Original Research

Rethinking and researching transformation in higher education: A meta-study of South African trends

Petro du Preez, Shan Simmonds, Anné Hendrik Verhoef
Transformation in Higher Education | Vol 1, No 1 | a2 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v1i1.2 | © 2016 Petro du Preez, Shan Simmonds, Anné Hendrik Verhoef | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 2016 | Published: 29 September 2016

About the author(s)

Petro du Preez, Faculty of Education, School for Education Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Shan Simmonds, Faculty of Education, School for Education Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Anné Hendrik Verhoef, Faculty of Arts, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Transformation is often loosely defined. We argue that the reason for this is its inherent complexity. Paradoxically, its lack of definition is an asset, which provides an opportunity to rethink and research transformation in higher education, rather than an urgent problem to be solved. In this article, the possibilities for researching and rethinking transformation are based on an exploration of transformation in higher education and the policy directives that
influenced its development in South Africa. A meta-study was used to determine the national publishing trends in the South African Journal of Higher Education and the way transformation in higher education is situated in some of the articles in this journal. The population of the study comprised 1050 articles published between 2005 and 2015 in the South African Journal of Higher Education. These were analysed to determine the broad national publishing trends. Thereafter, an in-depth analysis was conducted on 30 of these articles to determine the approach to transformation in higher education and the context in which it was discussed. Based on the findings of the analysis, we recommend future directions for rethinking and researching transformation in higher education.


Keywords

transform; transformation; higher education; meta-study research; South Africa

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