An Analysis of Higher Education Policy Act 101 of 1997

C. I. Ede, N. N. Jili, F. M. Vezi-Magigaba


The South African higher education sector is one of the most contested sectors with high policy influxes since the beginning of current democratic dispensation. From a horrendous past where it endured the repressive strategy that disenfranchised majority of the population, the country’s higher education system undoubtedly needed a thorough reshape to meet the then changing national development needs and aspirations of the newly elected democratic government. Hence, the prime strategy of redressing past imbalances and inequalities accruing from pre-democratic era, was justified through Higher Education Policy (HEP) Act 101 – whose operational consistency is evident in the past twenty-five years. This synoptic review focuses on HEP Act 101 by unravelling the circumstances presaging its formation, the policy provisions and amendments – whose sectional highlights are also embodied herein. The brief prelude to the policy’s penultimate silver-jubilee forms an agendum for extensive research on its performance over the last quarter-century, while the ensuing discourse aims to channel scholarly attention on critical matters that may inform a new HEP formation or amendment, that will be more agreeable with contemporary socioeconomic needs of the masses and synchronous to new national development goals in the long run.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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