Academic Dynamic

Professor Aslam Fataar of Stellenbosch University in South Africa Made a Lecture in Institute of Education


On the morning of July 10, 2017, Instituteof Education has invited Professor Aslam Fataar of Stellenbosch University inSouth Africa to make the 76th “Higher Education Lecture in Xiamen University”for teachers and students in our institute. The topic of the lecture is "TheHigher Education in South Africa". The lecture was hosted by Associate ProfessorJianpeng Guo, director of the Educational Psychology Institute. Part ofpostgraduate students participated in this lecture.

Aslam Fataar is a professor from StellenboschUniversity in South Africa, served as Associate Dean at the Education Centerunder the School of Education. His main research areas are governance andhistory, globalization, educational sociology, and education in South Africaand so on.

The lectures consisted of three mainthemes and they were respectively the theme of South African Students' Views towardsUniversity Reforms and Development, the Development of Inclusive Education inSouth Africa, and the Development of Higher Education in South Africa. While Prof.Fataar focused on the theme of Higher Education Development in South Africa.

The higher education development in SouthAfrica is mainly divided into two historical stages, namely, the apartheid highereducation before the year of 1994 and the post-apartheid system after 1994. Thehigher education in South Africa developed slowly under the apartheid systembefore 1994 and there were common phenomena of “White Supremacy” and “RacialSegregation” and separate development could be shown in housing, health,welfare, schools and even universities. During this period, three well-knownuniversities in Africa were built .They were the University of Cape Town,Stellenbosch University and Fort Hare University College. On the basis ofapartheid, South Africa's higher education system contained 36 universities andtechnical colleges.

After 1994, South Africa was apost-apartheid system, and South Africa's higher education developed from aracially differentiated (apartheid) higher education to a diversified,institutionalized higher education. After 1994, South Africa began to rebuildeducation through national intervention and policy drivers. Several majoreducational policies were introduced, such as White Paper on Education (1995),National Commission on Higher Education (1996), White Paper on Higher Education(1997), Size and Shape Proposals (2001), National Plan for Higher Education (2001).After the reform of higher education in South Africa, it has been put moreemphasis on greater efficiency, fiscal rectitude, quality assurance,managerialism, private higher education and vocational programs.

Professor Fataar also introduced the curriculumreform in colleges and universities in South Africa. After 1994, the SouthAfrican curriculum reform emphasized the interdisciplinary curriculum model andthe development of market-oriented, knowledge-based skills, but the reform ofthe curriculum also caused some challenges to student's academic development.As for the question about how to further develop the higher education,Professor Fataar gave some recommendations and responses. Firstly, curriculumorientation needs to be ecological and knowledgeable, which based on the knowledgearound the world about curriculum. Secondly, it should be a process-orientedand intellectually engaging curriculum. Last but not least, it needs toincorporate identity, science, research, technology and development intocurriculum development.

Professor Fataar talked about the topic ofHigher Education in South Africa fully and patiently. The academic atmospherewas so fantastic because there was frequent interactions between teachers andstudents. Consequently, students all benefited a lot from the lecture.