Original Research

Transforming while transferring: An exploratory study of how transferability of skills is key in the transformation of higher education

Sandiso Bazana, Logan McLaren, Trust Kabungaidze
Transformation in Higher Education | Vol 3 | a35 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v3i0.35 | © 2018 Sandiso Bazana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 December 2017 | Published: 26 July 2018

About the author(s)

Sandiso Bazana, Department of Psychology, Rhodes University, South Africa
Logan McLaren, Department of Psychology, Rhodes University, South Africa
Trust Kabungaidze, Department of Psychology, Rhodes University, South Africa


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Abstract

The importance of skills within the transformation of higher education is a crucial factor that has been insufficiently considered. Transformation in terms of higher education forms a fundamental part of the post-apartheid South African society. This transformation movement seems to exclude the possible role and contributions of the older generation of academics. Using a social constructionist viewpoint, this qualitative study sought to bring to the debate of transformation of higher education the important question of skills transferability between older generation academics and the new generation. From interviewing five retired white academics, the study found that institutional culture and implementation of labour legislation through the Human Resources department by the university in question affect the transferability of skills and that proper programmes of voluntary mentorship should be put in place as to allow the growth of both the older generation and new generation academics. The use of new generation academics’ perspectives could yield more results and findings that can further this area of study, as well as allow a more diverse and richer understanding of the perception of skills transferability within the transformation of higher education institutions. This further understanding for research is needed to emphasise the importance of knowledge production through the integration of both young academics’ as well as older academics’ perspectives. This is to be achieved by engaging with other universities and academics, so that a broader analysis of skills transferability within higher education can be understood.

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