Toward Deliberative Democracy: The Institutional Forum as an Innovative Shared Governance Mechanism in South African Higher Education
The aim of this article is to explore the effects of the Istitutional Forum, a recent governance innovation legislated in South Africa in 1997, as a mechanism that contributes toward the democratisation of university governance. Forums were established to confront the legacy of structured disadvantage and to reorient the educational experience towards greater horizontal accountability.
The article provides commentary on the Forum’s impact vis-a-vis participative ethos and deliberative democracy against the backdrop of the South African government’s post-apartheid commitments. Findings reveal challenges in the Forum’s make-up and implementation that are linked to its degree of influence. Ultimately, the conclusions convey perspectives on role ambiguity and conflictual power dynamics.
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