Curriculum reform in South Africa: more time for what?


flexible degree
curriculum reform
epistemic access
knowledge structures


In 2013 the Council on Higher Education (CHE) released a proposal for the reform of South Africa’s undergraduate degree arguing that all current 3-year degrees and diplomas, as well as 4-year Bachelor’s degrees be extended by one year with an additional 120 credits. This paper argues that the structure proposed provides the conditions for a different kind of curriculum that enables epistemic access and development. The paper firstly offers a set of theoretical tools for conceptualising this enabling curriculum structure. Secondly, drawing on the CHE exemplars, the paper makes explicit the general curriculum reform principles that underpin the enabling structure. Finally, the paper describes how these reform principles translate into qualification-specific curriculum models which enable epistemic access and development. This research is an important contribution to the next phase of curriculum reform in South Africa, what we refer to as a ‘new generation’ of extended curricula.




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