Curriculum revision: Challenges in responding to change

21 Nov 2016

The higher education landscape in South Africa is undergoing a process of change given the new Higher Education Qualifications Framework of 2007. The changes are more profound for the University of Technology sector where the majority of qualifications need to be revised. Given the myriad factors to be considered and incorporated into curriculum revision, this paper draws on chaos theory as a framework to understand the relationship of these factors and the complexities of curriculum revision as a non-linear process. While faculty lecturers are responsible for ensuring that the diploma is revised, it is argued that the ability to revise a curriculum is not necessarily a causal consequence of experience in teaching and academia. There should be adequate capacity building as a pre-requisite for engagement. The findings show that departments are at different points on a continuum as a result (or lack) of purposeful directives and keen lecturer involvement. Curriculum revision, therefore, requires a concerted attempt at inclusivity of staff, knowledge and skills development as well as establishing collaborative structures within departments.