Modernisation as an Organising Language for Higher Education in the South African Public Administration: Implications on Public Policy Interventions

Nghamula Nkuna, Mokoko Sebola


The purpose of this article is to elucidate the notion of modernisation as an organising language for Higher Education in the South African polity landscape with a view of exposing its limitations on authentically addressing matters that are genuine to the society. That is done by outlining modernisation as an ontological premise and a reflection on how such is reigning as an organising language in Higher Education landscape with specific reference to Public Administration. The argument put forward is that in as much as modernisation remains the bases of the epistemological foundation of acquiring knowledge over the time, there are quite complex phenomenal manifestations that require the discourse to consider areas that are less navigated within Higher Education structuration. Such areas require a multiplicity or plural discourse engagement that is not necessarily confined within the modern science rational conception. That in it will eventually have implications on public policy interventions as the frameworks in use are informed by the epistemological foundations that are currently restricted within the rationality of modernisation. The paper is conceptual in nature and attempts to engage on the philosophical stand of knowledge generation within Higher Education landscape in South Africa specifically within the field of Public Administration and practice with the exposition of the complexities of the policy landscape within a defined polity. The conclusion therefore is that modernisation as an organising language for Higher Education does have limitations that need to be dealt with through considering ontological stances that can complement it in relation to African realities informed by the exogenous status of the continent. On that basis Africans will be moving towards the emancipation from the modernisation grip.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n10p451

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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