Theme 8: Governance & Management in Higher Education

Lead researcher: Naziema Jappie, University of Cape Town
Co- lead: Dr Saajidha Sader UKZN Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Peer reviewer: Dr Sarah Gravett, University of Johannesburg
Researchers: Takalani Muloiwa, Charlotte Choga, Sibusiso Luthuli, Natasha Campbell, Chéri-Lynn Steyn, Thando Tenza, Rudzani Bernard Mamphweli, Humbulani Portia Rambuda, Sunshine Minenhle Myende, Tanaka Chikomba

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The deadly coronavirus outbreak presents a host of challenges for different sectors of society. South Africa has gone into a lockdown and university campuses with their staff and students are considered particularly susceptible to this contagion as is the case around the world. In light of COVID-19, higher education institutions around the world are taking various actions in order to secure the well-being of their students and staff, as well as members of their communities.  This crisis represents an unprecedented occasion for higher education to evaluate the preparedness for new changes. It has also galvanized us into reflection and action, for instance, regarding how we can tap into the digital technologies and other creative ways to better serve the needs of higher education and address latent disruptors like Covid-19. 

Th project is based on praxis informing policy and the course of action that institutions are implementing in South Africa.

While it is understood that the reality of each institution is unique, it is hoped that this project will highlight issues of governance and management during these times as we all continue to learn while the COVID-19 situation unfolds.

  • What is the higher education sector doing to manage the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown? How have things changed?
  • How are  institutions addressing the probable risk and impact of COVID-19 for future reference to policy development the following areas: Human Resources, Finance Student support: Housing/ food, Financial aid /student loans, Digital /remote learning, Security 
This research is undertaken under exceptional circumstances where we cannot have face to face interviews or focus groups, but we can use technology like Skype/Zoom/websites to gather information and data for debate and discussion. The research project seeks to explore this new phenomenon with a flexible and creative style of eliciting and categorising responses to questions and by describing variations among HEIs and individual experiences at this time.
With this in mind, proposed research sources include: 
  • Institutional websites
  • Online publications/statements by Vice Chancellors/DVC and other Management team members
  • Government publications/articles
  • Government regulations/rules
  • International responses in the HE sector
  • Social media and TV/newspapers etc