New HSRC Publications
Linda Cooper & Shirley Walters (eds)
The global economy is increasingly challenging the accepted dichotomies between home-life and work-life, between employment and unemployment, paid work and unpaid work. This calls for serious analysis of how knowledge is generated in workplaces as diverse as the factory, the field, or the street. It raises questions about what forms of learning and training are involved; how they articulate with one another and what implications this has for our societies. In this book, 34 leading scholars from 10 countries challenge established understandings of lifelong learning and work, with several arguing that ‘work' and ‘lifelong learning' need to be ‘turned inside out' through a rigorous critique of underlying social relations and practices so that we understand the power relations that shape learning/work possibilities. In various ways, all of the 25 chapters that make up this impressive volume are infused with imaginings of alternative futures which prioritise social justice and sustainability for the majority in the world.
Learning/Work will appeal to scholars and practitioners who are grappling to understand and implement learning/work critically within the demanding conditions of our times.
Michael Cosser with Sekinah Sehlola
This monograph is the sequel to Studying Ambitions: Pathways from grade 12 and the factors that shape them, which investigated the aspirations for future study and/or work of 20 659 grade 12 learners across South Africa in 2005. Ambitions Revised: Grade 12 learner destinations one year on tracks the same cohort of learners into their destinations one year later. Of particular interest to the research team was the sub-set of those who enrolled in teacher education programmes. The extremely low levels of interest in teaching first observed in a similar 2002 HSRC study are confirmed here - a finding which has implications for sustainable teacher supply and for the health of an education system upon which the future of the country depends.
The study is the first in South Africa to reveal the post-matric destinations - including the labour market outcomes - of a nationally representative cohort of learners. As such it will be of interest to policy-makers and planners in various fields across the public and private sectors.
Moeketsi Letseka, Michael Cosser, Mignonne Breier & Mariette Visser (eds)
Student attrition has been a perennial theme in South African higher education throughout the past decade. In its National Plan for Higher Education (2001), the Department of Education attributed high dropout rates primarily to financial and/or academic exclusions. Four years later, it reported that 30% of students dropped out in their first year of study and a further 20% during their second and third years.
Against this backdrop, the erstwhile HSRC research programme on Human Resources Development initiated a research project to investigate more thoroughly why students dropped out, what led them to persist in higher education to graduation, and what made for a successful transition to the labour market. The chapters in this volume variously address these issues in relation to one or more of seven institutional case studies conducted in 2005. Although the data analysed pertain to the 2002 cohort of graduating/non-completing students and to institutional data for 2004/5, their currency is confirmed by the recent interest expressed by the new Ministry of Higher Education and Training in exploring ways for ‘continuously improving the access and success, particularly of black students, at all levels of the system' (Budget Speech, Minister of Higher Education and Training, June 2009).
Sectors & Skills: The need for policy alignment presents the results of a large-scale study of the skill demands of five economic clusters in South Africa:
- The high-tech sector - automotive, aerospace and ‘big science' technology such as space science, nuclear energy and biotechnology;
- The resource-based sector - metals, chemicals, wood, paper and pulp;
- The labour-intensive sector - clothing and textiles, agro-processing and the creative industries;
- The services sector - financial services; ICT and tourism; and
- Public infrastructure - energy and transport.
Drawing on the skills of scholars and expert consultants throughout South Africa, the findings point to highly differentiated socio-economic conditions and divergent prospects for future growth in each sector. The analysis shows that each sector requires customised skills development strategies to meet specific sectoral conditions. This places widely diverging demands on the education and training system that, in turn, necessitate far greater levels of alignment between skills development and industrial policies.
Economic policy-makers, small business development and funding agencies, academics, development planners and human resource strategists will find this a vital resource in conceptualising and formulating new skills development strategies.
In 2008, South Africa had 400 953 educators, which included school teachers and principals. Were they adequate in number and quality for the 12 239 363 learners in ordinary public and independent schools? Is the country's teacher education system sufficiently geared up to produce the teachers that are required and are sufficient numbers of students being attracted to teaching? How successful have government and union attempts to address specific teacher shortages since 1994 been? What has the contribution of research been in these areas? These are the questions this book addresses. It does so by providing an overview and synthesis of the interventions, research and consequences of initiatives related to the demand for and supply of teachers since 1994. What the study shows is that in order to deal with shortages, a bold vision for sustained investment in teacher education is a first priority. This needs to be supported with measures that will not only attract young graduates to the teaching profession, but also retain them and their developed expertise.