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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2019

Vimbi Petrus Mahlangu

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the scholarship of diversity, equity and inclusivity in higher education. The focus is to advance an understanding of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the scholarship of diversity, equity and inclusivity in higher education. The focus is to advance an understanding of the issues concerning student admissions and access in higher education. The paper will contribute to the debate on student admissions and access in higher education. Among others, the author argues that in the context of higher education, access has different meanings.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual in approach and draws from extant literature and the review was used in compiling the paper. Interpretivist approach was used in understanding the topic. Relying on capabilities approach (CA) as a lens in understanding student admissions and access the author argues that higher Education Institutions should consider opportunities (capabilities) for all students to live the lives that they have reason to value (valued functionings). CA works from the premise that human beings share universal capabilities and students’ life can be fulfilling if given the opportunity to exercise their capabilities by universities.

Findings

Universities can rely on students’ racial and ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status and students’ disabilities in admitting them. Diversity characteristics can be used as a tool to ensure the heterogeneity of the student population or as an unfair advantage given to students who might otherwise be deemed inadmissible on the basis of their academic or test performance. Factors such as changing demographics, public policy, institutional practices and marketing techniques seem to have a subtle influence on the process of admission. Students may experience challenges because of the “invisibility” of their disabilities due to a breakdown in communication within higher education systems.

Research limitations/implications

The paper relied on literature review only and this is its limitation. Literature review may have been influenced by selection bias of the author and is likely to include only those sources that are most consistent with the author’s personal opinion. Selection bias can arise when the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the review are not clearly stated and that might bias the findings.

Practical implications

Admission officials in higher education institutions are expected to conduct a diversity needs assessment before admissions with the aim of using the data to identify student population. The needs assessment can look at aspects such as the students’ racial and ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status and students’ disabilities to ensure access and success of all students.

Social implications

Inequities around access and admission for diverse groups of students in higher education are a reality worldwide. There is a worldwide trend within countries to see universities as contributors to economic growth, and many institutions are now increasingly attuned to the money economy. A student’s decision to apply on where to study may be influenced by the reputation of the institution.

Originality/value

This concept is relative and has different meanings depending on the nature of the work in question. The paper was compiled through literature review, all the sources used have been acknowledged, and the paper conveys the thoughts, interpretations and ideas of the author.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 September 2021

Agrippa Madoda Dwangu and Vimbi Petrus Mahlangu

The purpose of this article is to investigate the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms employed in financial management practices of school principals in the Eastern…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to investigate the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms employed in financial management practices of school principals in the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Education. The strengths and weaknesses of the systems and mechanisms of the processes to hold school principals accountable are explored in detail in this study. The argument that this article seeks to advance is that accountability of the school principal to the school governing body (SGB) does not yield the best results in terms of efficiency. It creates a loose arrangement in terms of which the school principal takes part in financial mismanagement in schools.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection was made through semi-structured interviews whose purpose was to draw experiences from SGBs, particularly the finance committees who are in fact the sub-committees of the SGBs; as well as literature review. The finance committee is made up of the chairperson of the SGB, the secretary of the SGB, the treasurer of the SGB, and the financial officer who is a clerk responsible for the keeping and the management of financial records of the school. The process started with semi-structured interviews, then transcribing, coding, developing themes, making meaning of the themes and subsequently developing a principle.

Findings

Mechanisms employed by schools and the Department of Education to hold principals accountable for their financial management practices fail to make them fully accountable and effectively face the consequences of acts on their part that are illegal and unlawful. The mechanisms need a great deal of overhauling. The argument that this article seeks to advance is that this account of the school principal to the SGB does not yield the best results in terms of efficiency. It creates a loose arrangement in terms of which the school principal easily gets away with a crime when financial mismanagement occurs in the school.

Research limitations/implications

Participants could possibly not be comfortable and willing, to tell the truth as it is. Participants might have the fear that telling the truth could land them in trouble with the law. Whilst participants were assured by the researchers of their anonymity and the confidentiality of the information given by them, there was no guarantee that the fear of being exposed would subdue completely. There was also a possibility that some participants would not be willing to say the truth as it is for fear of being victimised by other participants for exposing the status quo in their schools.

