges? How did they see the main changes that needed dealing with? What challenges did these changes pose and how were they successfully overcome? What did they think, looking back, were the main constituents of successful leadership and management? What wisdom could be distilled for posterity? The Directorate decided to invite a range of vice-chancellors and senior academic leaders who had completed their terms of office to contribute to a project that set out to gather such reflections and compile them into a publication.

Doctoral Education in South Africa

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Worldwide, in Africa and in South Africa, the importance of the doctorate has increased disproportionately in relation to its share of the overall graduate output over the last decade. This heightened attention has not only been concerned with the traditional role of the PhD, namely the provision of a future supply of academics. Rather, it has focused on the increasingly important role that higher education – particularly high-level skills – is perceived to play in national development and the knowledge economy. This book is unique in the area of research into doctoral studies because it draws on a large number of studies conducted by the Centre of Higher Education Trust (CHET) and the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) over the past decade.

Twenty Years of Education Transformation in Gauteng 1994 to 2014

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"Twenty Years of Education Transformation in Gauteng 1994 to 2014: An Independent Review" presents a collection of 15 important essays on different aspects of education in Gauteng since the advent of democracy in 1994.

Confronting Exclusion: 2013 Transformation Audit

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South Africa has made important political strides over the past two decades. It has created a framework of democratic legislative, executive and judicial institutions that mark a clear break from the apartheid past. In theory, they are inclusive and offer every citizen equal access to constitutionally protected rights. Their capacity to deliver, however, is coming under increasing pressure and, as this happens, citizen confidence in their efficacy is waning.

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

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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.