Analysing significant needs that South African institutions have in respect of staff professional development: a closer look at the challenges, mechanisms, and impact thereof

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Mafuku Tholaine Matadi


This paper identifies and discusses the significant needs that Higher Education Institutions have in terms of professional development for their staff. Firstly, the article   analyses what professional development in higher education institutions means and argues that professional development is process that strengthens and extend knowledge, skills, and conceptions of academics. This can be accomplished by gaining access to education and training opportunities in the workplace, through a third-party organization, or by observing others perform the job. As a results professional development is essential if institutions of higher learning. want to remain relevant professionally, academically, economically, and socially. Secondly, using the review of the literature this paper identifies external drives such as relevance, neoliberalism, managerialism, internationalisation, globalisation, and decolonisation that have an impact on staff professional development. The paper critically comments on these key needs and the challenges that staff members face in this regard. Lastly, the paper concluded that the institution should always revise and evaluate mechanisms that institutions have put in place. The study recommends that there should be a collaboration between academic staff and management.

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