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A critical analysis of transfer, articulation and master planning in tertiary education in California (1960-1988) and a resultant model for the RSA
Shippey, Theodore Clive
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The main hypothesis underlining this study is the belief that the great emphasis on "transfer" and "articulation" in tertiary education in California contains lessons for the tertiary sector in the RSA. Such lessons can fruitfully be examined with a view to intelligent, selective adaptation. In California an extremely flexible pattern of mobility exists between the four systems of tertiary education, namely the University of California (UC) (9 campuses), the California State University (CSU) (19 campuses), the Community Colleges (CCs) (106 campuses), and the Private/Independent sector (377 campuses). This pattern contrasts strikingly with the relatively inflexible approach in the RSA where transfer and articulation between the universities, technikons and colleges of education are not generally encouraged and do not occur too frequently. The creation of a model in the RSA which incorporates the most constructive elements of the systems in California is one of the primary objectives of this study. In the creation of this model cognisance has been taken of the many similarities and also the considerable differences in the economic, social, historical and physical conditions which exist in the RSA and in California. Every attempt has been made to avoid errors of "transplantation" which could easily take place. The key word in this study is "adaptation" and not the direct "transfer" of ideas since an eclectic approach, if applied too literally, can easily lead to an imposition of alien concepts. This study is therefore aimed primarily at focusing attention on the need for greater ''mobility'' among the tertiary education sectors in the RSA and in stimulating constructive moves in this direction. A secondary hypothesis underlying this study is the assumption that the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education in California has proved successful and worthy of emulation in certain respects. This assumption has led to an examination of the California Plan with a view to the possible adaptation of some of its successful principles - other than "transfer" and "articulation" - in order to formulate the basis for a much needed Master Plan for Tertiary Education in the RSA. Implicit in this secondary hypothesis is a brief analysis of those aspects of the California Master Plan such as budgeting, funding, examining, control of standards, and so on, which have contributed to the success which has been achieved in California during the last three decades. This analysis is inevitably followed by a consideration of these points in the South African context in order that any constructive ideas may be incorporated or adapted to the conditions prevailing in the RSA. The universality of certain educational principles emerges clearly from this study as do the undeniable virtues of careful, logical studies of other educational systems in order that one may be in a stronger position to assess and improve one's own system.