Transformation at Universities

Prof Ahmed Bawa – CEO of Universities South Africa


Renewed student activism is forcing institutions to reconsider what an appropriate curriculum is
There is a need to review whether our curriculums connect with what is likely to be the world of work in 2035
In the face of debilitating funding cuts and new waves of student activism, the role of universities in addressing the critical challenges facing the world, such as increasing socioeconomic inequality, is being scrutinised.
Higher education around the world is in an epoch of rapid change and, besides the cuts in funding, there is a clamour for relevance and higher rankings, for greater articulation of various socioeconomic projects and the need to track major labour market transformations.
Student activism seems to be heading for another 1960-1970s period. Inequality is increasing in most societies and, as the economist Thomas Piketty has repeatedly explained, social investment in higher education is a key driver for building more equal societies. This has been behind higher levels of massification in most societies and the rush for qualifications continues, but demand by far outstrips supply.
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