Practical implications

The findings and recommendations from this study may be used by the Department of Basic Education as a source of information for policymakers and stakeholders to understand the effectiveness of their mechanisms to ensure the accountability of school principals on issues of financial management. On the basis of this study, policymakers will then be able to revisit their policies for the purpose of strengthening them. The principal is therefore responsible for the day-to-day administration and management of school funds because of this mandatory delegation. However, when things go wrong, it is the SGB that is held liable.

Social implications

School principals hold dual accountability in terms of which they are accountable to the employer only in so far as their professional responsibilities are concerned on financial management in the first instance. They are by no means accounting officers in schools. In the second instance, they are fully accountable to the SGB for issues relating to financial management. Section 16A of SASA lists the functions and responsibilities for which the principal as an employee of the Department of Basic Education, and in his official capacity as contemplated in Sections 23(1) and 24(1) (j) of the same Act, is accountable to the head of department (HOD).

Originality/value

The study provides a theoretical and empirical contribution to the existing literature on the effectiveness of the mechanisms employed to ensure the accountability of school principals in their financial management practices in schools. It offers practical recommendations putting in place mechanisms that effectively hold school principals wholly accountable for their financial management practices in schools. Most of the time, it is easy for the principal to get away with a crime even in instances where he or she is called upon to account for alleged financial mismanagement.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 October 2019

Vimbi Petrus Mahlangu

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the scholarship of diversity, equity and inclusivity in higher education. The focus is to advance an understanding of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the scholarship of diversity, equity and inclusivity in higher education. The focus is to advance an understanding of the issues concerning student admissions and access in higher education. The paper will contribute to the debate on student admissions and access in higher education. Among others, the author argues that in the context of higher education, access has different meanings.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual in approach and draws from extant literature and the review was used in compiling the paper. Interpretivist approach was used in understanding the topic. Relying on capabilities approach (CA) as a lens in understanding student admissions and access, the author argues that higher education institutions (HEIs) should consider opportunities (capabilities) for all students to live the lives that they have reason to value (valued functionings). CA works from the premise that human beings share universal capabilities and students’ life can be fulfilling if given the opportunity to exercise their capabilities by universities.

Findings

Universities can rely on students’ racial and ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status and students’ disabilities in admitting them. Diversity characteristics can be used as a tool to ensure the heterogeneity of the student population or as an unfair advantage given to students who might otherwise be deemed inadmissible on the basis of their academic or test performance. Factors such as changing demographics, public policy, institutional practices and marketing techniques seem to have a subtle influence on the process of admission. Students may experience challenges because of the “invisibility” of their disabilities due to a breakdown in communication within higher education systems.

Research limitations/implications

The paper relied on literature review only and this is its limitation. Literature review may have been influenced by selection bias of the author and is likely to include only those sources that are most consistent with the author’s personal opinion. Selection bias can arise when the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the review are not clearly stated and that might bias the findings.

Practical implications

Admission officials in HEIs are expected to conduct a diversity needs assessment before admissions with the aim of using the data to identify student population. The needs assessment can look at aspects such as the students’ racial and ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic status and students’ disabilities to ensure access and success of all students.

Social implications

Inequities around access and admission for diverse groups of students in higher education are a reality worldwide. There is a worldwide trend within countries to see universities as contributors to economic growth, and many institutions are now increasingly attuned to the money economy. A student’s decision to apply on where to study may be influenced by the reputation of the institution.

Originality/value

This concept is relative and has different meanings depending on the nature of the work in question. The paper was compiled through literature review, all the sources used have been acknowledged, and the paper conveys the thoughts, interpretations and ideas of the author.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Vimbi Petrus Mahlangu

Purpose of this chapter is to explore Afrocentric mentoring models of individuals in higher education. In this chapter, leadering will refer to mentoring and the influence…

Abstract

Purpose of this chapter is to explore Afrocentric mentoring models of individuals in higher education. In this chapter, leadering will refer to mentoring and the influence upon followers and why and how activities and objectives are to be achieved. Issues of race, social class, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, and geographic location play a role in faculty and leader faculty leadering. Literature review was used in investigating the phenomenon of faculty leadering from the perspectives of cross-cultural faculty leadering relationships within the field of education and Afrocentric faculty leadering models. Afrocentric philosophy, Indigenous wisdoms, and also the cultural traditions and perspectives of peoples of African heritage are assumed to offer a helpful foundation toward a nuanced explanation of culturally relevant faculty leadering within the faculties of education. A faculty leader to demonstrate professional behaviors and actions that will assists staff in professional socialization in higher education. Racism and other forms of oppression experienced by Black and other marginalized youth in societies cause many to develop fatalistic attitudes about themselves, their education, and their future. African-centered faculty leadering models should be rooted within philosophies, cultures, and principles that apply theories to praxis, unique locally and globally.

