The review of teacher education programmes and transformational quality
AbstractThe Higher Education Quality Committee’s definition of quality (HEQC 2001) includes standard elements familiar to other higher education systems as well as elements specific to South Africa’s own contextual priorities and purposes. These elements are fitness for and of purpose, value for money, and individual and social transformation (Singh 2006).
This article addresses the latter quality element by assessing whether and to what extent the 2006/7 review of teacher education programmes potentially impacted upon these programmes. The study was conducted at one higher education institution where teacher education programmes were reviewed by the HEQC in 2006 and preliminary results have been announced to the institution. Processes, outcomes and follow-up actions by
relevant programme committees were explored by means of questionnaires and a post hoc focus group interview involving members of these committees. The results were analysed to determine whether transformational quality had indeed been enhanced by the HEQC review. Indications from the research are that attempts at transformational
quality were affected, albeit on a limited scale. The article argues whether or not further measures should be introduced to enhance transformational quality without damaging institutional autonomy and academic freedom.