An exploratory study on quality of higher education in South Africa: A multi-stakeholder approach (CHE)

STATUS: Current
PROJECT LEADER:Van der Bergh, GM (Mr Gray), Fongwa, NS (Dr Sam)
OTHER TEAM MEMBERS: Jansen, JT (Mr Herman)
DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBLE: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)


Higher education quality has remained a contested and variedly defined concept in local and international literature (Dicker et al., 2019; Bobby, 2014). To this end, Schindler et al., (2015a), suggest that three characteristics of quality in higher education compound its definitional challenge. Firstly, quality is an elusive concept to define in higher education due to its wide interpretation from a wide range of stakeholders which include tuition providers (e.g., funding bodies and the community, taxpayers); users of products (e.g., students); users of outputs (e.g., public and private employers); and employees of the sector (e.g., academics and administrators (Srikanthan & Dalrymple, 2003). The second challenge in defining quality is that it is a multidimensional concept for which one definition could be too general or too specific which will compromise other dimensions of the concept. A third challenge is that quality is not a static but rather a dynamic concept, ever-changing its nature and time, and its definitional correctness must be considered in the context of the larger educational, economic, political, and social landscape within which its located (Ewell, 2010; Harvey & Williams, 2010; Singh, 2010)