Details

Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-065-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Vimbi Petrus Mahlangu

This chapter provides an exciting opportunity to advance our knowledge of equality and diversity of students in higher education (HE). My main reason for choosing this…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter provides an exciting opportunity to advance our knowledge of equality and diversity of students in higher education (HE). My main reason for choosing this topic is personal interest.

Design

Critical race theory (CRT) and the social identity theory were used as analytical tools in understanding equality and diversity of students in higher education.

Findings

Managing equality and diversity of students in higher education can be done through the tournament conception, trial conception, leveling conception, remedy conception, and job-interview conception. The primary intrinsic limit to equality of opportunity of students in higher education institutions (HEIs) is the persistence of irreducible differences between families in their economic, social, and cultural resources. Policy can partly compensate for economic differences but can scarcely eliminate the potency of the family in cultural capital and social networks. Students from advantaged social groups enjoy more access to elite universities through the influence of policies. Disadvantaged students from social groups are excluded from accessing top HEIs. Students in elite universities enjoy more advanced educational opportunities than those in nonelite universities, and they are more advantaged to be placed in the job market.

Research Limitations

Student pedagogic (content knowledge) and formative (evaluation) opportunities in HEIs may not be achieved when equality and diversity is dissociated from its academic content and reduced to access for the sake of access. Universities are expected to develop a repertoire of lecturing methods to enable students to learn (Gudmundsdottir, 1990, p. 47). Students constrained by financial considerations, or not given a choice, are not in a position to achieve equality and diversity in their choices of the benefits offered by HEIs as the constrains may limit them from having the necessary resources. Differences between the students’ contexts of learning may also place limit to their performance ability because of the differentiated contextual background. Recruit of students to universities should include students from diverse contextual backgrounds. In addition, universities ought to integrate diversity management with their admission policies and other strategic choices. The chapter focuses only on equality and diversity for students in HEIs. Again, it is limited by relying on the researcher’s experiences and literature review only. In addition, interviews with students and staff at universities were not done because literature reviewed gave more information from researches based on findings of other scholars.

Originality

Higher education institutions (HEIs) should engage students and listen to their needs for equality and diversity to be realized. Debate continues about the best strategies for the management of discrimination that comes in many forms depending on the perceptions of the individuals affected.

Details

Diversity within Diversity Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-172-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2020

Vimbi Petrus Mahlangu

The chapter focuses on humanizing higher education by infusing ethical leadership in the curriculum to improve the public service. Its design is qualitative in nature and…

Abstract

The chapter focuses on humanizing higher education by infusing ethical leadership in the curriculum to improve the public service. Its design is qualitative in nature and literature reviews and document analysis were employed in compiling the chapter. It followed an interpretive paradigm and used Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory as a lens in understanding humanizing education in higher education. Nowadays ethical leadership is of paramount importance in higher education and in the public service. Ethical leadership should be based on the moral person and on the moral manager. The moral person component focuses on desirable personal qualities of leaders such as being perceived as honest, fair and trustworthy. The moral manager focuses on the leader and uses transactional efforts such as rewards and punishments to reinforce desired behaviors. Soft skills are very important in higher education and should be transferred through coursework. Students need to be supported in all aspects of education including the academic, emotional and social demands in higher education.

Details

Developing and Supporting Multiculturalism and Leadership Development: International Perspectives on Humanizing Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-460-6

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2020

Abstract

Details

Developing and Supporting Multiculturalism and Leadership Development: International Perspectives on Humanizing Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-460-6

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Abstract

Details

Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-065-9

Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Abstract

Details

Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-065-9

Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2020

Abstract

Details

Developing and Supporting Multiculturalism and Leadership Development: International Perspectives on Humanizing Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-460-6

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