FOTIM (SA) 2004
FOTIM is a higher education academic consortium in the Gauteng, Limpopo and Northwest provinces of South Africa It promotes collaboration amongst universities and universities of technology, and has been managing a series of conferences on the theme of Quality Assurance in Higher Education.
I presented at FOTIM 2004 with my dear friend and colleague, Jill Fresen, from the University of Pretoria. Our presentation was entitled Quality promotion and capacity development – could they come to the aid of weary South African academics? and was based on a paper of the same title that was published in the South African Journal of Higher Education that year.
In the paper we contended that there was an immediate and urgent need for comprehensive quality promotion and capacity development programmes on a voluntary basis to support already overburdened and quality-weary South African academics. Like AA Milne’s Winne-the-Pooh, many academics felt that they had become overwhelmed by outside pressures and demands: ‘Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs, now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head behind Christopher Robin. It is as far as he knows the only way of coming downstairs, but somewhere he feels there is another way, if only he could stop for a moment and think of it’ (A.A. Milne, quoted by Hammond & Morris 2002).
Such capacity development initiatives would empower academics to implement and assume responsibility for their own accountable quality assurance practices, in a positive, rewarding and constructive way. We argued that programmes should be aimed directly at academics and departments, complementing existing capacity development initiatives of the South African Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) and other bodies. They should be available to public and private providers alike, as a result of expressed needs. They should share best practice from those who have made good progress, and coach those institutions who need it, based on their own perceived improvement objectives.
The full colour presentation is available here: FOTIM 2004 Presentation.ppt (1420 KB).
The reference for the paper is:
Boyd, L.G. & Fresen, J.W., 2004. Quality promotion and capacity development – could they come to the aid of weary South African academics? South African Journal of Higher Education, 18(2), 5-15.