South Africa report
The Institute made a momentous decision in April when the executive committee agreed to the EDPM's proposal to launch an initiative to follow up the request of the Technikon SA in Johannesburg to offer the IMS qualifications.
The main thrusts of the initiative were:
a to go to Johannesburg and process their enquiry through personal discussion and seek to approve them as an overseas course centre;
b to assess the feasibility of devolving the running of the examinations at the Technikon;
c to encourage them to meet the international standards expressed in our qualifications.
An educational impression
The present situation is affected largely by government policy and it would seem to be becoming, on the one hand, more constrained by shifting the funding emphasis from education to more social/housing issues, and on the other, more pressurised by the intention to offer the black population 'open access' to vocational and general education.
The meaning of the term 'disadvantaged students' means black students who are probably not fully educated and who have little economic surplus. Government support is to be via bursaries to individuals, not grants to technikons, but education funds will become dependent on the pass/success rate of the students on their programmes.
Facilities at the technikons are very, very impressive and the buildings expansion is still continuing at TSA. English is still considered to be the educational language, although its place as the first language may be under threat in favour of one of the other ten available.
The British Embassy contact was rewarding and Miranda Assikidis, the vice-consul (Commercial), highlighted that if we wished to be involved in the RSA that each province had authority to to deal with education and training issues on an individual basis and that each technikon would be allowed similar authority.
The Eskom visit
An invitation to have an interchange of views on management services with the consulting services department to ESKOM (The SA Electricity Generating Authority) was a welcome break from the many meetings and a good deal of the 'culture of work study' was gained. It was surprising to see the stress placed on the MBA as a final qualification goal for their staff. We would record our thanks here to Geoff Cook FMS, a corporate manager at ESKOM and his secretary, Shirley, for their invaluable help in assisting our visit to SA.
Discussions at Technikon SA
The time spent with Johan Van Staden and Jan Stein has achieved an approvals proposal. TSA are very able providers of distance learning and the SA refers to Southern Africa -- their marketing initiatives now embrace all African nations and states south of the Sahara.
Their prediction of potential IMS students through to 1997 is in the region of 200 per annum and a new venture is to provide student/tutor support and contact via satellite centres. They have an excellent residential training facility in the south of Johannesburg, which was previously the training centre for the Rand Gold Mines.
They agreed with our UK rule that 'practical modules cannot be taken as distance learning' and are willing to be accountable for the majority of the examinations processing for their students. They welcomed our requirement for external examiners as this would give credibility and international status to their awards.
They will be working within the RSA National Diploma qualifications and their previous organisation and work study three year course is now titled Organisational Effectiveness I, II, III. A gap-match analysis was undertaken of their proposed course content for the OE I and there was a significant match of the order of 60 percent and with the OE II/III contents the final match is 95 percent. It is satisfying to note that they have used our IMS Certificate and Diploma 85 as the basis of their OE programme. …