The purpose of this paper is to identify and highlight the key constructs of an enabling policy environment and their probable impact on development and implementation of recognition of prior learning (RPL) process in higher education and training in South Africa with reference to library and information science (LIS) field.
The study adopted quantitative methods, and utilised questionnaires and document analysis to collect data. The study used a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data from all the ten LIS schools in the South African higher education and training landscape. The questionnaire was used as the main data collection tool to collect quantitative data through a survey research design. In addition, the researcher employed content analysis to analyse qualitative data collected from institutional RPL policy documents.
The study found that the LIS schools have aligned most of their institutional RPL policies and procedures with South African Qualifications Authority’s national RPL policy (2013). However, in terms of the institutional RPL policy environment, the study found that there was a low level of compliance regarding certain aspects of the policy environment among LIS schools despite their express explicit commitment to the principles of equity of access and redress.
In-depth interviews were not conducted to ascertain the reasons for low level of compliance regarding certain aspects of the RPL policy.
This study is valuable for higher education institutions, policy and governance, government and other stakeholders to assess the level of compliance to legislative and regulatory framework in RPL implementation in higher education and training in South Africa. In addition, the study was important for LIS schools in particular as RPL can be used as a tool to open access and increase participation in learning programmes to counteract low level of student enrolments in this field.
There is very little published concerning compliance to legislative framework RPL implementation in higher education and training. Furthermore, most published work relate to RPL implementation in higher education and training in general. The paper describes compliance to legislative framework to RPL implementation in higher education and training in South Africa with special reference to LIS field.
This research paper is part of the author’s PhD studies. The author would like to thank the author’s employer, and the University of South Africa (UNISA) for the funding towards the completion of the studies.
Hlongwane, I. (2019), "Legislative framework for implementing recognition of prior learning", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 775-787. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-10-2018-0111Download as .RIS
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