Policy Report: Towards a New Higher Education Landscape: Meeting the Equity, Quality and Social Development Imperatives of South Africa in the Twenty-first Century



This Report to the Minister of Education represents the considered proposals of the Size and Shape Task Team of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) on a new and more effective size and shape of South African higher education.



The members of the Task Team:



  • Take as their point of departure, Education White Paper 3: A Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education 1997. It is the goals and purposes that the White Paper advances for higher education, and its core principles and values, such as equity and redress, quality, development, effectiveness and efficiency, that guided the Task Team and inform this Report.

  • Have a common commitment to transforming higher education so that it is 'responsive to the needs of students of all ages and the intellectual challenges of the 21st century'.

  • Share a passionate belief in the vital importance of higher education to democracy, social justice and the economic and social development of this country.




The Task Team understood its brief as:



an overarching exercise designed to put strategies into place to ensure that our higher education system is indeed on the road to the 21st century. The restructuring will therefore impact on the system as a whole. There can be no business as usual (Minister of Education, May 2000 press statement).



It believes that it has faithfully conducted such an exercise, within the constraints of time. It is confident that its proposals will enable South African higher education to meet the challenges of the 21st century. That there can be no business as usual is clear in the Task Team's analysis of the state of higher education. The fundamental reconfiguration of the present system advocated by the Task Team proposals will certainly impact on the system as a whole and leave no institution untouched.