Equity development programmes for academic staff at South African higher education institutions: progress and promise

  • V Mkhwanazi
  • N Baijnath


The current academic staff profile in South African Higher Education reflects much of the skewdness of the past. The central dilemma faced by these institutions is how to achieve an equitable ratio in the short and medium terms. In response to government concerns expressed through the National Plan on Higher Education, several institutions of higher learning are now embarking upon strategies to develop, retain and attract staff from designated groups. The issues discussed in this article arise from a baseline survey conducted by the researchers to investigate Equity Development Programmes (EDPs) for academic staff within the South African higher education sector. Quantitative data from telephone interviews and a questionnaire survey across all public higher education institutions are drawn upon as the basis of analysis for these programmes. Indications are that there are few meaningful, successful EDPs in existence at SA higher education institutions. Those institutions that have development programmes have limited and inadequate resources. The major aim of this article is to analyse how these programmes are structured and focussed, how they are funded, and their overall impact, with a view to identifying policy, planning and development imperatives for public higher education institutions.

(South African Journal of Higher Education: 2003 17 (3): 106-113)

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eISSN: 1011-3487