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The Transformational Role of Academic Mentoring in Turbulent Times

Publish date:2016-04-22

ABSTRACT       

The on-going disruptive dynamics associated with the recent nationwide “Fees Must Fall” campaign, specifically in the higher education sector, has combined with a number of other transformational agendas which will change the nature of  South Africa’s academic fabric forever.

Commencing at the turn of the millennium, the restructuring of the higher education sector saw the merging of multiple major academic institutions across the country, effectively cutting, incorporating and merging around 36 universities and technikons into 23 (1) – some of these into truly “mega-institutions”.

Under the leadership of the Minister of Higher Education at the time, Kadar Asmal, this seemingly impossible, potentially volatile and highly politicised task was completed in terms of the main infra-structural and legislative processes and procedures, by around 2007.

In parallel, the essential transformation of the demographic make-up of the new national academic intelligentsia began, and continues today. However, there appear to be increasingly strong arguments that not all the hearts and minds of the previously established academic cohorts have changed sufficiently.

 

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