Staff professional development in South African Higher education institutions: needs and challenges

  • Pravina Pillay


This paper identifies the key needs that Higher Education Institutions have in relation to the professional development of their staff and explicates the challenges thereof. It commences by deconstructing what professional development in Higher Education institutions means and emphasizes that professional development should not be seen as a product but rather a process of enhancing the professional capabilities of academic staff so that they can perform their professional duties to their maximum potential. This can be achieved through access to education and training opportunities in the workplace, through an outside organisation or through watching others perform the job. It is imperative to state that professional development is essential in institutions of Higher Learning as it builds and maintains the morale of staff members and is thought to attract higher quality staff to an organisation. It would be remiss not to add that professional development is essential if institutions of higher learning aim to remain relevant professionally, academically, economically and socially. This paper will identify the key needs that South African higher education institutions have in relation to the professional development of their staff; comment critically on these key needs, identify the challenges they face in this regard and indicate some of the mechanisms that institutions have put in place in place to evaluate its effect thereof.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231