2017-05-05 01:58

What can we look at and decide that we can take higher education as a field of study? The debate comes back again. When we look at the time line of higher education we recognise many changes with time before 1994 and the situation after 1994. By 1994, there were in south Africa 36 higher education Institutions, which were structured along racial and ethnic lines and characterised by a sharp distinction between universities (21 ) and technikons (15) OECD,(2008). New lines would be drawn or are being drawn away from those of the past. Universities are beginning to see the bigger picture now. Where all institutions want to become centres of excellence. Some have chosen to become entrepreneurial university and other virtual universities. the question remains, how we become specialists in higher education if there is no specialisation in higher education as a field of study. How are the lecturers prepared to meet the organisational objectives? Nzimande, (2009:3) talks about the key features of higher Education and Training System. "…the system of HET will be supported by an institutional base that is both diverse and differentiated as well as being conceptualized as an integrated and coherent whole in which meaningful learning pathways are developed across institutional and workplace education and training forms." Nzimande (2009:3) the people responsible for the development of these learning pathways are the higher education practitioners. This sets out a challenge to all lectures at Higher Education Institutions to engage in research in order to address the challenges that the minister of higher education talks about in the topic policy development. Other disciplines in higher education would include but not restricted to higher education management and leadership, program planning and development, research, transition studies (workplace to learning place and learning place to workplace). I view the following as possible areas of research in higher education. The green paper on Skills development (1997) aimed to develop an "integrated skills development system which promoters economic and employment growth and social development through a focus on the education training and employment services". if no one is doing research on higher education we may never find out what this means and therefore higher education institutions may never be able to provide the service as suggested by the government.
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