The management of academic development programmes in tertiary institutions in South Africa.
Zulu, Nonhlanhla Maureen C.
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This study is aimed at investigating how quality of teaching in higher educational institutions can be improved and how staff development programmes can play a role in the enhancement of the tertiary teaching profession. Over the years, the field of Academic Development has (AD) undergone many changes and has faced enormous challenges as the South African higher education terrain has shifted in the wake of political transformation. The field of Academic Development has grown into a multidisciplinary endeavour with practitioners working in areas such as curriculum and staff development, assessment of student learning, evaluation, educational technology and student development. In recent years, the demise of soft funding and the financial constraints caused by falling student numbers have resulted in a situation where many Academic Development units have faced job losses and even closure. At the same time, challenges facing the higher education system have opened opportunities for AD practitioners to use their expertise to cope with the demands of teaching and learning. The Academic Development programme contributes to the assurance of this performance by supporting staff in meeting the demands of teaching at a Southern African university with international standards. It does this by running an on-going staff development programme and by providing assistance with curriculum development, assessment and evaluation. The Institute for Higher Education Policy engages in research and provides practical advice and background on key issues in higher education policy for a clientele comprised of public and private organisations, individuals and government structures within South Africa as well as abroad.