Toward Conceptual, Policy, and Programmatic Frameworks of Affirmative Action in South African Universities

By Lindsay, Beverly | The Journal of Negro Education, Fall 1997 | Go to article overview

Toward Conceptual, Policy, and Programmatic Frameworks of Affirmative Action in South African Universities


Lindsay, Beverly, The Journal of Negro Education


Debate surrounding the concept and goals of affirmative action is growing in the United States and other countries. This article explicates and compares the conceptual tenets of affirmative action as they have been operationalized in the U.S. and South Africa. It critiques the positions on equity and affirmative action stated in South African policy documents and by key government policymakers, university executives, and faculty. It also presents case study data on the relationship between affirmative action and institutional change at four South African universities, identifying emerging paradigms for democracy in that nation's higher education system.

INTRODUCTION

Much of the development of affirmative action concepts, policies, and programs-along with much of the debate-has been centered in the United States. However, other countries have used this mechanism to redress societal inequities. In South Africa, the transformation from apartheid to democracy has highlighted the roles of institutions of higher education. The development of a critical knowledge base and the preparation of students to assume key professional and policymaking roles in various sectors are central purposes of universities. Unfortunately, the presence of "Blacks" (Africans, Indians/Asians, and Colored groups) and women of all races and ethnicities in South African universities as students, faculty, and professionals is still limited in various disciplines, faculties, and administrative areas. Herman (1995), for example, reports that 51 out of every thousand in South Africa's White population were enrolled in postsecondary institutions in 1991 compared to 35, 13, and 9 out of every thousand for the Indian/Asian, Colored, and African populations, respectively. The 1996 Green Paper on Higher Education Transformation, one of the South African government's major working policy documents, details staff composition trends showing that Whites and men still hold those positions with the greatest prestige, status, and influence in the nation's academy (National Commission on Higher Education, 1996b). The Green Paper further reveals that in 1993, South Africa's historically White universities (HWUs) produced 83% of all research articles generated by the nation's scholars and 81% of all master's and doctorate graduates.

To change these realities, redress or affirmative action has become a salient mechanism. Increasing the percentages of underrepresented groups and women is a primary emphasis of affirmative action in higher education. Other prominent ways to redress inequities and to diversify colleges and universities include: professional development for junior professionals, academic bridge programs for students who are underprepared to engage in university work, and the equitable distribution of financial resources to the historically (Black and) disadvantaged universities (HDIs) that have served the nation's Black populations.

Various levels of resistance have been encountered in the implementation of such changes in South Africa. Several reports and pieces of legislation written or passed since the 1994 democratic elections have articulated rationales and ways of ensuring fairness and equity throughout the South African university system. After presenting a brief "glimpse" of the disparate education provided to South Africans of various racial/ethnic groups during the apartheid era, the present article explicates and compares the conceptual tenets of affirmative action as they have been operationalized in the United States and South African contexts. It also critiques the positions on equity and affirmative action expressed by various South African educational policy documents and government officials. To portray the relationship between affirmative action policy and institutional change in the nation's HWUs and HDIs, this article presents relevant findings from the authors' qualitative study of the history and goals of four South African universities. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Toward Conceptual, Policy, and Programmatic Frameworks of Affirmative Action in South African Universities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.