Apart from the COVID-19 outbreak, South Africa’s higher education sector is faced with new technological, financial and collaborative challenges in the new decade. These challenges and new areas for growth are some of the foremost priorities for vice-chancellors.
New technologies and evolving student demands are forcing universities to think differently and to abandon the traditional way of doing things. In order to succeed, academic and research institutions will have to reimagine a different future for higher education. The pandemic is challenging institutions of learning to become more flexible and agile to these external demands. Most importantly, universities will need to deliver services that are more staff-and-student-friendly and embrace the adoption of a digital and online approach. This means that students and staff should no longer have to navigate complex and unconnected technologies and processes.
PwC conducted a survey among vice-chancellors of public universities in South Africa (15 responded) to ascertain the key opportunities, challenges and context surrounding the South African higher education sector in 2020, and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey served as an opportunity to research the political, environmental, and economic landscapes influencing higher education, as well as publishing a view based on robust qualitative and quantitative analysis of survey output from the higher education sector.
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