The accountability and professional security of the South African higher education lecturer

F. Bothma, J.P. Rossouw

Abstract


The widening of access to higher education (HE) for more students has been a strategic priority of the South African (SA) Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) over the past decade.  Simultaneously, lecturers are increasingly held to account for providing quality teaching and delivering employable graduates. Yet their work environment is characterised by poor support, lack of recognition for teaching efforts, and absence of legal protection when failing to fulfil the undefined yet high accountability expectations in their teaching-related work. This article reports on an empirical study, grounded in an inductive qualitative methodology from an interpretive-phenomenological perspective, which aimed to develop understanding of how SA lecturers involved in undergraduate teaching at three SA universities perceive accountability and security within their labour environment.  From the analysis and interpretation of semi-structured and focus group interview data, seven meaningful themes were identified, associated with either lecturer accountability or security.  The findings offer not only a clear delineation of internal and external teaching-related accountability, but also a comprehensive definition of lecturer professional security.

Keywords


higher education law, higher education teaching, labour rights, lecturer accountability, security, support, teaching responsibilities, working conditions, quality in higher education

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20853/33-2-2463

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