In this paper Annette takes a critical look at the National Plan on Higher Education, and the National Working Group’s recommendation: that the desired transformation within higher education will be best accomplished through institutional mergers. Her paper takes a stand against this proposal, arguing that not only will it not accomplish the transformational objectives, but worse still runs the risk of further perpetuating the existing race, class and gender disparities reflected in higher education. Ultimately she argues, the proposed merging of Higher Education institutions reflects the degree to which the proposal is influenced more by global economic pressures to decrease public spending and commodify knowledge, and less by the ideals of democratization and massification of Higher Education. Ultimately, while the undertone of this paper leads towards honouring the transformational ideals of equity and redress within Higher Education, it does so by appreciating the impact of global economic forces – which no amount of idealism can dispel.
Two thoughts remain with me after reading this paper. Firstly, that there are no easy answers in a complex dilemma and secondly how each side constructs the ‘other’ when faced with a complex dilemma.
Thanks for an excellent paper and thought provoking read.