The governance of the South African higher education system: balancing state control and state supervision in co-operative governance?

28 Sep 2016

The publication of the National Commission for Higher Education (NCHE) in 1996 was hailed as the first systematic attempt to map out a policy terrain for higher education in South Africa since the elections of April 1994. Its recommendations, particularly on the governance of higher education, elicited much discussion and debate. The debate continued (and continues) with the publication of the Green and White Papers, the Bill on Higher Education, and the Higher Education Act (HEA) in late 1997. This paper explores and seeks to clarify the emerging model of educational governance that has been accepted by the Ministry of Education in South Africa as the basis for managing and transforming the inherited system of higher education. Specifically, the paper considers the philosophy of ?co-operative governance? and the governance recommendations of the NCHE Report and the HEA. These documents are examined in relation to state control and state supervision models of higher education governance. The paper concludes by considering the politics of policy development in the transformation of the South African higher education governance system.