Higher Education In Modern Society

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Higher education currently, plays a central role in the social, cultural, and economic development of modern societies. For university leadership, the challenge is to redress past inequalities and to transform the higher education system to serve a new social order, to meet pressing national needs, and to respond to new realities and opportunities. Leadership must lay the foundations for the development of a learning society that can stimulate, direct, and mobilize the creative and intellectual energies of all the people towards meeting the challenge of reconstruction and development. The White Paper 3 (1997) outlines a wide-ranging set of initiatives for the transformation of higher education through the development of a single coordinated…show more content…
Higher education equips individuals to make the best use of their talents and of the opportunities offered by society for self-fulfilment. It is thus a key allocator of life chances as an important vehicle for achieving equity in the distribution of opportunity and achievement among South African citizens. Secondly, to address the development needs of society and provide for the labour market, in a knowledge-driven and knowledge-dependent society, with the ever changing, high-level competencies and expertise necessary for the growth and prosperity of a modern economy. Higher education teaches and trains people to fulfil specialized social functions, enter the learned professions, or pursue vocations in administration, trade, industry, science, and technology, and the arts. Thirdly, to contribute to the socialization of enlightened, responsible, and constructively critical citizens. Higher education encourages the development of a reflective capacity and a willingness to review and renew prevailing ideas, policies, and practices based on a commitment to the common good. Fourthly, to contribute to the creation, sharing, and evaluation of knowledge. Higher education engages in the pursuit of academic scholarship and intellectual inquiry in all fields of human understanding, through…show more content…
Their academic expertise and infrastructure are national assets. It would be detrimental to the national interest and the future provision of quality higher education if the valuable features and achievements of the existing system were not identified, retained, and used in the restructuring process. However, if higher education is to contribute to the reconstruction and development of South Africa and existing centres of excellence maintained, the inequities, imbalances, and distortions that derive from its past and present structure must be addressed and higher education transformed to meet the challenges of a new non-racial, non-sexist, and democratic society committed to equity, justice, and a better life for

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