The effects of higher education mergers on the resultant curricula of the combined institutions

  • MX Mfusi


Since the dawn of democracy in South Africa (from 1994), the education sector has been haunted by the spirit of change and transformation from the apartheid-influenced education system to the one which will represent the demographic make-up of this country. As a result of this line of thinking, there has been a policy for all sectors of education B from early childhood development to Higher education. Discussion documents have been followed by Green papers, White papers and Acts. The Higher education sector has been no exception in the situation whereby a flurry of policies have been made, amended and re-amended in order to change the landscape. The latest landmark has been the ‘merging' of higher educational institutions and reducing their number from 36 to 21. This state of affairs has raised a lot of concerns, questions, arguments and debates from the involved institutions, their staff (both academic and non-academic), the entire academic regime, politicians and society at large. When institutions merge, numerous aspects such as the curriculum, efficiency, equity, staffing, students, organizational integration and physical integration effects can be either negatively or positively affected.1 This article will focus only on what happens to the curricula of the merged institutions? And what are the effects (either positive or negative) of these mergers2 on the resultant curricula of the combined institutions? There are various scenarios whereby the curriculum of one or both institutions could remain unchanged, or the curriculum could be a partial compromise of the new curriculum to reflect both institutions; and a complete integration whereby the curriculum of one of the institutions is completely discarded.

SAJHE Vol.18(1) 2004: 98-110

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eISSN: 1011-3487