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International Perspectives on Higher Education Admission Policy

A Reader

Series:

Edited By Virginia Stead

The promise of this admission policy reader arises from the embodiment of research from 58 authors, six continents, 20 time zones, 20+ first languages, and a broad array of research methodologies. Four sections aggregate key themes within the text:
(1) National Perspectives on Higher Education Admission Policy;
(2) Theoretical Approaches to Higher Education Admission Policy;
(3) Applicant Recruitment and Student Support Services in Higher Education; and
(4) Diversity and Equity in Higher Education Admission Policy Implementation.
This book's global chorus of professional experience, investigation, and insight is unprecedented in its breadth and depth, illuminating a rare swath of challenges and opportunities that Internet-sourced international higher education makes visible. Although each chapter is an independent research report, together they generate a new landscape for admission policy orientation, exploration, and activism. The sheer range of policies and organizational infrastructure will alert all readers to many complexities within the admissions process that remain invisible within single or multiple but similar cultural and political contexts.
Many of these authors have demonstrated courage along with their intellectual acumen in tackling politically sensitive, culturally taboo, and personally dangerous topics within their research. Theirs is a moving testimony to the global quest for fairness within the world of admission policy implementation and to the power of access to higher education. Together, we are determined to advance equitable admissions praxis within all institutions of higher learning and promising futures for all students.
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4 Between Social and Academic Considerations: Admission Policies of South African Universities

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CHAPTER 4

Between Social and Academic Considerations

Admission Policies of South African Universities

Charl C. C. Wolhuter

Introduction

The higher education sector in South Africa has been called upon to be the terrain of a radical restructuring and at the same time a key instrument in the reshaping, development, and modernization of society. In both these policies of admission to higher education is a linchpin. Unfortunately, and inexplicably, in the South African higher education research agenda the past two decades, admission policies enjoy no prominent place, neither now (Deacon, Osman, & Buchler, 2009), nor in the past (Wolhuter, 1997). The aim of this chapter is to explicate and to assess admission policies at South African institutions of higher education. The chapter commences with an outline of the historical development of higher education in South Africa, and how admission policies became a very determining and controversial part of not only higher education, but also of the sociopolitical history of the country; a history upon which the present political and societal dispensation have been predicated. The change in admission policies (pre-1994 and post-1994) and contemporary admission policies are explained. The present policies are evaluated against the background of the current of higher education in South Africa, and recommendations for change are made.

The Historical Evolution of Higher Education in South Africa

The development of higher education in South Africa reflects the general history of the...

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