Convergence of public and private provision at the further-higher education interface
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This chapter examines the increasing convergence of both public and private provision at the further education and training (FET) and higher education and training (HET) interface in South Africa. The analysis draws heavily from the findings of three recent studies that focus on educational provisioning in three differing institutional locales. When read together, these three texts reveal a very distinct trend: a convergence of provision from all three institutional typologies towards education and training at the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 5. This convergence is significant for four reasons. Firstly, it shows that both public and private institutions in there FET and HET bands, when faced by the same pressures to restructure and seek new sources of income, behave in similar ways. Secondly, much of this new demand-driven provisioning is career- or vocationally-oriented. Thirdly, such a convergence is potentially a positive development in terms of the intermediate skill needs of the national economy. Lastly, it is clear that the private education and training sector has a key contribution to make, particularly in terms of provisioning at the critically important intermediate skill levels of the NQF.