Democracy, Higher Education Transformation, and Citizenship in South Africa

The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 4:153-158 (2006)
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Abstract

Higher education restructuring in South Africa has been heavily influenced by policy processes which culminated in the formulation of several documents, including: the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) Report (1996), the Education White Paper 3 (EWP, 1997) entitled "A Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education", the Council on Higher Education (CHE) Report entitled "Towards a New Higher Education Laindscape: meeting the Equity, Quality and Social Development Imperatives of South Africa in the 21st Century" (2000) and the National Plan for Higher Education (2001). The National Plan for Higher Education in South Africa (2001) outlines the framework and mechanisms for implementing and realising the policy goals of the Education White Paper 3. With reference to the need of the higjier education system to develop the intellectual capacities of people by inculcating in them high quality skills and competences which, in turn, can lead to a heightened form of political accountability on the part of democratic South African citizens, my contention is that this can best be achieved if "outcomes" announced in the National Plan are implemented along the lines of deliberative democracy and citizenship. It is this position I wish to analyse and explore in this paper with reference to one specific "outcome": enhanced cognitive skills of graduates.

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