Higher education in South Africa: The skills debate

Ethné Swartz, Paul Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Looks at the nature of undergraduate education in South Africa. Claims that the differing views held by government with limited resources for education, academics with a desire to maintain discipline integrity, industry which requires graduates able to increase economic competitiveness and students who wish to improve their own position in the new South Africa will require a sensitive resolution. A similar debate in the United Kingdom has led to many recent developments in undergraduate skills teaching. Considers these changes and reviews the benefits and problems which have arisen to provide a useful contrast to the situation currently facing South Africa. Argues that the appropriate development of skills can help to achieve academic benefits as well as making students better able to meet the needs of industry. Suggests that student learning can be enhanced and that drop–out rates in an expanding mass educational system can be reduced. Highlights the ability of students to better utilize their knowledge in industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalEducation + Training
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1996


  • Change
  • Higher education
  • South Africa


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