Higher education policy influences how higher education institutions like universities are organised, funded and operated in a society.  Education White Paper 3: A Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education (July 1997) sets out policy in support of a plan to transform higher education in South Africa and outlines the social purposes of the South African higher education system in terms of three important roles:

  • Human resource development: the mobilisation of human talent and potential through lifelong learning to contribute to the social, economic, cultural and intellectual life of a rapidly changing society.
  • High level skills training: the training and provision of person power to strengthen the country's enterprises, services and infrastructure.  This requires the development of professionals and knowledge workers with globally equivalent skills, but who are socially responsible and conscious of their role in contributing to the national development effort and social transformation.
  • Production, acquisition and application of new knowledge: national growth and competitiveness is dependent on continuous technological improvement and innovation, driven by a well organised, vibrant research and development system that integrates the research and training capacity of higher education with the needs of industry and of social reconstruction (Department of Education, 1997, 1.12).

White Paper 3 laid the foundation for multiple higher education policies that continue to shape the post-school education landscape in South Africa.



Contact information
Prof Heather Nel
Senior Director: Institutional Strategy
Tel: 27 41 504 4511