Contextualising the LIS curriculum in the Department of Information Science at Unisa through Africanisation: challenges, prospects and opportunities

  • Luyanda Dube


Unisa as an institution claims in its mission statement to be the African university in service of humanity. Expectedly, this should reflect in its institutional culture, curricula and library holdings and practices. Despite the commitment, literature has revealed that generally academic institutions in Africa still demonstrate hegemonic practices from the colonial past. Amongst other things, this has resulted largely in institutions offering academic curricula that have not been contextualised or aligned with African realities. In this light, this article seeks to determine the extent to which the curricula in the Department of Information Science at Unisa have been aligned according to the dictates of the current milieu. The qualitative approach was considered appropriate for this study because it focuses on observing events from the perspectives of those who are involved and is aimed at understanding the attitude, behaviour and opinions of those individuals (Powell and Connaway 2004). A basic interpretive qualitative research design was used for this study. Data was collected through interviews and document analysis. The data were inductively analysed and the findings are presented and discussed using references to the literature that informed the study. The results show that in the Department there is no clarity on what Africanisation means, involves and implies, and what its exact parameters are. This article recommends that if Unisa as an institution underscores the importance of being an African university, there is a need to give strategic direction and leadership on the understanding and implementation of the concept of Africanisation.

Innovation, No.45, December 2012

Author Biography

Luyanda Dube
University of South Africa, Department of Information Science

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1025-8892